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Climate and Environment

Adaptation goals, finance, loss and damage on top of agenda for next year's climate talks

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Adaptation goals, finance, loss and damage on top of agenda for next year's climate talks
A climate activist holds a placard as she protests during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on November 12, 2021.
AFP/Andy Buchanan

GLASGOW, United Kingdom — Global action on adaptation, finance, and loss and damage from climate change should remain high on the agenda for the next United Nations climate summit, a negotiator for developing countries said.

Nearly 200 countries agreed to adopt the Glasgow Climate Pact on Saturday after two weeks of intense negotiations.

The agreement, for the first time in the history of UN-brokered talks, included language that asked nations to reduce their reliance on coal. However, last-minute objections from giants China and India weakened the language from “phase out” to “phase down.”

The deal also asked governments to ratchet up their commitments to slash emissions of planet-heating greenhouse gases by the end of next year and urged wealthy nations to at least double their provision of finance for adaptation to countries most affected by climate change.

While there were important gains in the climate summit in Glasgow, observers and activists said the achievements were not good enough to avert climate catastrophe.

A huge amount of work still needs to be done once diplomats head to the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt for next year’s talks.

“One, we will have to clearly identify what is the global goal on adaptation. Second, on finance because there are continuing discussions on the new quantitative goal on climate finance,” lawyer Vicente Yu, a negotiator of the G77 and China group of developing countries, told Philstar.com on the sidelines of COP26.

Loss and damage, which refers to the costs that some nations are already facing because of a heating planet, will remain high on the list of priorities.

Developed nations blocked the establishment of a funding facility that will help vulnerable countries like the Philippines cope with losses and damages from climate change impacts. They opted to initiate a “dialogue” on the topic in future talks.

“Hopefully next year as well we can already start seeing the outlines for possible loss and damage financing facility,” Yu said.

He added the institutional arrangements of Santiago Network on loss and damage still need to be developed. Santiago Network is a network of organizations and experts that can provide technical assistance and support to vulnerable countries.

Tony La Viña, associate director for climate policy and international relations of Manila Observatory, said governments and other stakeholders must go to Egypt with higher ambition.

“We must also make sure that developed countries deliver on climate finance pledges and finally agree on the loss and damage facility,” the former Philippine negotiator said. 

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This story was produced as part of the 2021 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.

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