Can COP27 Follow Through on Climate Finance Commitments?

COP 27 begins with a discussion on loss and damage in the main agenda of the conference.

Climate Change
3 min read

The year 2022 has been a testament to some harsher and grimmer climate extremes. A once-in-a-500-year drought in Europe, flooding across South Asia ravaging lives and livelihoods, Pakistan and Philippines being the most hit, and extreme heat waves across many parts of the globe are breaching all thresholds.


132 Million People on the Brink of Poverty: WEF

As the world witnesses the throes of climate extremes, the 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) begins with an emblematic note that includes a discussion on loss and damage in the main agenda of the conference.

This impedes negotiators who are expected to discuss creating a compensation mechanism for paying out to vulnerable countries that bear the maximum brunt of climate extremes.

As estimated by the World Economic Forum (WEF), more than 132 million are on the brink of being pushed to extreme poverty by 2030. 

As negotiators from more than 200 countries start the deliberation, developing countries like India will continue to seek more clarity on the definition of climate finance and a dedicated financing facility to compensate for loss and damage.

While the committed USD 100 billion remains the target far from reality, it will be tough for the historical emitters to shy away from the loss and damage discussion at Sharm-El-Sheikh and shift the goalpost.

Under the backdrop of geo-political tensions, global recession, and pandemic-driven gradual but uncertain opening makes, the 27th edition of COP delivers on its long-due commitments from the developed nations.

Countries like India will have to take a renewed lead on behalf of developing and Small Island Developing States on ensuring the outcomes are climate-ready systemic, technological, and financial solutions that can insulate lives, livelihoods, infrastructure, and economies across the most vulnerable regions of the world. Ignoring the urgency will only compound the chronic and acute risks the world will face soon as climate change marches on.

Though Nascent, What Is Expected From COP 27?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already predicted that the global temperature rise is heading toward 1.5°C.

If COP 27 fails on climate finance commitments, it will have severe repercussions for people and the planet. It is imperative that developed countries push developing countries to emphasise fossil fuel phase-out.

In contrast, the developing countries will leave no stone unturned to ensure loss and damage are mainstreamed, and in a true sense, this becomes an implementation COP.

Further, transparency and accountability by sub-national and private entities will hold center stage to ensure that net-zero targets by countries are on track.

The COP 27 will be amid the G20 summit, mid-year evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030, and Global Stocktake scheduled for 2023 by all the signatories to the Paris Agreement.

Geo-politically, this COP is critical, and a few countries, like Denmark, have already pledged USD 13 million to developing countries. More countries are expected to join the league, and the story of the agenda will evolve around the nexus of jobs, growth, and energy security.

As climate-vulnerable countries wish for a mainstream conversation around historical climate injustice, COP 27 should raise the bar and ensure a true sense of the spirit of people and the planet rather than a tug-of-clash between developed and developing needs.  

(Abinash Mohanty currently leads the sector on climate change and sustainability at IPE-Global. He is a climate change expert and a reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report.

Raghwesh Ranjan leads Social and Economic Empowerment practice. He has over 20 years of experience in implementation and management of sustainable development programmes.)

(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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