COP27: Make loss and damage finance a reality now09 November 2022
It is good to know that the representatives of more than 190 countries at the COP27 have agreed to officially discuss the necessity of compensating the poor countries most vulnerable to climate change. The richer and developed countries are mostly responsible for producing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that have triggered global warming resulting in sea level rise and other climate induced vagaries.
Before, the wealthy countries denied keeping the compensation issue on the formal agenda, but at this year's climate summit in Egypt that began on November 6 and will continue till November 18, they agreed to discuss 'loss and damage' or funds to help poor countries for meeting the climate change mitigation challenges.
Bangladesh is one of the countries that have already suffered hugely the worst consequences of climate change in the form of cyclones, floods and desertification that have caused internal displacement of a huge number of people. As far as the names of the recipient countries of loss and damage fund are concerned Bangladesh should be at the top of this list.
Hence at the summit Bangladesh is expected to reiterate its call for a materialisation of the pledge of providing $100 billion funds annually to developing countries at the earliest. We hope the Bangladesh representative at Egypt would bring home its case as strongly as possible.
While agreement of countries to formally discuss loss and damage is in the right direction, it is worrying that European countries are increasingly using 'dirty coal' nowadays as Russia has squeezed its gas supply to Europe following its invasion of Ukraine.
Sadly, for strategic and economic dominance, competition between wealthy and powerful countries is one of the reasons for the rising temperature and vulnerability of all forms of life on the globe. It is not that these countries do not understand it, but intoxication for power is such that they fail to hold themselves back from endangering the planet.
However, considering the high income countries' last year's blocking a proposal for creating a loss and damage finance body at COP26 in Glasgow, this year at the COP27 in Egypt this is a very welcome development. It has now become the duty of the climate change vulnerable countries to push for making finance a reality.