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Loss And Damage Financing On Cop 27 Official Agenda

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt 08th November, 2022 (AEJ) – Loss and damage financing item has been formally included on this year’s 27th Conference of Parties ( CoP 27) agenda. However another item that seeks to recognise African continent as special needs and circumstances region has been dropped for the seventh time, immediately triggering outright condemnation from African climate activists.

Loss and damage financing's major objective is to cover damages that aren't covered by disaster risk reduction, adaptation, or mitigation. Although the agenda for loss and damage financing was thwarted in Glasgow, Scotland last year. The African group and CSOs have steadfastly pushed for the inclusion of the topic on the agenda ever since to formally advance a discussion on how countries experiencing irreversible losses due to adverse climate change can be compensated.

At this stage, the "breakthrough" doesn’t mean much following an announcement by newly elected COP27 President Sameh Shoukry and Egypt’s Foreign Minister on Sunday during the opening plenary that the talks would be constructive and focused on "cooperation and facilitation" rather than "liability and compensation."

He said delegates are aiming to reach a conclusive decision on loss and damage "no later than 2024,"

Shoukry told delegates this year’s COP is being held in a world that is witnessing political turmoil that casts a long shadow on all the nations and has resulted in energy and food crises.

"Such challenges should be no reason to delay our collective effort to fight climate change. It is inherent on us all in Sharm El Sheikh to demonstrate our recognition of the magnitude of the challenges we face and our steadfast resolve to overcome them," he explained.

Reacting to the dropped "Special Needs and Circumstances of Africa" agenda, the COP 27 presidency pledged to facilitate informal consultations with the African group and other stakeholders before reporting back. The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the biggest CSO movement on climate change in Africa, released a statement warning parties to put Africa’s interests first.

Some delegates to CoP 27 at Sharma El Sheikh in Egypt captured at the conference

''This will not only be a disappointment but an injustice of disproportionate magnitude for the people at the frontlines of climate change impacts, who expected the conversations happening in Africa to resolve contentious issues that have remained an obstacle to a deal that assures our people of survival." reads part of the statement.

Africa's perspective is that this CoP should focus on turning texts, commitments, and pledges into action, Minister of Natural Environment and Resources Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka remarked amid the tension and volatility that accompany these climate meetings.

"We call this the African CoP. The emphasis is on implementation. We have had so many pledges from the previous CoPs. We feel it is time we realized those promises. It does not make sense to continue pledging or getting pledges from those that have contributed greatly in a big way to climate change," Mkaka said.

The Minister said that while developed countries are happy with their promises, developing countries still have to deal with the multiple effects of climate change.

The Malawi Energy Generating Company has not restored 129 megawatts, or 30%, of the entire power from the national grid, which was lost after floods caused by tropical storm Ana in February this year devastated parts of the Kapichira power plant. This has led to consumers being subjected to long hours of power outages as part of rationing due to the scaled down production.

World leaders' attention has now shifted to the Sharm El-Sheikh climate implementation summit, which started on Monday and runs for two days. The negotiations will evolve around specific themes, including just transition, food security, innovative finance for climate and development, investing in the future of energy, water security, climate change, and climate sustainability of vulnerable communities.

Editor's Note - AEJ acknowledges content has been run by other publications within Malawi digital space

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Tiwonge Kampondeni
The author is an external correpondent for AEJ Malawi

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