COP26 Live: Loss & damage make or break issue in new draft

13 November 2021

Delegates, media and observers are now digesting the new texts, which hit the ground after a long night of over-time negotiations in Glasgow. Things have moved, but the crucial question is if they have moved enough. The US and EU still seem to resist clear finance to loss and damage, apart from technical assistance, making it a possible make or break issue at COP26.

The new texts, floated this morning, have moved on several key items: Finance for adaptation, loss and damage and article 6, on carbon markets.

On adaptation the cover texts now say that finance should at least double until 2025, compared to 2019. This is a step forward from the perspective of developing nations, but 2025 might be regarded as to late and the texts arguably still lacks clarity and a high-level mechanism to ratchet up finance to adaptation.

On loss and damage there is no decision on finance apart from technical assistance. Instead of establishing a new finance mechanism the cover texts suggest deciding to establish a dialogue. This is clearly weaker than what has been demanded by the block of small islands (AOSIS), LDCs and the larger group of developing nations (G77+China), making loss and damage the possible make or break issue in Glasgow.

On article 6 and carbon markets things have moved on some items, while not on others. Some heavily criticized loopholes, like having a two tier system with possible double counting, have been taken away, making cancellation of some carbon credits mandatory. The text also states that a new independent grievance mechanism should be established. On the other side old Kyoto credits can still be used, and critics still feel that the texts give too much room for cheating. A deal could be on it’s way, but it’s probably not there yet.

Finally, the calls to phase out ‘unabated’ coal power and ‘inefficient fossil fuel subsidies’ are still in the cover texts, but the texts now include ‘recognizing the need for support toward a just transition’, an inclusion which arguably is well motivated.

Parties will share their views at a stocktaking plenary scheduled for noon, with the UN hosts hoping to conclude the UN meeting in late afternoon. But it all depends on the reactions to the new drafts from key negotiation blocks…

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