In a last-minute development, the European Union announced the creation of a Loss and Damage fund. But will it really help?
It started amidst a global crisis of unimaginable proportions, with world leaders distracted by war, inflation and energy prices. But the COP27 meeting, which is coming on a close this week, might have brought something useful.
The climate meeting took place in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, and focussed on repairing the damage done to third world countries by climate change. 2022 saw a sharp increase in damaging climate activities that killed thousands. Pakistan, Somalia and Nigeria were the countries hurt the most, but studies show it will only get worse.
And why should they be the ones to pay? Many ask themselves this question, pointing out that it is rich countries’ industrialization that caused climate change in the first place.
Last year, at the Glasgow COP26, dozens of banks worldwide pledged to raise funds and make investments on de-carbonization in developing countries. Also at the COP26, the issue of “Loss and Damage” was raised by third world nations, which tried discussing it for decades now.
In Glasgow, however, EU countries were skeptical of a Loss and Damage fund as it would have made them liable for global emissions. It seemed like this year was going to end up the same, but a last-minute development changed everything.
What did the EU decide
On Friday, as the COP27 was coming to a close, the EU finally proposed a measure that included a Loss and Damage option. Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the EU Commission, declared that the Union agreed upon a funding system “for the most vulnerable countries”.
Of course, no details were given out. But some EU members already pledged funds for developing countries at the COP27. In particular, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Austria and Scotland raised millions of euros for the Loss and Damage issue.
Another interesting development is China’s position. For decades, China has been considered a “developing country”, so eligible for Loss and Damage funds. European officials, however, said that China should pay as well as them if such a fund is to be established.
China is the second largest polluter in the world, and even if it’s taking concrete actions against climate change much more has to be done.
As for the world’s first polluter, the United States, President Biden’s intervention was hopeful but not concrete. Though he pledged billions in investments for green energies in developing countries, he did not want to discuss a Loss and Damage fund.
In any case, this year’s COP climate meeting seemed to have had much more success than last year’s. That is, of course, if the EU and the United States will follow through on their promises.