As the UN climate summit in Egypt on Sunday created history by deciding to establish a fund to address loss and damage, experts in India welcomed it is a testament to the tenacity of climate vulnerable countries and a warning shot to polluters that they can no longer go scot-free with their climate destruction.
India engaged constructively and actively on the subject of loss and damage, which refers to destruction caused by climate change-induced disasters, during the course of discussions at COP27.
The decision was approved at the COP27 closing plenary that started around 7:45 am (India time) after negotiators debated the updated drafts of the deal throughout the night.
The success of the talks hinged on a fund to address loss and damage fund, which was proposed by the G77 and China (India is part of this group), least developed countries and small island states. Vulnerable countries had said that they would not leave COP27 without a loss and damage finance facility.
Financing or a new fund to deal with loss and damage — for example money needed for relocating people displaced by floods — was a long-pending demand of poor and developing countries, including India.
Developed nations, particularly the US, had opposed this new fund over fears that it would hold them legally liable for massive damages caused by climate change.
”History was made today at #COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh as parties agreed to the establishment of a long-awaited loss and damage fund for assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change,” the official twitter handle of the UN climate summit in Egypt posted.
UN Secretary General António Guterres said COP27 has taken an important step towards justice.
”I welcome the decision to establish a loss and damage fund and to operationalize it in the coming period. Clearly this will not be enough, but it is a much-needed political signal to rebuild broken trust,” he tweeted. Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Fellow, Council on Energy Environment and Water, said: “The hope that was raised on the first day of COP with inclusion of loss and damage in the agenda without any resistance from the developed world delivered at least partial success by the end of COP. While the new funding arrangement for supporting developing countries on the issue of loss and damage is welcome, who will pay for it is drowned into the choppy water of definitions, mechanisms, and most importantly; developed countries versus major economies.” Ulka Kelkar, Director, Climate Program, WRI India, said the new loss and damage fund is a testament to the perseverance and tenacity of climate vulnerable countries and civil society groups.
Tarun Gopalakrishnan, Junior Research Fellow, Fletcher School, Tufts University, said: ”India rightly showed solidarity with the clear ask for a loss and damage fund coming into COP, even if India is unlikely to be the primary beneficiary of that.” ”This COP will be remembered for the agreement to create a loss and damage fund; which speaks to the scale of the climate crisis we are in,” said Aarti Khosla, Director, Climate Trends.
“With the creation of a new #LossAndDamage Fund, COP27 has sent a warning shot to polluters that they can no longer go scot-free with their climate destruction,” Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International, tweeted.
”From now on, they will have to pay up for the damages they cause and are accountable to the people who are facing supercharged storms, devastating floods and rising seas,” he said.