COP27: Negotiations head for extra time as consensus eludes countries, India had to get draft text corrected on coal phase down | India News – Times of India


SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Unable to find consensus over a new draft text of the COP27 outcome, released Friday morning, the countries continue to be in a huddle beyond scheduled wrap up time of the climate conference late evening to find some landing zones on crunch issues of loss and damage, climate finance and higher mitigation goal.
The new draft text, condensed version of the informal document (non-paper) released a day before, calls for deep and rapid emission cuts to keep the 1.5 degree Celsius goal alive, accelerate clean energy transition this decade and phase down of unabated coal power and phase out and rationalise inefficient fossil fuel subsidies (reiteration of COP26 outcome).
As the new draft text initially used “phase out” in the context of coal power, India had to intervene and get it replaced by “phase down” in the draft on like it did in the final text during the COP26 in Glasgow last year. The para 28 of the draft text initially spoke about “accelerating efforts towards the phase out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, recognizing the need for support towards a just transition.” Objecting to “phase out”, the Indian negotiator intervened and requested the chair to use “phase down” in the para.
Reference to India’s pitch on phasing down all fossil fuels, however, continues to be missing in the new draft text even if many countries including EU nations see a rationale behind it. The Glasgow climate pact (COP26) wordings of “providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable” in the context of coal and fossil fuel subsidies is also missing in the draft. India had got the wordings added in the pact during final hours of negotiations in Glasgow last year.
Fresh text may appear anytime soon, correcting those missing references, once the differences are sorted out on various issues. The success of this round of climate talks will be judged on the parameters of what the countries actually did for the loss and damage issue to help countries who suffered from climate change-induced disasters.
Different proposals from different groups of countries are still being negotiated over who all will provide money for such loss, whether a separate fund to be created at this conference or next year and also on who would be the actual beneficiaries — all developing countries or just the most vulnerable ones among them such as island nations and least developed nations.
As the rich nations and many least developed ones want both India and China to also contribute to any such proposed new fund on the loss and damage, the situation has become quite tricky. Both the countries have categorically rejected the possibility of being mandatory contributors, arguing that the responsibility falls on the developed countries whose historical cumulative emissions contributed the most to global warming.
The EU proposal talks about immediately setting up a new loss and damage response fund with details to be worked out next year, aligning financial flows to the 1.5 degree Celsius goal, peaking global emission by 2025 and phasing down all fossil fuels. But creation of the fund is contingent on expanding the donor base and the point that the fund will go to only the most vulnerable countries remain sticking points.
On the other hand, the G77 group (developing countries having more than 100 members), including India, sought for the establishment of a fund at COP27 without deviating from the principles of equity and CBDR-RC of the UN convention, and also without those conditions put forward by the EU.
The third proposal is from Germany and Chile that talks about three options — first one proposes establishing a fund as well as other sources of funding at COP27, second one foresees a fund next year (COP28) while the third one does not establish a fund but proposes other sources of funding including outside of the UN climate convention.





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