COP27 agreement on food security, but no deal on funds
After 10 years of intense talks, the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to promote a holistic approach to addressing issues related to agriculture and food security.
Sri Lanka’s lead negotiator and agriculture expert Prof. Buddhi Marambe told the Sunday Times COP27 members requested the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) to establish the four-year Sharm El-Sheikh joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security.
This includes the implementation of the outcomes of the workshops and workshop reports addressing issues related to agriculture, and future topics. “COP27 also recognises that solutions are context-specific and take into account national circumstances,” he noted.
The COP27 decision on agriculture and food security will promote a holistic approach to deliver a range of multiple benefits such as adaptation, adaptation co-benefits and mitigation. “The world also recognised that adaptation is a priority for vulnerable groups, including women, indigenous peoples and small-scale farmers.”
At Sharm El-Sheikh, the first week of negotiations collapsed as parties failed to agree on certain crucial elements such as having ‘Climate Action’ and “mitigation’ in the final draft.
However, with the interventions made by COP presidency, the Country Parties agreed to the text in the draft conclusions for agriculture that would enhance coherence, synergies, coordination, communication and interaction between parties, constituted bodies and work streams. Further, the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, the Adaptation Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund would help in the future to facilitate the implementation of the actions to address issues related to agriculture and food security.
Sri Lanka received no funding in terms of adaptation climate finance at this COP, confirmed Dr. Sunimal Jayathunga, a lead negotiator of the Sri Lankan delegation and the Additional Secretary (Environment Development) to the Ministry of Environment.
Adaptation funding to help Sri Lankans adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and loss-and-damage financing were the crucial goals of the Sri Lankan expert teams this year. But once the conference ran into overtime since countries could not agree to anything, most Sri Lanka officials headed home.
No official cover text with key issues was agreed upon by countries as of 4 pm yesterday. Talks were heated and uncompromising, mostly on loss and damage.
The latest draft decision text was published overnight on Thursday and reaffirmed the 1.5 degrees Celcius target reiterated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report.
It also calls for “deep, rapid emission cuts” as well as an acceleration of clean energy transitions in the 2020s.
The text also keeps COP26 language on “phasing down coal power” and calls on parties to “rationalise fossil fuel subsidies” and urges new climate action national plans (NDCs) by 2023.
The draft outcome welcomes the loss-and-damage agenda item, but it does not mention the creation or a funding facility. Also on Friday, the European Union presented an official proposal for creating a loss-and-damage fund, sparking hopes for what some delegations from developing countries said might be a “breakthrough”. But pushback continued and as of 5 pm yesterday, nothing was finalised in this regard.
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