Home / Politics / News /  A $100 billion question mark looms over COP27

Thousands have gathered for the 27th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Egypt. The next weeks present a chance for India to lead the developing world  in  demanding action on  climate  change. Mint explains

Why is COP27 significant?

While there is now global political consensus to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees, latest estimates suggest we are on a global trajectory of a 2.5 degree increase. Increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are impacting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people already. The Russian-Ukraine conflict has pushed many developed countries to backslide towards fossil fuels. Only 24 countries, including India, have enhanced their ambition in the past year under their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and COP27 seeks to raise ambition and achieve agreement among countries.

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What is the most critical ask at COP27?

Developing countries will continue to push hard for a dedicated financing facility or funding channels to compensate for the loss and damage arising due to climate change. The reigning Egyptian Presidency has enlisted progress on this as a key target for COP27, amid continued pushback from the developed world. In fact, our analysis has found that no developed country has included any reference to loss and damage in their NDC. G-77 and China (negotiating block comprising developing nations) has requested that loss and damage be included in the COP27 agenda.

Simon Stiell, UN climate chief, speaks at an opening session at the COP27 UN Climate Summit, Nov. 6, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
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Simon Stiell, UN climate chief, speaks at an opening session at the COP27 UN Climate Summit, Nov. 6, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (Photo: AP)

What else should we expect from the conference?

Several finance-related discussions are on the agenda. The promised $100 billion of climate finance still remains an ‘ambition’ and not a reality. However, the order for financing that will be required by India alone to reach net-zero is above $10 trillion. Negotiations will focus on ensuring $100 billion by 2023 and mobilizing higher targets to be actualized from 2025.

Where does India stand in climate matters?

India is significantly vulnerable to the compounding impacts of climate change, and is the fourth largest emitter today after the US, EU and China, which emit significantly more. Prime Minister Modi announced India’s ambition to reach net-zero by 2070 at the last COP. Since then, India has updated its NDCs, which are to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030; achieve 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030, among others.

What will India be pushing for at COP27?

Given the US-China impasse on climate change and Europe’s backsliding towards fossil fuels, COP27 is a critical juncture for India to seek greater accountability on climate actions. India may highlight the fallacy of unmet promises in climate agreements so far from the developed countries, urge for the mobilization of climate finance for loss and damage, and propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living.

Shikha Bhasin is a researcher at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

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