Sunday, November 27, 2022

COP27 agrees to a global fund but no agreement has been reached to reduce fossil fuel use

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But despite the success of the financial deal, the climate summit ended without agreement to continue tackling fossil fuel burning, believed to be the main cause of global warming, with the UK official warning that the 1.5 degree target is “life-sustaining”. .

The historic accord, agreed in Sharm el-Sheikh in the early hours of Sunday morning after what appeared to be tense negotiations, established a loss and damage fund for developing countries hit by disasters caused by climate change.

Delegates are celebrating the new global fund – but there is also disappointment and anger that no deal has been reached to reduce fossil fuel use, reports Latest Page News Science Editor Deborah Cohen

The move was welcomed by developing countries, which have long been demanding reparations.

Poorer countries are often victims of extreme weather conditions such as floods, droughts, heat waves, famines and storms, which are exacerbated by the climate crisis, although they have contributed little to global emissions.

But in his closing speech at the conference, UK representative Alok Sharma said that while the progress on casualties and damage was “historic” he warned that this was not a moment for “full-blown celebration”.

Rishi Sunak admitted that “more needs to be done” after COP27 to tackle climate change.
In a statement released by Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: “I welcome the progress made on Cop27 but there must be no time for complacency.
“Keeping the 1.5 degree commitment alive is vital to the future of our planet.”

Shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband accused countries of “kicking the can on the street” to tackle global warming.

Lord Deben, Chair of the Climate Change Committee, said he didn’t think limiting global warming to 1.5C was a “lost cause” but the world needed urgency.

The loss-and-damage deal, the result of a long struggle by climate-vulnerable countries, was hailed by leaders of the hardest-hit countries.

Pakistani Environment Minister Sherry Rehman, speaking for a coalition of the world’s poorest nations, told other delegates the accord “answers the voices of the vulnerable, injured and lost around the world by establishing a fund for the lost and injured”. .

“The agreements reached at COP27 are a win for our entire world. We have shown those who have felt neglected that we hear you, we see you and give you the respect and care you deserve,” she said.

“It wasn’t that easy,” says UN climate chief Simon Stiell from Grenada. “We worked around the clock. But this result moves us forward.”

But despite the celebrations marking the closing of the last-minute loss-and-damage deal, it only goes so far.

Many pointed to the failure to address emissions.

To minimize climate damage, scientists say we must limit global warming to 1.5C, the deal does little to ensure that.

The deal also doesn’t address last year’s call to phase out the world’s use of “undiminished coal,” despite pushes from India and other countries to include oil and natural gas in Glasgow language.

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In his speech, delivered after what appeared to be a tense last-minute effort to reach a consensus, Mr Sharma highlighted the loopholes in the agreement, saying: “Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degree is weak.
“Unfortunately, it remains on life support.
“And we all need to look in the mirror and consider whether we’ve fully embraced that challenge over the past two weeks.”

Mr Miliband welcomed the agreement to help climate-vulnerable countries but said it was not enough.

“But again we are hearing the unmistakable sound of the can being kicked onto the street to take the necessary action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees – and is therefore now in grave danger.

“Too many countries have clearly been resistant to what is required, including fossil fuels.”

The Labor MP said: “Cop27 has taken an important step forward in recognizing the consequences of the climate crisis for the world’s most vulnerable countries.

“But again we are hearing the unmistakable sound of the can being kicked onto the street to take the necessary action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees – and is therefore now in grave danger.

“Too many countries have clearly been resistant to what is required, including fossil fuels.”

Mr. Miliband also criticized Mr. Sunak’s leadership.

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