As the gavel went down on the early hours of Sunday to mark the end of COP27, a two-week climate conference, the most the developing countries got was the expected setting up of a ‘loss and damage fund’ to help countries hit by a climate event to get back on its feet.

Though the COP27 Presidency (Egypt) has described it as a “historic deal” and a “leap to save lives and livelihoods”, much depends upon other crucial details such as who will put money into the fund and how much, and importantly, who will get help out of it.

Not much clarity

At the moment, there is no clarity on how much will be the fund; going by the track record of developed countries — such as their poor contributions in the green climate fund and their faltering on commitments to mobilise (not even give) $100 billion to developing countries for fighting climate change — a lot of difficult negotiations are ahead. These have been left to future negotiations — a ‘transitional committee’ has been set up to operationalise the fund, which will look at the composition, mandate and timelines of the fund.

EU’s support for the condition was conditional — it wanted to ‘expand the donor base’, called for China also to contribute to the fund, and wanted the fund to be somehow linked to the world working towards “1.5 degree”, which in simpler terms means doing even more for limiting global warming.

During the talks, India proposed — and many, including the EU, supported — the inclusion in the text a reference to phase down all fossil fuels and not just coal. This did not happen. Instead, the text mentions supporting low emissions energy, which could mean to include natural gas, a carbon dioxide emitter.