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COP 26 – Further Challenges

The Gaudie reports on the final deal’s approval on 13 November.

by Elena-Sofial V. Cesario

Courtesy of Elena-Sofia V. Cesario

The final deal addressed the conference's key points - emissions reduction, adaptation, loss and damage, and the most contentious issue, climate finance.

Climate finance became the most discussed and controversial topic during the negotiations, where developing countries demanded from developed countries further and effective financial help to tackle the consequences of climate change.

A striking observation was made by Ms Nancy W. Karigithu, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Maritime and Shipping Affairs of Kenya during the conference "Shipping’s decarbonization - New Opportunities for Developing Countries" held by the International Maritime Organization.

Ms Karigithu pointed out that poor countries, as well as indigenous groups, are already confronting other difficulties such as access to clean water, fighting poverty, and education, which are, essentially, all the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the UN.

Demanding that they devote all their efforts to combating climate change appears not only unrealistic but also hypocritical, given that developed countries account for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

At the Plenary Conference on Friday, November 12th, conducted at COP26, developing countries such as the Marshall Islands, Kenya, Peru, and many more, observed that they are constrained in confronting climate change if developed countries do not pay their share effectively.

The delegation of Peru underlined the cruciality of climate finance, stressing that

"climate finance is at the heart of the success of the discussions… There must be procedural clarity regarding it."

The Marshall Islands called out the presidency for falling short in addressing the subject of loss and damage involving indigenous communities and suggested that a dedicated fund for loss and damage must be established. The delegation of Kenya additionally noted that "finance must be accessible".

Despite the 2009 pledge at COP15, where developed countries promised $100 billion a year for climate finance purposes for the most vulnerable and affected countries, it fell short of its promise given the fact that the latest data from the OECD showed that in 2019 the amount of money was just around $80 billion, which is not considered enough for the real necessities of vulnerable countries.

Despite the lack of a comprehensive amount of finance to handle the concerns brought by climate change, the 2009 accord marked a crucial milestone.

Indeed, at COP26, the annual aim for 2021–2025 would be to achieve $100bn. Climate financing is an important tool to gauge industrialized countries' commitment to confront Climate Change and the priority of developing countries about this problem which the future $500bn will be addressed to mitigate.

This poses a further issue:

the impacts of catastrophic climatic events are heavily hurting vulnerable groups, which, as noted previously, already struggle to achieve fundamental human rights, such as access to clean water or food.

The existing financial resources are channelled towards mitigation, therefore, to finance programmes, such as the renewable energy program. It is, however, a hurdle for the poorest nations' to access these financial instruments since, in many cases, they lack the resources to develop mitigation programmes.

It is said that the final deal of COP26 lacked the means to handle the matter revolving around adaptation finances: even if it increased the resources for adaptation, the demand of some nations to split 50:50 between adaptation and mitigation was only partially met.

The deal put an end to the Climate Conference and the turmoil in Glasgow, previously reported by The Gaudie by Anttoni James Numminnen and Isti Miskolczy.


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