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2 weeks into COP27, Canada part of progress on loss and damage funding

It’s been practically two weeks since Canada’s group of negotiators arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for COP27, the UN local weather change convention. Now, as delegates enter the ultimate stretch of negotiations over numerous texts and communiques, what has Canada achieved throughout the convention?

This was dubbed the “African COP” and has develop into a discussion board for international locations in your entire Global South — international locations which have usually not been the biggest historic emitters of greenhouse gases, however will bear the brunt of the local weather disaster — to carry ahead their calls for. 

Chief amongst them is funding for loss and damage — the unavoidable financial, cultural and human losses that international locations will undergo as pure disasters wreak havoc on their communities and rising seas swallow up their coastlines. 

Observers take heed to the closing plenary session at COP27 on Nov. 17. (Nariman El-Mofty/The Associated Press)

Support for loss and damage, however no fund but

Heading into COP27, Canada threw its assist behind including loss and damage to the official agenda of the convention — an enormous win for weak international locations who’ve been calling for funding for many years. 

The Alliance of Small Island States, a bunch of low-lying and island international locations, has proposed a multilateral fund organized beneath the UN local weather change conference which might be established over the subsequent 12 months. But the announcement of such a fund has confirmed to be elusive.

Several rich international locations made particular person pledges for loss and damage, together with Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and extra. But the biggest economic system, the U.S., has been notably silent. U.S. President Joe Biden’s speech final week at COP27 didn’t point out loss and damage in any respect.

“Canada has to have a look at different progressive international locations inside the European Union, different international locations like New Zealand, which can be displaying willingness to essentially reply to the calls of local weather weak nations,” mentioned Eddy Pérez, worldwide local weather diplomacy supervisor at advocacy group Climate Action Network Canada.

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Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s setting minister, speaks at COP27. (Peter Dejong/The Associated Press)

Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s setting minister, mentioned that he needs to see an settlement on loss and damage heading out of the convention.

“There is, I can think about, frustration and nice impatience on the part of the growing world as a result of they’re been making an attempt to have this dialog for 30 years. And international locations like ours, and many different developed international locations have refused to have that dialog,” Guilbeault mentioned at a chat organized by Climate Action Network Canada on the convention venue in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“But that has modified this 12 months.”

Canada joins Global Shield program

Canada did pledge cash for an additional program that may handle loss and damage. Global Shield, which is being led by Germany and was formally launched at this COP, will present a kind of insurance coverage to weak international locations dealing with local weather disasters.

Canada will present $7 million to Global Shield, out of its pre-existing $5.3 billion local weather finance dedication. 

“We’re kickstarting right here a response to loss and damage with that instrument. I believe that’s helpful,” mentioned David Ryfisch, group chief for worldwide local weather coverage at Germanwatch, a non-governmental local weather analysis and advocacy group primarily based in Germany.

“What is vital, nevertheless, is that this is only one aspect of a variety of devices we should see in phrases of loss and damage.”

Ryfisch acknowledged that the roughly $200 million US that has been pledged to Global Shield, from Germany and international locations all over the world, was a drop within the bucket in comparison with the billions that may ultimately be wanted. 

Global Shield can be centered on quick restoration after disasters, not extra slow-onset local weather occasions or non-economic losses just like the loss of human life.

“It can’t reply to all of the nuances of loss and damage,” Ryfisch mentioned. 

“But it is a begin.”

The geography of Pakistan’s rural Sehwan district, in hard-hit Sindh province, has been remodeled. Beneath the floodwaters is farmland with crops now by no means to be harvested, and livestock drowned. UN officers estimate greater than one million cattle, goats and different livestock had been misplaced to the floods. (Stephanie Jenzer/CBC)

Though described as insurance coverage, this system is aimed towards making a pool of cash from numerous donor international locations that may be quickly deployed after a local weather catastrophe. The program may even assist weak international locations pause their debt funds after a catastrophe to allow them to redeploy these funds to restoration.

Seven “pathfinder” international locations have been chosen as the primary recipients of the Global Shield program. They embody international locations like low-lying Bangladesh, island nations just like the Philippines and Fiji, and notably Pakistan, which suffered devastating floods this 12 months that inundated a 3rd of its landmass.

The concept behind Global Shield is that insurance coverage — in contrast to typically slow-moving humanitarian assist — could be dispersed shortly after a catastrophe. People and international locations affected by local weather occasions obtain funding shortly to protect their companies and rebuild infrastructure, and can keep away from falling into debt or shedding their livelihoods within the quick aftermath of disasters.

Getting nearer to slicing methane

Canada additionally introduced a framework for brand spanking new methane laws to cut back emissions of the potent greenhouse gasoline from the oil and gasoline trade. 

Methane is about 80 instances stronger than carbon dioxide and is liable for 1 / 4 of world warming seen till now. Tackling methane emissions is seen as important for preventing local weather change.

Canada’s aim, introduced final 12 months, is to cut back methane emissions by 75 per cent beneath 2012 ranges by 2030. The new framework is now open for public consultations, and the draft laws are anticipated subsequent 12 months. 

Methane leaks from the varied items of gear and oil and gasoline websites, and lowering these leaks entails a mix of monitoring and fixing gear, attempting to find leaks and capturing the gasoline earlier than it escapes.

A flare to burn methane from oil manufacturing is seen on a properly pad close to Watford City, North Dakota, Aug. 26, 2021. Under tighter proposed methane laws, Canada needs to attenuate the use of flaring to burn off the potent greenhouse gasoline. (Matthew Brown/The Associated Press)

Laying the groundwork for a biodiversity settlement

Closely following COP27, Canada will host the COP15 convention on the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal

This 12 months’s convention is seen as a pivotal moment to realize a landmark settlement on defending nature all over the world, which is linked intently to lowering the impacts of local weather change.

Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s setting minister, mentioned that COP15 “should attain a deal as bold and complete because the deal reached for local weather in Paris,” referring to the 2015 Paris settlement to restrict world warming to properly beneath 2 C and ideally 1.5 C.

COP15 will run from Dec. 7-19.

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