COP27: The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Egypt witnessed negotiators arguing on whether wealthy countries should help vulnerable nations pay for costly climate change-driven extreme weather events. A handful of European governments have offered ‘loss and damage’ funds to help vulnerable nations. Also, the hosts of COP27 launched a global plan to help the world’s poorest communities deal with global warming.
Here are some insights into the offers made by countries to help poorer and vulnerable nations deal with climate change:
COP27: Countries That Have Offered ‘Loss And Damage’ Funds To Help Vulnerable Nations
Experts predict that hundreds of billions of dollars will be needed each year by 2030 to help communities repair and rebuild when disasters hit. However, the rough tally so far is nowhere near the required amount. Decades of refusal by rich nations to offer such reparations or to discuss their historical responsibility for climate change for fear of liabilities, a Reuters report says.
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The countries that have offered to help vulnerable nations are Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Ireland and Belgium.
Scotland, a United Kingdom nation, was the first to offer loss and damage funding at COP26. It made a symbolic two million pound pledge as a way to encourage other countries to do the same.
First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, pledged an extra five million pounds at COP27, Reuters reports. This brings the total amount of money pledged by Scotland to help vulnerable nations to seven million pounds.
In September, 2022, Denmark committed 100 million Danish crowns to help fragile areas including the Sahel region in northwestern Africa.
At COP27, Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, said the country would provide 170 million euros for a “Global Shield” initiative launched by the Group of Seven rich countries and finance ministers from the Climate Vulnerable Forum group of 58 developing countries in the frontline of climate change impacts. The aim of the “Global Shield” initiative is to strengthen insurance and disaster protection finance.
The Austrian government said at COP27 that the country will provide at least 50 million euros to tackle loss and damage over the next four years.
According to a Reuters report, the funds could support the “Santiago Network”. This is a UN scheme providing technical support to countries faced with damages from climate-fuelled natural disasters, and a programme providing early warning systems to countries susceptible to extreme weather.
The Prime Minister of Ireland, Michael Martin, committed 10 million euros to the “Global Shield” initiative for 2023.
At COP27, Belgium pledged 2.5 million euros as part of a 25-million-euro package of climate-related support for Mozambique, from 2023 to 2028.
The funding would focus on preventing and limiting loss and damage, the government said. For instance, the funding will be used to map areas vulnerable to storm surges and by rolling out early warning systems, the report said.
According to some vulnerable countries, that type of funding does not count as “loss and damage” money. These countries say that “loss and damage” funding should compensate countries for unavoidable costs from disasters.
While wealthy countries already provide funds to help countries adapt to climate change by preparing for worse weather impacts, this funding has fallen short of promised amounts, the report said.
For instance, rich countries provided $83.3 billion in climate finance. However, only a third of this went to adaptation.
COP27: Britain To Offer Loans, Debt Repayments To Countries Most Vulnerable To Climate Change Effects
Britain has offered to help vulnerable nations hit by hurricanes and other climate catastrophes as part of new United Kingdom-led initiatives unveiled at COP27. With these initiatives, vulnerable countries will be able to defer debt repayments and free up resources to fund disaster relief, a statement released by the UK government said.
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At COP27, UK’s Treasury Minister James Cartlidge said he is proud that UK Export Finance, the country’s export credit agency, is the first export credit agency in the world to offer loans which suspend debt service payments for countries hit by climate catastrophes and natural disasters.
COP27: Hosts Of UN Climate Change Conference Launch Global Plan To Help World’s Poorest Communities Deal With Global Warming
The hosts of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference have launched a global plan to help the world’s poorest communities deal with the impacts of global warming, Reuters reported.
The plan, called Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, sets out 30 goals to be hit by the end of the decade to enhance the lives of four billion people.
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According to a Reuters report, the plan hopes to set targets across themes including food and agriculture, water and nature, and coastlines and oceans. In order to achieve these targets, the public and private sectors will work with common goals and accelerate adaptation to change.
The COP27 Presidency highlighted some urgent targets, including moving the world to more sustainable agriculture practices that could increase yields by 17 per cent and cut emissions by 21 per cent.
Protecting three billion people from catastrophic weather events by installing early warning systems to help them prepare, expanding clean cooking options to 2.4 billion people to reduce indoor air pollution, and investing $4 billion into mangrove restoration are some of the other goals.
COP27: World Bank To Offer New Facility To Help Countries Suffering From Economic Loss Due To Climate Change-Driven Disasters
At COP27, World Bank President David Malpass announced that the institution will host a new facility to help countries suffering heavy economic losses due to climate change-driven disasters, Reuters reported.
The new instrument is called the Global Shield Financing Facility.
COP27: California-Based Tree-Counting NGO Offers To Help Countries Limit Deforestation
At COP27, CTrees, a California-based non-governmental organisation, launched a data service to help countries limit deforestation and monitor the number of trees they have, Reuters reported.
CTrees’ platform is based on 20 years of data. It uses advanced satellite technology to enable the detection of changes in forests, including degradation, fires and clearance.
According to a Reuters report, CTrees said its data would help countries measure their contribution to reducing emissions.