By Paul Homewood
As usual the BBC paints the latest COP as a “historic deal”!
Despite the hype, very little has been achieved, as the BBC have to admit:
Although a fund has been agreed in principle, there is no agreement about how much is put in, or who pays. Crucially there is no agreement that countries like China, India and Russia will pay a penny. The agreement to set up the fund is meaningless without answers to these questions.
And there is also no agreement to reduce emissions beyond COP26 pledges. In particular developing countries are under no obligation whatsoever to reduce emissions, as a condition for receiving this money.
As WWF put it, the loss and damage fund will be a downpayment on disaster!
Western nations have always given billions in aid for weather disasters around the world, and I don’t see this new fund being anything new, other than it will presumably be under some sort of central control.
My guess is that any money put into the fund will largely come out existing aid budgets. The Mail hit the nail on the head with this article:
There is in reality zero chance that the UK will be able to afford to throw billions into the pot, and neither will the EU. Perhaps the most telling comment came from Steve Barclay this morning:
You may have noted that the cut in the overseas aid budget to 0.5% of GDP, introduced by Boris last year, has now been extended to 2027 by Jeremy Hunt. Barclay’s comment seems to suggest that any extra funds for weather losses will have come from that same budget. There is no way that Hunt will go back on that decision, and increase it for this new fund.
And all of this ignores the elephant in the room – the US. With the GOP now in charge of the House, and thus in control of the purse strings, they are likely to block any increase in US aid, particularly if it ends up in some pot controlled by the UN.
Biden could not even get the Democrat controlled Congress to approve a couple of extra billion to meet earlier US commitments.
We also need to remember that John Kerry has been quite forthright about the need for China to pay their share.
Finally we need to look at the things which have not been agreed at COP27.
There were calls beforehand for the West to considerably increase its $100 billion a year climate funding, with silly figures of $1.3 trillion mentioned. As far as I can see, this is not mentioned at all in the Agreement.
Also there seems to be no mention of “reparations”, only loss and damage. This is important, because the acceptance of the need for reparations would create a dangerous legal precedent, which could leave rich countries liable for open-ended claims.
We’ll see what next year’s meetings bring. But my guess is that we’ll see yet more fudge and kicking the can down the road. There will probably be a small fund set up, with some sort of vague promise to increase it by 2030. And the issue of China and others paying their share will be something to be looked in a few years time.
I’ll give the final comment to the eminently sensible Jacob Rees-Mogg:
Pit we have not got a few more Moggies in Parliament.