COP27 agrees on contentious loss and damage fund


The 27th round of the United Nations climate talks failed to produce a consensus on key issues, including emissions reduction or mitigation, till Saturday evening despite being extended for nearly 24 hours past the allotted time. Consultations were on to address concerns and it was announced that a plenary would be held at 9 pm local time (12:30 am India time).

Egypt, which holds the presidency of the current round of climate talks (COP27), released three draft texts – for the cover decision, funding arrangements for loss and damage, and mitigation work programme – at 1 pm local time.

Representatives of different countries were still studying the texts at press time and had yet to react publicly.

The loss and damage fund, a key demand of developing countries, had been agreed to. India’s proposal for language on phasing down all fossil fuels still did not figure in the text.
Concerns persisted over the references on the temperature goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius – though referred to in the cover decision draft and mitigation texts, the temperature goal continued to get particularly unfavourable treatment in the draft text on mitigation.


There was also concern about the fact that there was no movement beyond the decisions taken in the previous round of talks in Glasgow.

Broadening Donor Base

The picture was expected to become clearer over the next few hours as countries studied the text and held meetings with the Egyptian presidency, besides bilaterals. It was expected that COP27 president Shoukry would call for a stocktaking to ascertain the level of agreement among countries.

Developing countries could, however, claim a victory, following an agreement to set up a fund to help developing countries “that are particularly vulnerable” to deal with the irreversible and unadaptable economic and non-economic impacts of climate change.

The qualifier “particularly vulnerable” was something that the European Union and other developed countries were insistent upon. However, the clause in the text that outlined the decision to set up the fund did not have the qualifier. “Decides to establish new funding arrangements for assisting developing countries in responding to loss and damage,” it said.

The G77 and China did not want any qualifiers. They argued that many countries that are traditionally described as vulnerable such as the small island states and least developed countries are not the only ones that are experiencing loss and damage.

The EU, which had opposed creating a new fund for loss and damage under the UNFCCC before agreeing to the idea late Thursday night, made it clear that the loss and damage fund should be available to assist the most vulnerable countries.

“We said we could accept a fund on loss and damage, but that fund should be targeted to the most vulnerable. We want to help the people who really need it and we want to do it quickly,” Frans Timmermans, European Commission’s climate chief, told media persons earlier on Saturday. This discrepancy within the text was resolved by the Egyptian presidency in a meeting with the different negotiating groups.


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