COP27 World Leaders Summit shows growing support for loss and damage funds, new pledges for adaptation, conservation

On November 8, 2022, the World Leaders Summit of COP27, the UN Conference of the Parties (COP), concluded as high-income countries faced increasing pressure to match their rhetoric with concrete action and finance, especially regarding funding for climate-related loss and damage. 

After earlier negotiations resulted in the topic gaining a place on the COP27 agenda, more countries moved to commit funding for loss and damage initiatives. Building on the initial donations of £2 million (US$2.3 million) and €1 million (US$ 1 million) from the regions of Scotland, in the UK, and Wallonia, in Belgium at COP26, five countries committed funding to loss and damage initiatives during COP27: 

  • Belgium allocated €3 million (US$3 million) of its €25 million (US$25 million) climate support funding for Mozambique over the period from 2023-2028 to loss and damage on November 7, 2022; 
  • Germany committed €170 million (US$169 million) to support the ‘Global Shield’ initiative, a financing facility expected to be launched during COP27, on November 7, 2022; 
  • Austria committed €50 million (US$50 million) over the period from 2023-2027 on Tuesday to the Santiago Network on November 8, 2022; 
  • Ireland also committed €10 million for the ‘Global Shield’ initiative for 2023 on November 8, 2022; and 
  • Scotland pledged an additional £5 million (US$6 million) on top of its donation at COP26 on November 8, 2022.

Additionally, Denmark committed DKK 100 million (US$14 million) to loss and damage reparations in September 2022. 

In addition to pledges focusing on loss and damage, the second day of COP26 showed increased activity regarding financial commitments, with particular focus on agriculture and adaptation: 

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged US$1.4 billion worth of investments in South Asia and ‘Sub-Saharan’ Africa (meaning the regions of Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern Africa, as designated by the African Union) to support smallholder farmers, with additional focus on gender equity;
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Germany would double its €1 billion (US$1 billion) commitment from COP26 to the ‘Global Forest Finance Pledge’ over the period of 2022-2025, resulting in a total commitment of €2 billion (US$2 billion); and
  • Spain committed €30 million (US$30 million) to support countries experiencing extreme weather events. Specifically, the commitment included €5 million (US$5 million) in seed funding for the International Drought Resilience Alliance, €3 million (US$3 million) for the Systematic Observing Mechanism of the World Meteorological Organization, €2 million (US$2 million) for the Santiago Network, and €20 million (US$20 million) for the Adaptation Fund. 

In addition to financial commitments, discussions on Tuesday focused on efforts to conserve biodiversity and rainforests. Key developments included the launch of five partnerships between the EU and Guyana, Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Zambia to reduce deforestation, as well as the launch of a broader ‘Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership,’ which includes the EU and 26 partner countries. 

Looking ahead to the proceedings of COP27 on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, spectators can expect an increased focus on development finance flows, architecture, and innovation, in line with the Egyptian COP27 Presidency’s thematic program. Key sessions include topics such as sustainable strategies for climate finance and debt mitigation, private-sector collaboration, and formal discussion of loss and damage financing. 

News article – Reuters 

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