COP27: A promise or cheat, but the Planet is dying

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N. Munal Meitei
Environmentalist, Email-nmunall@yahoo.in

This year COP27 at Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November, 2022 will focus particular attention on strengthening climate adaptation and resilience, mitigating emissions, facilitating a just transition, and increasing funding and collaboration for essential climate solutions. It’s the litmus test for how seriously the governments are taking action to fight back the growing climate crisis around the globe. On every climate front, the only solution is solidarity and decisive action.

Climate action is an ongoing process, not an event, and it requires extraordinary collaboration. COP27 is a critical opportunity for business and governments to double down on their climate goals, forge new collaborations and achieve innovative solutions-together.

Faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations and increasing extreme weather events, this meet seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark of the Paris Agreement, for people and the planet.

Climate disasters are hurting countries and economies like never before. Ever-rising greenhouse gas emissions are supercharging extreme weather events across the planet. These increasing calamities cost lives and hundreds of billions of rupees in loss and damage. Three times more people are displaced by climate disasters than war. Half of humanity is already in the danger zone.

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The world is failing to invest in protecting the lives and livelihoods of those on the front line who have done the least to cause the climate crisis but paying the highest price. Entire populations are being blindsided by cascading climate disasters without any means of prior alert. People need adequate warning to prepare for extreme weather events. Delivering on loss and damage at COP27 will be an important test for rebuilding trust between developed and developing countries.

Extreme weather events will happen. The climate impacts are seeing around the world on daily basis. A third of Pakistan flooded. Europe is hottest summer in 500 years. The Philippines hammered. The whole of Cuba in black-out. And here, in the United States, Hurricane Ian has delivered a brutal reminder that no country and no economy are immune from the climate crisis. While climate chaos gallops ahead, climate action has stalled.

COP27 is critical – but we have a long way to go. The collective commitments of G20 countries are coming far too little and far too late. The actions of the wealthiest developed and emerging economies simply don’t add up.

Taken together, current pledges and policies are shutting the doors on their chance to limit global temperature rise to 2°C, let alone meet the 1.5°C goal. We are in a life-or-death struggle for our own safety today and our survival tomorrow. There is no time for pointing fingers or twiddling thumbs. We also need to see meaningful progress in two other key areas: decisions and actions to address loss and damage that are beyond countries’ abilities to adapt and finance for climate action.

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It is time for a game-changing, quantum level compromise between developed and emerging economies. The world cannot wait. Emissions are at an all-time high and rising. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is putting climate action on the back burner while the planet itself is burning.

Climate is a moral imperative that cannot be ignored and COP27 must be the place for action on loss and damage. This is the number one litmus test of how seriously both developed and developing governments take action the growing climate toll on the most vulnerable countries.

On finance, the world needs clarity from developed countries on where they are this year on the delivery of their $100 billion dollars a year promise to support climate action in developing countries. We need to see evidence of how they will double adaptation finance to at least $40 billion dollars in 2025, as agreed in Glasgow.

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Funding for adaptation and resilience must represent at least half of all climate finance. And the Multilateral Banks – including the World Bank – must raise their game including Resilience and Sustainability. Emerging economies in particular need their support to back the renewable energy revolution and build resilience. Small Island Developing States and other vulnerable middle-income countries need access to concessional finance for adaptation to protect their communities and infrastructure.

Leaders of the world should demonstrate this time that climate action truly is the top global priority that it must be. Moreover, adaptation and resilience funding must represent half of all climate finance and emerging economies need support to back renewable energy and build resilience. $40 billion is only a fraction of the $300 billion that will be needed annually by developing countries for adaptation by 2030.

The best way is to show up it at COP 27 next month. Not just a promise but to act into a real action. Everyone must take full part and tell the world that climate action is the most vital need of the hour for nations and the planet.

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