By Nick Butler.
Many have dismissed last month’s COP27 climate conference as a failure, owing to the lack of progress on pledges made at the COP26 summit last year, and to the absence of clear commitments to phase out fossil fuels. More broadly, the COP process itself has been criticised as inadequate and ultimately unworkable, given its reliance on unanimity among all the parties.
But COP27 did produce one notable breakthrough: the world’s advanced economies, including the United States and the European Union, finally accepted some responsibility for the “loss and damage” caused by climate change. In the bureaucratic language of the final communiqué, they agreed “to establish new funding arrangements for assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in responding to loss and damage”. A special committee comprising 24 countries has been established to determine how the new fund will be financed…
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