COP26 | ‘Adaptation fund’ from developed countries continues to be a sticking point

Glasgow climate summit runs into extra time.

November 13, 2021 04:18 pm | Updated 11:08 pm IST - Glasgow

Delegates rest during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 12.

Delegates rest during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 12.

The 26th edition of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) at Glasgow, Scotland, is yet to seal a final agreement, with talks extending into on November 13.

The meeting was formally scheduled to end on Friday (November 12) at 6 p.m. local time (GMT).

Also read | New climate pledges barely affect global heating: UN

The Glasgow summit ends when an agreement, or more specifically a cover text of the agreement, issued by the COP Secretariat led by incumbent President Alok Sharma, is agreed upon by all members. That consensus has been elusive so far.

The latest version of the agreement is a draft issued at 8 a.m. local time, on November 13. Later versions of the draft differ only subtly from previous versions, with a line dropped out, a word added in, a verb modified, but it is these changes that frame the future course of action that signatory countries undertake.

A key demand from several island nations and countries in the African Union has been the establishment of a “Glasgow Facility” that would provide money to countries already suffering from the impacts of climate change. This money would be part of an “adaptation fund” to be financed by developed countries. However, the latest text doesn’t commit to any such facility and only promises regular “dialogues” and “technical assistance” for establishing such a facility.

Also read | China, US pledge to enhance climate cooperation at UN talks

The draft, however, “Urges developed country Parties to fully deliver on the USD 100 billion goal urgently and through to 2025 and emphasizes the importance of transparency in the implementation of their pledges”.

Developed countries had committed to providing $100 billion annually by 2020. This was a clause enshrined in 2009 but none of it has actually made its way to developing countries and continues to be a major bone of contention.

‘Net zero by 2070’

India has said that it will take on ambitious targets of achieving net zero by 2070 or shifting quicker to renewable energy sources by 2030, only if money is forthcoming. The draft also exhorts developed countries to double collective adaptation finance from 2019 levels by 2025 and to scale up greenhouse gas emission cuts that ought to be announced latest by next year at COP27 in Egypt. India has demanded one trillion dollars over the next decade from developed countries to adapt to and mitigate the challenges from global warming, and has made this a condition for delivering on climate commitments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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In a late evening intervention on November 12, Richa Sharma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, who is part of India’s negotiating team, said: “The outcomes of COP26 must reflect the urgency in scaling up finance and other means of implementation support to developing countries. We express our disappointment at the lack of significant progress in climate finance related agenda items.”

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