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COP27: No resolution, climate talks continue today

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THE EUROPEAN UNION apparently caved to a key demand from developing countries to establish a separate fund for loss and damage, but the unrealistic conditions attached to its support meant it did nothing to break the deadlock at the climate change conference. here, as talks entered extra time.

The EU, initially hesitant to back the proposal, said on Thursday night that it would be open to creating a new fund, but only if the money came from all countries that were in a position to contribute, a condition clearly meant to attract big economies like China and India, but something these countries are unlikely to accept.

Under the international agreement on climate change, only rich, industrialized countries, named on a list when the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed in 1992, are responsible for providing financing for all kinds of needs. related to climate change. China and India, both much smaller economies then, are classified as developing countries, with no obligation to provide money.

The EU has been repeatedly demanding that countries like China (he has not mentioned India by name), which is one of the strongest economies now, must share the financial burden of climate change. Both China and India reject such demands whenever they are made.

But this is not the only condition proposed by the EU that other countries would find difficult to accept. The EU has linked its support for the loss and damage mechanism to further emission reduction action by all countries before 2030. More specifically, it has said that countries must agree to ensure that global emissions peak by 2025. , and that the world should make efforts to restrict temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-existing times. As of now, the aim of the Paris Agreement is to ensure that the temperature increase stays “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, while efforts are made to restrict it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In addition, the EU has proposed more actions on coal and methane, which may become a decisive factor for countries like India. Taking the Glasgow pledge of a coal “phase-down” further, the EU has said countries must agree to “accelerate” the phase-down “as soon as possible” and “submit roadmaps” and an annual progress report towards this goal. He has also said that all countries should sign a commitment to reduce their methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. This commitment was made by some 100 countries at the Glasgow meeting last year. . So far, some 150 countries have signed up. But some key countries that are heavily dependent on the agricultural sector, including India, have stayed on the sidelines. Methane emission is a sensitive issue in India because a large contribution comes from the agriculture and livestock sectors.

So while some developing countries welcomed the EU offer and said it represented progress, most remained skeptical. Furthermore, the EU was not the only one to resist the proposal to establish a new mechanism for financing loss and damage. The United States continues to oppose it.

Some developing countries also see the EU proposal as a ploy to sow divisions in their ranks, as some of them are looking forward to this fund. The EU proposal also makes it clear that the fund could only respond to the needs of the “most vulnerable”. Typically, this refers to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It is unclear whether a country like Pakistan, which has been at the forefront of demand for this facility, would be able to access the money from this fund.

The tough, rather unworkable conditions put forward by the EU meant that not much progress was made on Friday, originally the last day of the conference. So the talks would continue on Saturday. Five informal ministerial groups, formed to bridge differences on various issues, had yet to submit their reports.

At a review meeting on Friday night, India again noted that it was not acceptable to single out a single source of emissions for a phase-down. India was reacting to a provision in the current draft decision that reintroduced the word ‘phase out’ in the context of coal-based power which India had fought hard in Glasgow to replace with ‘reduction’.

Meanwhile, India has strongly opposed provisions that open calls for emissions cuts from agriculture. There is a separate track of negotiations on agriculture that looks at the types of climate-related interventions that are needed in the sector. Emissions from agriculture and land use change are a sensitive issue for India and a host of other developing countries.

“In seeking to extend the scope of mitigation to agriculture, developed countries want the world’s agriculture, landscapes and seascapes, to become a mitigation site for their excessive and wasteful emissions… As is well known in the In the world, and understood even in lay jargon, agriculture will bear the brunt of climate change and is therefore predominantly a site for adaptation,” India said.

“Developed countries are blocking a pro-poor and pro-farmer decision by insisting on expanding the scope of mitigation in agriculture, thus compromising the very foundation of world food security. At every climate conference, developed countries want to change the posts of the international climate regime, using means of diversion to dilute their responsibilities derived from their historical emissions”, he argued.

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