Devil will be in the detail of how loss and damage fund will work in practice 

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has welcomed the last-minute breakthrough at COP27 in securing agreement on a loss and damage fund for poorer countries, but expressed disappointment at the UN climate summit’s failure to step-up emission reduction pledges.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Climate and Biodiversity, said:

“Securing agreement on loss and damage for those nations most at risk from the effects of global warming is a vital first step towards achieving climate justice.

“I welcome the progress made on a loss and damage fund and acknowledge the work by the minister, civil societies and members of the civil service at COP27. It is important the fund is structured in such a way so that any money goes towards those grassroots communities in need and is not tied up in corporate endeavours.

“While the fund will help mitigate against devastating floods and famines caused by carbon emissions, the finer details of the agreement – including the list of countries that should contribute, how much the fund will be and which climate-vulnerable nations will benefit – still have to be worked out.

“Given the difficulty in securing agreement on the principle of a loss and damage fund at COP27, any talk of a historic deal must be matched with action by those wealthier countries responsible for the lion’s share of carbon emissions. With detailed negotiations on the fund expected to take up to a year, the devil will be in the detail.

“But a loss and damage fund is only one part of the jigsaw. COP27 will be marked by a failure of ambition to ramp-up climate mitigation measures, with no progress on ending fossil fuel use or any agreement on greater cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

“This will make the Paris Agreement goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels all the more difficult to achieve, with catastrophic outcomes for our planet.

“We should not lose sight of the fact that Ireland’s carbon emissions continue to rise. The Government has not met any of the sectoral targets it has set to allow us to achieve a 51 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.”

November 21, 2022

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