November 9, 2022
JAKARTA – Over 100 world leaders descended on Egypt on Monday for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) for climate crunch talks amid deep concerns about unabating carbon emissions and calls from developing countries demanding advanced financial support.
Indonesia insisted on working to meet global goals through its own interpretations, refusing to make any rhetorical promises while still emphasizing its commitment to climate action. But, in going forward, the government said, developed countries ought to fund the rest of the nations to mitigate the global threat.
A reluctance to financially support less-wealthy nations could result in a botched implementation of climate action, said Vice President Ma’ruf Amin in his speech at the forum on Monday.
“One year after the COP26 talks in Glasgow, there is no significant global progress. COP27 must be used not only for advancing ambitions but also for implementation,” Ma’ruf said.
“This includes the fulfillment of support from developed nations to developing countries.”
Pressure continues to mount in Sharm el-Sheikh as the war in Ukraine casts fears that the ongoing energy and economic crises will bring the world further away from its climate goals. Of the 194 countries that attended the previous climate talk last year in Glasgow, the United Kingdom, only 29 countries have showcased improvements in their climate plans, AFP reported.
Success over capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 seems increasingly improbable as current trends point to the Earth’s surface heating up by 2.8 degrees by the end of the decade. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also added a layer of complication, with countries in Europe switching to coal plants amid rising oil prices.
“The fear is that other priorities take precedence. The fear is that we lose another day, another week, another month, another year – because we cannot,” said top UN climate change official Simon Stiell on Monday.
United States President Joe Biden is scheduled to join the event later this week, while Chinese President Xi Jinping was conspicuous in his absence.
Indonesia’s call for more funding is among a wave of requests from developing nations seeking reimbursement and monetary accountability.
Pakistan, for example, is among one of the most active negotiators in the “loss and damage” financing requests, as chair of the G77+China bloc – a group of more than 130 developing countries. Though only responsible for less than 1 percent of global emissions, Pakistan has suffered from a 50 percent increase in floods in recent years due to extreme weather changes.
Under the proposed scheme, countries that have suffered from natural disasters caused by extreme weather changes would be reimbursed, with many activists pointing at wealthier nations – responsible for the highest emission rates – to pay the dues.
“The success or failure of COP27 will be judged on the basis of whether there is agreement on a financing facility for loss and damage,” Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram told AFP.
While Indonesia had not made any recent statements vis-a-vis the “loss and damage” scheme, the Environment and Forestry Ministry underlined on Thursday that getting a “coherent” cash flow for climate would be high on Jakarta’s priority list at the Egypt assembly.
And on Monday at COP27, Ma’ruf said that “every country has to contribute within their own capacity, in the spirit of burden-sharing instead of burden-shifting. Wealthier nations must help and empower the other countries”.
The US and the European Union have stalled in discussing the proposed reimbursement plan due to concerns that it would spark an open-ended reparations framework.
“This discussion has been going on for three decades. The most vulnerable countries are tired, they are frustrated,” UN’s Stiell said.
Next on the wealthier nations’ bill is the delivery of US$100 billion per year to aid developing countries in turning their economies “green” and building resilience against future climate change. But two years have passed since the last payment, and $17 billion remains to be settled.
Indonesia will not count on, or begin making, feeble promises to start tackling the climate crisis, said Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar ahead of the assembly.
Despite backtracking on last year’s COP26 deforestation pledge, Siti underlined on Sunday that Jakarta’s commitment to mitigating climate change was “based on evidence and not promises”, citing recent achievements such as the slowing rate of deforestation and a reduction in carbon emissions.
“The Indonesian government will continue working to ensure that climate actions are taken through concrete [means] on the ground level. We will not let the various ongoing efforts be halted simply because [other countries] are unsure with their promises,” she said, Detik.com reported.