Climate change has emerged as the biggest global challenge in the 21st century. The world is increasingly warming up, a major reason being fossil fuel emissions like oil, gas and coal caused by humans. In such a situation, controlling the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the need of the hour. While India and other countries have started acting to stop carbon emissions, the efforts being taken worldwide to combat the same are still not adequate.
World leaders discussed actions to tackle the pressing issue of climate change at the The United Nations Climate Change Conference ‘COP27’, which concluded early on Sunday in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. The conference which was held from 6th to 20th November, 2022 ended with an agreement to provide a ‘loss and damage’ funding as a compensation for countries which are exposed to climate change induced natural disasters.
“History was made today at #COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh as parties agreed to the establishment of a long-awaited loss and damage fund for assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change,” the official Twitter account of #Egypt Presidency of the UN Conference on Climate Change #COP27 announced after the conference.
Loss and Damage Fund ‘essential’ but ‘not enough’
“#COP27 has taken an important step towards justice. I welcome the decision to establish a loss and damage fund and to operationalize it in the coming period. Clearly this will not be enough, but it is a much-needed political signal to rebuild broken trust,” tweeted UN Secretary General António Guterres on Sunday morning soon after the two-week long conference concluded.
Stressing that this is step is “not enough” to combat the global climate change issue, he expressed in a separate tweet later in the day, “A fund for loss and damage is essential – but it’s not an answer if the climate crisis washes a small island state off the map – or turns an entire African country to desert. The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition.”
“This outcome moves us forward. We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage – deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change,” Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary shared in a press statement issued by the United Nations.
Limiting temperature rise and supporting developing countries
At the COP27, participating nations also took decision reaffirming their commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Decision was also taken regarding necessary action by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change, as well as boosting the support of finance, technology and capacity building required by developing nations.
‘Governments took the ground-breaking decision to establish new funding arrangements, as well as a dedicated fund, to assist developing countries in responding to loss and damage.
Governments also agreed to establish a ‘transitional committee’ to make recommendations on how to operationalize both the new funding arrangements and the fund at COP28 next year. The first meeting of the transitional committee is expected to take place before the end of March 2023,’ reads the UN Climate Press Release.
UN Secretary General Guterres announced a USD 3.1 billion plan to ensure everyone on the planet is protected by early warning systems within the next five years. The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Commitments published a report at COP27, serving as a how-to guide to ensure credible, accountable net-zero pledges by industry, financial institutions, cities and regions.
‘Success for India’
Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, who represented India at the COP27, called the summit a “success for India”.
“As COP27 draws to a close, thank you to the entire team with me in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt that worked hard to make the summit a success for India. Thank you, all,” the minister tweeted on Monday morning along with a group photograph of his team which was present at the Climate Change Conference.