Welcoming the COP27 package of decisions and agreement on ‘Loss and Damage’
Following the conclusion of COP27 and agreement on a new “Loss and Damage” fund for vulnerable countries worst hit by climate change, I believe that anyone who cares about climate action, climate justice and the future of our planet will understand the significance of the package of decisions agreed at COP27.
The historical agreement is testament to the commitment and tireless efforts of Minister Eamon Ryan, who acted as EU lead negotiator, and the Irish and EU delegations at COP27.
The “Loss and Damage” agreement will mean that millions of people, whose land, water sources, and livelihoods are being eroded by climate change can begin to look forward to targeted and strengthened support and protection from the global community.
We know the text of the agreement is a compromise on the EU’s stronger ambition. However, this has been a decades long debate where agreement has previously proved impossible, so to have reached an agreement now is very positive and welcome. It is important to act fast and the proof will be in the implementation.
Governments agreed to establish a ‘transitional committee’ to make recommendations on the operation of the new fund. The first meeting of this committee is expected to take place before the end of March 2023. It is important to ensure that the fund is equitable and that those who have historically polluted the most pay the most.
I also welcome the overall commitment of COP27 ‘to keep 1.5 alive’, i.e. to ensure that global warming stays within a 1.5°C increase above pre-industrial levels.
We must remain ambitious to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. This is key to mitigation. The less mitigation, the more adaptation we have to do, and the more Loss and Damage will cost both financially and, crucially, in terms of human life and livelihood.