The G20 president’s responsibility: Ensuring the delivery of the new loss and damage climate fund

Source– The post is based on the article “The G20 president’s responsibility: Ensuring the delivery of the new loss and damage climate fund” published in The Indian Express on 25th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral groupings involving India interest. GS3- Environment degradation

News- The article explains the opportunity provided by the G20 presidency to ensure concrete steps on climate change.

COP27 agreed to enable financing Loss and Damage associated with climate change.

What is Loss and Damage?

It refers to the adverse impacts that vulnerable communities and countries face as a result of a changing climate.

It includes the increased incidents and intensity of natural disasters and extreme weather as well as slow-onset temperature increase, sea-level rise, or desertification.

What was decided at COP27 on climate change?

The COP27 decision includes the development of a Transition Committee dedicated to Loss and Damage, with equal representation across rich and poor countries.

This committee has been tasked with configuring institutional arrangements, identifying and expanding sources of funding, and coordinating with existing funding arrangements. It has to be done by COP28 in the UAE next year.

How should India use the opportunity provided by the G20 presidency to ensure concrete steps on Loss and Damage provisions agreed at COP27?

First, develop a Global Vulnerability Index to climate change. Such data and research in the public domain helps map critical vulnerabilities. It helps to plan strategies to build resilience by climate-proofing communities, economies and infrastructure.

Last year, CEEW developed a Climate Vulnerability Index for India. It was based on exposure to extreme events, sensitivity of the communities, and adaptive capacity of local administrations.

Pressure will also be put on large emerging economies, with rising emissions, to contribute to LD financing. India must continue to press for higher volumes of international adaptation funds.

Secondly,there is a need to encourage attribution science. The purpose is to assess whether and to what extent human-caused climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of extreme climatic events.

Contributions from the Global South on global research on climate change are limited. A recent study found that only 3.8% of global climate research spending is dedicated to Africa. 78% is spent in Europe and North America.

India should encourage the development of a South-led research consortium dedicated to scientific exploration of event attribution science.

Thirdly, there is a need to promote Early Warning Systems Initiative. The Executive Action Plan for the Early Warnings for All Initiative, unveiled at COP27 aims to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.

It has called for targeted investments of $3.1 billion during 2023-27. It could avoid annual losses of $3-16 billion against natural hazards in developing countries.

The rollout of such systems with last mile connectivity in Odisha has already shown its usefulness.

Fourthly, leverage the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). India founded CDRI to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.

India can also push for a Global Resilience Reserve Fund. It will act as insurance cushion against severe physical and macroeconomic shocks imposed by climate risks. It can be capitalised by IMF Special Drawing Rights.

What should be the way forward to fight climate change?

L&D financing is not enough. Enhanced and accelerated emissions mitigation is still much needed. This is in India’s development interests.

In the case of technology, sectoral partnerships and technology co-development are likely to be the way forward. We should not wait for technologies that never get transferred.

Future COPs must focus almost exclusively on ensuring delivery and accountability. Otherwise, the COP process will be lost and multilateralism more permanently damaged.

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