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Loss & damage funding makes it to COP27 agenda for the first time ever

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For the first time in the history of UN climate negotiations, loss and damage finance will be part of the official agenda of conference of parties (COP27) at Sharm-El-Sheikh in . Countries participating in the negotiations agreed to a 20-point provisional agenda on Sunday.

“Matters relating to funding arrangements responding to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including a focus on addressing loss and damage,” said the agenda.

Developing countries including India, small Island nations and several indigenous communities have been batting for a separate fund for loss and damage to tackle the climate extremes caused by historic polluters aka the Global North.

Union minister for environment, forest and Bhupender Yadav recently said, India will also push for equal distribution of aid to mitigation and adaptation along with renewed demand for loss and damage funds for developing nations.

“This year it is a ‘COP for Action.’ Our focus will be on bringing clarity on climate finance definition and transpicy in the process of fund distribution,” Yadav said.

Other significant additions to the agenda are: “Matters relating to the least developed countries” and “long term climate finance”.

This paper recently reported, as developing nations, especially from the African and the South Asian continent will have a chance to present their demands more strongly than ever, it is widely expected, there would be an enhanced focus on Loss and Damage Funding (LDF) and climate adaptation solutions.

Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, World Resources Institute said, “Vulnerable nations have tirelessly appealed for help to cope with the alarming and damaging climate impacts that they hold little responsibility for causing. Today, countries cleared an historic first hurdle toward acknowledging and answering the call for financing to address increasingly severe losses and damages.”

The agenda text however has steered cleared of placing any liability on the historic polluters to fund and compensate for the related impact.

“The inclusion of loss and damage finance in the agenda for has renewed the fight for justice for communities losing their homes, crops, and income. Rich countries, historically responsible for the climate crisis, have bullied poorer nations to protect polluters from paying up for climate damages, while disregarding the concerns of vulnerable people and countries,” Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International said.

The Indian government last year joined hands with 24 like-minded developing countries (LMDCs) to push for climate disaster funding from developed nations, on the “polluter pays” principle. This included several island nations, least developed countries which are in the first line of impact from climate extremes.

However, at the end of the COP26 last year, the negotiating text for the outcome offered no further enhancement to the climate financing budget and only “urged” the developed world to meet the $100billion per year climate fund target set in 2009. It also steered clear of mentioning a separate fund for loss and damage.


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