The Palisadian-Post has partnered with locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades to deliver a weekly “green tip” to our readers. This week’s tip was written by Éva Milan Engel.
The latest round of United Nations climate talks ended this past Sunday, November 20, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The deadline was extended by two days to finally reach an agreement on the most pressing issue: paying for damage from climate change.
- A landmark agreement was struck to pay countries with less money for harm caused by global warming. The proposal would establish a new “loss and damage” fund next year in which donor countries could compensate vulnerable countries already suffering destruction stemming from the climate crisis.
- The meeting secured more commitments to cut methane pollution.
- Delegates at COP 27 also renewed the call to keep the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the target of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
- On the sidelines, delegates signed smaller deals to end deforestation and invest in clean energy.
- Wealthy countries also negotiated a $20 billion deal to help Indonesia transition toward cleaner energy.
- Few countries committed to stepping up their efforts to curb greenhouse gases, including emissions giants China and the U.S.
- The language around the “loss and damage” fund is vague with no guidance on how much money the fund needs, who needs to pay in and who is eligible for compensation. Wealthy countries have already failed to meet a commitment to provide $100 billion per year in financing to developing countries for climate-related projects.
The shift taking place at this COP meeting is notable. Until now, the focus had been on reducing emissions to lessen the severity of climate change in the future. While this remains a key area of work, we’ve clearly moved to the acceptance phase.
The planet is warming significantly because of man-made emissions, so how can we alleviate suffering in the countries without the resources to help their populations? For the first time, small countries with less money left COP feeling somewhat optimistic.
While this is important work, we shouldn’t be ready to accept climate change that destroys the lives of billions of people. Every Palisadian can do more to reduce emissions, whether it’s installing rooftop solar, changing your gas-powered vehicle to an EV, installing an electric water heater or going vegan.
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