‘Loss and Damage’ finance funding at COP27

Published on:
by Aaroshi Rathor
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World leaders and delegates have gathered to discuss challenging issues of climate finance, adaptation, and mitigation at the COP27 in Egypt. The climate conference has started on a positive note as, for the first time, it has introduced the main issue of ‘loss and damage finance funding’ in its formal agenda for COP. According to UNFCCC, the term ‘Loss and Damage’ refers to “action and support to avert, minimize and address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.” 

Talking about the importance of including loss and damage as the main agenda in COP, Harjeet Singh, the head of the global political strategy at Climate Action Network International said, “The inclusion of loss and damage finance in the agenda for COP27 has renewed the fight for justice for communities losing their homes, crops, and income. Rich countries, historically responsible for the climate crisis, have bullied poorer nations to protect polluters from paying up for climate damage while disregarding the concerns of vulnerable people and countries. COP27 must agree to establish a Loss and Damage Finance Facility to help people recover from the impacts of the climate crisis, such as intensifying floods, droughts, and rising seas.” 

Although the origin of ‘Loss and Damage’ was established in the year 1991 by the island nation of Vanuatu, the issue has never been formally adopted and included in any of the previous COPs, and has been more or less sidelined in different discussions by rich countries. The Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for loss and damage was set up in 2013 after a lot of pressure from developing countries to create a separate entity for loss and damages at international climate change negotiations. However, the discussions at WIM have never reached further than dialogues and knowledge gathering about the subject. The funding and other critical mechanisms were never discussed at the forum and no solid conclusion came from the events. It is important to note that this inclusion of loss and damage funding comes at a time when the world is continuously witnessing a series of unprecedented climate change disasters, such as Europe going through intense heat waves, Pakistan being affected by the worst floods ever in history, and an alarming rise in sea levels across the world, along with continuous emissions from fossil fuels contributing to adverse climate change. 

Indian Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav noted, “It is an important movement in the right direction. Now, it must be ensured that it is taken forward with complete transparency, keeping in mind the needs of the poorer and most vulnerable countries. India is in full support of the move.”    

It is of utmost importance to take note that developed countries put massive emphasis on compensating poor nations for the adverse effects of climate change, which have created havoc in their respective countries.Moreover, COP27 should not be just a climate-appeasing event for developed nations to refrain from their social and environmental responsibilities towards developing nations, and to implement the “umpteen” number of pledges, namely, the USD 100 billion goals of climate finance that they had agreed to implement at  COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009. However, all hope is not lost as COP27 still promises to deliver on its actions towards climate change. 

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