A month before COP28, nations far apart on the implementation of Loss and Damage fund

The UN climate negotiations are only a month from now, and still, countries are struggling to come to a consensus on how to design the crucial Loss and Damage fund. The fund, which was agreed upon at last year’s COP, will help poorer nations ravaged by climate-related events to rebuild and recover their economies. 

But when the committee—comprising 24 countries—which has been assigned the task to design the fund, met recently in Egypt, there was no consensus on the entity that will oversee the fund, who the funders would be, and which countries would receive the funding. The committee was tasked with coming up with a list of recommendations on how the fund can be implemented. The committee has agreed to meet one more time in the first week of November to attempt to iron out the differences ahead of COP28. 

Climate-aligned MDB reform agenda inches forward at WB-IMF board meetings

The keenly awaited board meetings of the World Bank and IMF concluded this past fortnight in Marrakesh, Morocco. Despite the hopes pinned on the meeting to deliver meaningful and concrete progress on the need for reforms to better align international financial architecture with the costs of climate change and climate action, the meetings only delivered incremental progress. Significantly, however, the WB has now expanded its mission to include climate change and has taken the first steps in freeing up additional finance and making loans for clean energy infrastructure less expensive.

India to fix carbon emission reduction targets for 4 fossil fuel-reliant sectors

India will set carbon emissions reduction targets for four sectors—petrochemicals, iron and steel, cement and pulp and paper, for three years, Reuters reported. These sectors are heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Companies in these sectors will also likely be the first to trade under the country’s carbon trading market, which starts in 2025. The market will allow the companies to buy and sell carbon credits in order to reach their green targets. Firms that surpass their targets will be given carbon credits that can be sold to other companies that may have failed to meet their targets.

Bank of China lists first batch of ‘belt and road’ green bonds, initiative loans $687bn over a decade

The Bank of China, a Chinese majority state-owned commercial bank, has listed its first batch of green bonds linked to the belt and road initiative (BRI) on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange, according to the People’s Daily report translated by Carbon Brief. The report adds that the total value of the bonds listed reached $770m and will be used for green projects in BRI host countries.

Chinese financial institutions “extended more than 5tn yuan ($687bn) in loans” as of the end of 2022 to support “belt and road initiative” (BRI) projects over the past decade, Chinese business and economy newspaper Caixin reports China’s national administration of financial regulation as announcing. Meanwhile, at an international summit on the global infrastructure initiative, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced that China’s policy banks will “each set up a 350bn yuan (US$47.8bn) financing window” to fund “small but beautiful” projects, reports Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post (SCMP).

COP28 Prez seeks plans to cut 22 gigatons of greenhouse emissions by 2030 

Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, the president-designate of COP28, has sent a detailed plan for the summit to delegates. 

In the letter, sent to the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Al-Jaber asked the 198 member countries to plan to cut 22 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next seven years, in order to keep global warming at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, reports The HT.

The summit president asked parties to join the COP28 pledge to triple renewable capacity globally (to reach 11TW by 2030) and double the annual average global rate of energy-efficiency improvements between now and 2030 (to reach 4%). He also urged them to come to COP28, which will be held from November 20 to December 12, in the United Arab Emirates, with “tangible commitments” to realise this goal, The HT adds.

EU launches first phase of world’s first carbon border tariff

The European Union launched the first phase of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the world’s first system to impose CO2 emissions tariffs on imported steel, cement and other goods as the bloc  attempts to prevent foreign products from “undermining its green transition,” reports Reuters. China’s top climate envoy Xie Zhenhua has urged countries not to resort to unilateral measures such as the EU levy. The bloc will not begin collecting any CO2 emission charges at the border until 2026. Sunday, however, marks the start of an initial phase of the CBAM when EU importers will have to report the greenhouse gas emissions embedded during the production of imported volumes of iron and steel, aluminium, cement, electricity, fertilisers and hydrogen. Importers will from 2026 need to purchase certificates to cover these CO2 emissions to put foreign producers on a level footing with EU industries that must buy permits from the EU carbon market when they pollute, Reuters report stated.

With the taxes looming, India is negotiating with the EU for an approach that recognises Indian emission reduction certificates and where taxes on exports can be collected within India rather than upon reaching the EU.

African countries propose global carbon tax regime 

African nations want a global carbon tax regime and signed a joint declaration demanding the same at the end of the three-day Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi. The declaration also demanded more commitment from major polluters to help poorer nations fight climate change. African leaders said they would use the declaration as the basis of their negotiations at the COP28 summit in November. 

India: SC’s green watchdog panel will now report to environment ministry

India’s green ministry appointed a permanent statutory body on environmental issues. This move is in response to the Supreme Court’s order which stated the government make the “Central Empowered Committee” (CEC) a permanent authority on green issues instead of an ad hoc body. The CEC had been set up by the Supreme Court 20 years ago to highlight cases that don’t comply with its orders on conservation. The environment ministry now has the authority to nominate CEC members and give its final say on the committee’s recommendations. 

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