Sharm El Sheikh – Agreement on the most thorny issue at Cop27: the Loss and damage fund, the money to draw on to remedy the damage and losses caused by the climate in developing countries. As anticipated on Friday by Green&Blue, the go-ahead for the fund was now taken for granted. The alternative would have been the complete failure of this 27th UN climate conference. Well, in the early afternoon of Sharm el Sheikh, the Minister of the Environment of the Maldives, Aminath Shauna, told the Associated Press that a potential turning point agreement on “Loss and damage” had been found. Warning, however, that “the document still needs to be unanimously approved in a vote to be held today”.
And in fact, leading exponents of the Italian delegation, after leaving the European Coordination, are more cautious: “The mention of the most vulnerable has been obtained and also the question of enlarging the donor base is somewhat sketchy”. Two crucial points for the EU: the fund should not be made to intervene in all the over 100 developing countries, but only in the “most vulnerable” ones. And it must not only be the USA, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan that feed the fund, but also other economic powers even if they are still formally listed among the developing countries. In short, China. The details should be decided by an ad hoc committee which would then present the results at the Cop28 in Dubai next year. “Not much, but they are significant steps forward”, commented the Italian diplomats, as the final round of negotiations with the plenary begins, which will probably end at dawn on Sunday.
The agreement on Loss and damage is the turning point of this Cop27, a victory for the Egyptian presidency of the Climate Conference which had insisted that this issue be included in the Sharm el Sheikh agenda: an “African” Cop which it should have brought home an important result for developing countries.
But there are still important issues to be resolved. Starting with mitigation, i.e. those measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and therefore curb global warming. The front of those who have “surrendered” on Loss and damage are asking in return for a stringent commitment, in the final text, to “keep alive” the goal of 1.5 degrees more warming than in the pre-industrial era, established by the Agreements of Paris in 2015. And that explicit mention should be made of the gradual reduction of all fossil fuels, a step opposed by many of the neighboring “oilmen” of the Egyptian landlords, starting with Saudi Arabia. “Once again we call on the Egyptian presidency to reject the influence of oil tanker states and fossil fuel lobbyists,” said Yeb Sano, head of delegation of Greenpeace International bluntly..