Climate change – on COP 27

Source– The post is based on the article “At COP27, one hit and many misses” and published in The Indian Express and “deja vu over the story of a calamity foretold” published in the mint on 23rd November 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Environment degradation

News- The article explains the major developments at COP27.

What were the expectations from COP27?

COP27 would respond to the growing urgency for greater emission cuts.

It was expected that every country would be asked to strengthen their respective climate actions every year from now to 2030. As of now, the countries have to upgrade their climate actions every five years.

The fossil fuel use would be phased down.

There was hope related to inclusion of a stronger measures for pursuing the 1.5 degree Celsius target.

There should be more emphasis on adaptation. It was hoped that COP27 would make some progress on identifying the adaptation goals.

Another expectation was funding for adaptation purposes. Developing countries have been demanding that at least half of climate finance should be directed towards adaptation projects.

What are the major decisions at COP27?

There was a decision to set up a loss and damage fund.

There was agreement on wording of the implementation plan.

It was decided to continue the discussions on a work programme set up last year to urgently scale up mitigation action. COP27 decided that two global dialogues would be held each year as part of this work programme.

It quantified for the first time the financial needs for climate action. It said about USD 4 trillion had to be invested in the renewable energy sector every year till 2030 if the 2050 net zero target was to be achieved. Additionally, at least USD 4-6 trillion was required every year for global transformation to a low-carbon economy. About USD 5.9 trillion was needed by the developing countries in the pre-2030 period, just to implement their climate action plans.

The developed countries have said they will ensure the USD 100 billion flow from 2023.

An important initiative on adaptation came from the UN Secretary General. He unveiled plans of the WMO to set up early warning systems in areas that do not have them. About one-third of the world, including about 60% of Africa, is not equipped with early warning and climate information systems.

What were the disappointments at COP27?

On most other parameters, COP27 proved to be an underachiever.

With current efforts to reduce emissions, the world is headed to a temperature rise of about 3 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times by the end of this century.

There was opposition from developing countries, especially gulf countries, to phase down fossil fuels.

The Inclusion of a stronger mention of the goal of pursuing the 1.5 degree Celsius target was not agreed upon.

The issue of adaptation was not given sufficient attention. Some countries, including the United States, did promise some money. But it wasn’t more than a trickle.

the developed countries have not yet delivered on their promise to mobilise USD 100 billion every year. It should have happened in 2020. All that the COP27 final agreement did about this was to express serious concern.

The loss and damage clause raise some concerns. It leaves a lot to the imagination and good sense of rich countries. COP 27 ended without finalising the size of the funding pool, how and from where money will come from and modus for disbursing it.

Implementation plan dodged the real issues.

What is the case of India?

India has sought climate equity on behalf of developing countries.

At COP27 in Glasgow, the final agreement accepted India’s request that the text does not mention phase-out of coal but modify it to phase-down.

At COP27, India’s demand that phase-down should include all fossil fuels such as oil and gas was met with opposition from hydrocarbon rich producers and consumers.

India has been criticised by western media for its principled stand.

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