TechDigits

Tech news
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Climate emergency: Will polluting rich nations pay reparations?

Climate emergency: Will polluting rich nations pay reparations?

At COP27, negotiators and civil society groups will lobby not just for more money on the table, but also new avenues for capital to make a faster impact.

After decades of slow progress on climate action, with political leaders dragging their heels on finance or debating whether climate change is even real, this year’s extreme weather proved a stark reminder that the world has reached some of the tipping points climate scientists have been warning us about.

The deaths of more than 1,700 people in Pakistan’s floods as well as the 4,000 casualties caused by drought and floods across the African continent are only some of the dire events that will shape the conversation around climate finance, and in particular around climate reparations, at the upcoming COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

Had countries worked harder to mitigate their carbon emissions and improve their adaptation strategies, some of these casualties may have been avoided, says Saleemul Huq, director at the Bangladesh-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development.

“But unfortunately, we have not done enough,” he says. “When people are losing their lives, their livelihoods and their homes, then adaptation is not possible any more.”

According to research by the NGO Oxfam, the need for financial aid after weather disasters has risen eight-fold compared with 20 years ago, and the funding shortfall is ever increasing.

Oxfam calculates a gap of up to $33bn over the past five years, a number dwarfed by the cost of “loss and damage” after recent disasters such as the 2021 Europe floods, which caused damage worth $45bn, or the 2017 Hurricane Maria that wiped out the equivalent of 226 percent of Dominica’s gross domestic product (GDP).

A man carries some belongings as he wades through floodwaters in Jaffarabad, a flood-hit district of Balochistan province, Pakistan


Researchers in Spain have estimated that by 2040, the cost of loss and damage for developing countries alone could reach $1 trillion. Who foots the bill is a question the rich economies responsible for the bulk of past emissions, and for current global warming, have been resolutely avoiding for years.

But things may change at the COP27 summit from November 6-18.

In September, representatives of 30 negotiating groups under the United Nations climate change framework held a meeting focused on the issue of loss and damage, the diplomatic term used to indicate the irreparable environmental damages caused by extreme climate impacts.

The delegates succeeded in including finance for loss and damage in this year’s COP provisional agenda, to discuss aspects such as timeline, scope and placement of finance, as well as potential sources and eligibility criteria to receive support.


Countries ‘uncomfortable’


Last year, the climate talks held in the United Kingdom fell short of delivering a financial facility for loss and damage, something a group of 134 developing nations (known as G77) plus China now intends to fight for under the leadership of Pakistan.

The issue of finance for climate reparations was not even on the COP26 agenda, explains Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy with the NGO Climate Action Network (CAN) International. Historically, loss and damage has been addressed as a form of adaptation, although the Paris Agreement flags it as a separate issue.

“Countries were so uncomfortable with [the idea of monetary compensation] that even just putting [loss and damage] on the website was not acceptable to them, and were using the excuse that the Paris Agreement was not yet operational to avoid the conversation,” says Singh.

A COP27 sign on the road leading to the conference area in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh


After last year, when a rulebook was signed off to guide the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Singh says, the argument will not stand any more, and finance for loss and damage is expected to feature for the first time ever in the COP final agenda.

While this is an historic step, “not even the most optimistic person will believe that we will get a finance facility approved and all of its procedures decided”, says Nisha Krishnan, a climate resilience expert with the non-profit World Resources Institute Africa.

If the financial facility is approved this year, “it’s going to be up to parties to negotiate its design, especially by developing countries”, she says.

“I think that inclusive process matters, because otherwise there would be no legitimacy to this facility.”

At the earliest, this work would start in the next round of climate talks, kicking off a years-long process before any finance reaches affected communities on the ground.

While climate diplomacy can only progress slowly in order to create consensus and build robust policy frameworks, the frequency and severity of climate-led disasters are only accelerating.



‘Substantive discussions’ needed


This is why at COP27, negotiators and civil society groups will lobby not just to see more money on the table, but also to open up new avenues for capital to circulate faster and make an impact.

The Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance is one such example, set up in March 2021 to help simplify and speed up access to finance for developing countries.

Bangladesh, Fiji, Jamaica, Rwanda and Uganda volunteered to take part in the experimental phase of the programme, the results of which should be assessed this year. Krishnan also mentions the Santiago Network for loss and damage, set up in 2019 to help countries access technical assistance to address climate devastation.

“[The Santiago Network] still needs to be operationalised, it still doesn’t have a governance structure,” she explains.

When it comes to the official negotiations, in addition to the main goal of setting up a facility for loss and damage finance, Krishnan says, “there could be special windows opened in under existing funds, including a substantiation of the Glasgow Dialogue”, a forum established last year to discuss irreparable environmental degradation, currently with a broad, detail-thin mandate.

“Right now, the worry is that the Glasgow Dialogue will remain just that, a dialogue with no result in sight,” Krishnan says.

“Is there an outcome that can be mandated? Can there be more substantive discussions instead of meeting once a year? These are some of the things we would want to see coming out of COP27.”



Newsletter

Related Articles

TechDigits
0:00
0:00
Close
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The future of sports
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections
Alef Aeronautics Achieves Historic Milestone with Flight Certification for World's First Flying Car
Google Blocked Access to Canadian News in Response to New Legislation
French Politicians Advocate for Pan-European Regulation on Social Media Influencers
Melinda French Gates Advocates for Increased Female Representation in AI to Prevent Bias
Snapchat+ gains 4 million paying subscribers in its first year
Apple Makes History as the First Public Company Valued at $3 Trillion
Elon Musk Implements Twitter Limits to Tackle Data Scraping, but Faces Criticism for Technical Misunderstanding
EU and UK's Slow Electric Vehicle Adoption Raises Questions About the Transition to Green Mobility
Top Companies Express Concerns Over Europe's Proposed AI Law, Citing Competitiveness and Investment Risks
Meta Unveils Insights on AI Usage in Facebook and Instagram, Amid Growing Calls for Transparency
Crypto Scams Against Seniors Soar by 78% in 2022, Experts Urge Vigilance
The End of an Era: National Geographic Dismisses Last of Its Staff Writers
Shield Your Wallet: The Perils of Wireless Credit Card Theft
Harvard Scientist Who Studies Honesty Accused Of Data Fraud, Put On Leave
Putting an End to the Subscription Snare: The Battle Against Unwitting Commitments
The Legal Perils of AI: Lawyer Faces Sanctions for Relying on Fictional Cases Generated by Chatbot
ChatGPT’s "Grandma Exploit": Ingenious Hack Exposes Loophole in AI, Generates Free Software Codes
The Disney Downturn: A Near Billion-Dollar Box Office Blow for the House of Mouse
A Digital Showdown: Canada Challenges Tech Giants with The Online News Act, Meta Strikes Back
Distress in the Depths: Submersible and Passengers Missing in Titanic Wreckage Expedition
Mark Zuckerberg stealing another idea: Twitter
European Union's AI Regulations Risk Self-Sabotage, Cautions smart and brave Venture Capitalist Joe Lonsdale
Nvidia GPUs are so hard to get that rich venture capitalists are buying them for the startups they invest in
Chinese car exports surge
Reddit Blackout: Thousands of Communities Protest "Ludicrous" Pricing Changes
Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
×