A spate of climate-related disasters worldwide is likely to fuel discussions of climate financing at an upcoming UN climate summit, a leading journalist covering the climate change beat told Anadolu Agency.
Speaking ahead of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), set to take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Nov. 6-18, Associated Press Climate and Environmental News Director Peter Prengaman spoke about climate reparations, saying the idea is “for rich developed nations to pay in some form to developing nations to help with mitigation, to help with adaptation.”
In light of the thousands of lives lost over the last year and serious damage due to disasters that have grown more violent and frequent due to climate change, said Prengaman, $100 billion in climate finance that developed nations pledged to developing economies can be expected to top the meeting’s agenda.
“It's not a new idea,” he added, “But all the crises that we've seen, all the weather events, stuff like Pakistan, what happened there, I think it's really increased the momentum to talk about this issue.”
Flooding from unprecedented rains in Pakistan this summer inundated one-third of the country, killing over 1,700 people and causing some $40 billion in damage, according to the government.
Constant rains and raging floods destroyed a large chunk of the country's infrastructure and agricultural land, including hundreds of thousands of houses, roads, and bridges, washing away over 750,000 animals, and covering some 45% of cropland, posing a serious threat to food security.
Prengaman said longstanding discussions of climate crisis may reach a critical level, and “a lot of discussion on loss and damage” from the impact of climate change could also be expected from the conference.
‘Fossil fuel firms to seek place at the table’
Prengaman said the issue of phasing out the use of coal is also likely to make it to the discussion table.
Stressing the need for China and India, the countries with highest amount of coal use, to be involved in these discussions, he said: “Coal is always central and I think India and China will have a lot to say about that.”
Gas and oil companies are becoming more willing “to be part of the discussion of transition, and argue that they are part of the transition to clean energy,” he said. “So we are going to see a lot of not just lobbying for oil and gas but also … trying to make sure they are seated at the table.”
‘Investing in renewable and clean energy sources needed'
Touching on the need for accelerating green transformation, Prengaman said: “What needs to happen is, a lot of investment in green energies, in research and development and in policies that really help expand that.”
“We as societies need oil and gas, yes,” he acknowledged. “At this point in time we can't have modern society functioning with just renewable energies until renewable energies can provide a lot more.”
Prengaman further stressed the significance of the acceleration of transformation to greener energy sources, calling it “the path forward.”
“That's not a new idea,” he remarked. “This is something that governments and a lot of philanthropists have been talking about for a long time, is really trying to help get green energies to the next level so that they really are a power source for the world.”
Mentioning how nuclear has been designated a clean energy resource due to the energy crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war crippling countries especially in Europe, Prengaman said at the conference nuclear energy will be evaluated as an alternative to fossil fuels.
“Nuclear is controversial, but I think as we get closer to 2030 and 2050 and some of the targets that companies and countries have made to drop emissions, nuclear is getting more and more of a look because although there is a waste issue, it is a clean energy,” he said.
Ahead of next month’s COP27 Conference, a new UN report on Wednesday warned that efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions remain insufficient to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C by the end of the century and could put the world on track for around 2.5C of warming by century's end.
"The downward trend in emissions expected by 2030 shows that nations have made some progress this year. But the science is clear and so are our climate goals under the Paris Agreement," said Simon Stiell, the executive secretary of UN Climate Change.
“We are still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required to put us on track toward a 1.5 degrees Celsius world.”