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Creation of a Climate Damage Fund

According to TU/e scientists Heleen de Coninck (climate policy) and Pieter Pauw (climate finance), the establishment of a climate damage fund for underprivileged nations and an official warning to commercial banks to act more about climate change are the high points of the Egyptian climate summit.

Creation of a Climate Damage Fund

Image Credit: Achim Baque/

They are both unhappy that the gap between what governments claim and what they actually accomplish did not narrow during COP27.

Despite the roughly 200 participating nations’ continued commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, the agreements reached to do so are largely unchanged from those agreed at the earlier climate summit in Glasgow. At present, it is heading for 2.8 degrees of warming with the current climate policy.

We have all lost a year. We are now seven instead of eight years away from the deadline for halving global CO2 emissions. It gets harder with each year that governments fall short of their climate pledges, while others such as corporations and banks apply the brakes. If countries take too little action in practice, maintaining the one-and-a-half degree is meaningless.

Heleen de Coninck, Eindhoven University of Technology

Victory Vulnerable Countries

The researchers who co-authored the United Nations Emissions Gap Report do, however, favor the establishment of a climate damage fund. This fund should assist developing nations that emit little but suffer greatly from changing climate.

Developing countries have been trying for 30 years to put loss and damage caused by the effects of climate change on the agenda. Before the summit, this topic was not even on the agenda of the negotiations, now there is a climate damage fund. This is an important victory for vulnerable developing countries, although it remains unclear how the fund will be set up, who will support it financially and who can benefit from it.

Pieter Pauw, Eindhoven University of Technology

It is also uncertain whether a country such as China will contribute to the fund. However, while being classified as a developing country, China is the highest absolute CO2 emitter, with about the same average per capita emissions as the European Union.

Warning Banks

Both TU/e scholars are happy with a piece that made it into the final chord. This paragraph urges commercial banks to do more to combat climate change. According to a Pointer broadcast, banks such as ING are still the third-largest funder of polluting US liquid gas plants.

de Coninck says, “Right now, the financial sector is a barrier to the energy transition rather than facilitating it.

The final document calls for a transformation of the financial system, something that Heleen and I, among others, called for in the Emissions Gap Report,” added Pauw.

Banks, pension funds, and other investors should drastically alter their policies to play a larger part in combating climate change, rather than funding the fossil fuel industry.

Minister Jetten

Moreover, the two are hoping that Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten will return home with a reinvigorated commitment to addressing the country’s climate change issues.

I am glad he was present at the summit and hope that he now realizes more strongly that every year of delayed action, both in the Netherlands and abroad, is very costly. It damages trust between climate summit countries, and increases the likelihood of human suffering and irreparable damage to our planet.

Heleen de Coninck, Eindhoven University of Technology


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