Politics

EU, US block effort for climate disaster funding at COP26 – POLITICO

GLASGOW — America and the European Union on Saturday resisted calls from creating nations for the COP26 summit to create a facility offering monetary help to victims of climate disasters. 

The difficulty of loss and injury, or the social and financial prices of climate impacts like sea-level rise and excessive climate, was among the many debates that pushed the Glasgow convention into time beyond regulation and pitted creating nations towards rich polluters.

Island nations demanded a separate funding facility for loss and injury. They acquired backing from the G77, a U.N. coalition of 134 creating nations plus China, which put ahead a proposal this week.

However within the COP26 plenary on Saturday afternoon, G77 chair Guinea reluctantly accepted the present draft textual content which doesn’t embrace separate funding. Antigua and Barbuda, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, additionally conceded there could be no new monetary facility within the Glasgow settlement.

The G77 proposal had confronted sturdy opposition from the U.S. and the EU. Wealthy nations — accountable for the overwhelming majority of carbon dioxide within the planet’s environment — have lengthy resisted steps towards loss and injury financing, fearing it may result in authorized legal responsibility for previous emissions and huge compensation claims. 

A senior U.S. official stated earlier this week that making a fund for compensating people or governments for loss and injury was a purple line. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry additionally stated on the eve of the convention that Washington would not help a choice that opens the best way for lawsuits.

The EU additionally pushed again towards the G77 proposal to create a brand new “Glasgow Loss and Harm Facility” to supply creating nations affected by climate disasters with monetary help. A senior European negotiator stated Saturday that the bloc’s treasuries have been against the creation of a brand new fund. 

Probably the most recent draft text, printed on Saturday morning, contains a plan to arrange a dialogue between nations and worldwide organizations to “focus on the preparations” for loss and injury funding. 

It additionally units out plans for funding a program to supply technical help to nations dealing with loss and injury. Each EU and U.S. officers have signaled help for strengthening this program, often known as the Santiago Community, which at the moment consists of little greater than an internet site. 

With little to no progress on loss and injury at earlier COPs, such a choice would mark a significant step ahead, however creating nations and NGOs voiced disappointment on Saturday. 

Aminath Shauna, atmosphere minister of the Maldives, stated her nation acknowledged there had been progress on the difficulty, however frightened that the dialogue would finish in additional phrases and no motion. “That is the concern.”

Tasneem Essop, director of the Climate Motion Community of civil society organizations, stated that, by blocking separate funding, “wealthy nations have as soon as once more demonstrated their full lack of solidarity and duty to these dealing with the worst of the climate impacts.” The draft textual content, she stated, was “a transparent betrayal by wealthy nations — the U.S., the EU and the U.Okay. — of susceptible communities in poor nations.”

Monetary help, and wealthy nations’ reluctance to supply it, has been the best supply of stress at the Glasgow summit. 

Negotiations are ongoing over funding to assist creating nations scale back their emissions and adapt to the results of worldwide warming. Rich nations promised to supply $100 billion a 12 months in climate finance by 2020, however they missed the mark, and that concentrate on will solely be reached in 2023.

Shauna added that the Maldives can be involved about “incremental progress” on adaptation — cash to pay for every thing from constructing flood defenses to switching to drought-resistant crops to adapt to the worldwide improve in temperatures. 

“Now we have heard a number of high-level statements affirming that the know-how is obtainable. And we all know by the trillions which might be invested in fossil fuels yearly that cash will not be the query. The query once more is one in every of political will,” she stated. 

Zack Colman contributed reporting.

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