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COP27: Finance for Loss and Damage

Volume 704: debated on Wednesday 1 December 2021

10. Whether he plans to have discussions with the President of COP27 on continuing negotiations for a loss and damage facility. (904497)

12. What steps he is taking to help ensure that there is a loss and damage facility in place before COP27. (904499)

COP26 was the first COP where a section of the cover decisions was devoted to loss and damage. We agreed a new Glasgow dialogue on loss and damage, which will discuss the arrangements for the funding of activities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage.

The COP26 President will know of the extraordinary anger and sense of betrayal that was felt by the climate-vulnerable countries, in particular, when they saw the finance facility that they had proposed downgraded to just a dialogue. Will he say more about how practically he will use that dialogue to create momentum for a finance facility to be agreed at COP27? Given that from day one of that COP, the UK returns to being a negotiating party, not having the presidency, will he guarantee that the Government will support the creation of that facility in Egypt and that they will follow Scotland’s example by contributing new and additional funding specifically for loss and damage?

I note the hon. Lady’s point, but the fact that we have established a formal dialogue on loss and damage for the first time does demonstrate progress. Ultimately, this will be a party-driven process, as she knows. Parties will have to decide, based on consensus, what the outcome of the dialogue will be.

I stress again that the Group of 77 plus China—the world’s underdeveloped countries—were disappointed, crucially, with the wording on finance. They say that it is weak and have called for greater support, but there have been no specifics on how that should be met. Does the COP26 President agree that resolving that disappointment is vital both for ensuring global success against climate change and for maintaining a balance of power on the world stage?

I absolutely agree with the hon. Lady on the importance of this issue. I very much hope that we will make progress on the dialogue. I should point out that, in addition to the dialogue, we have also done what we set out to do: to operationalise the Santiago Network, so that technical assistance can be provided. Parties have also agreed that funding will be provided to support the work of the Santiago Network.

As the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas) mentioned, the first organisation in the world to give a definite financial commitment to a loss and damage facility were the Scottish Government, who, officially, were not even part of COP. They have committed £2 million and, as a result, other organisations—the Government of Wallonia for one—and a number of philanthropic bodies have also committed money. Does the COP26 President agree that, in holding the presidency of COP26, the United Kingdom is in a unique position to encourage others to follow Scotland’s example? Does he also agree that a significant commitment from the United Kingdom would almost certainly open the doors for substantial funding from other wealthy organisations?

Again, I make the point that it is the first time that we have agreed the need for a dialogue. During our presidency year, we will pursue that very actively.

I congratulate the President of COP26 on the excellent work that he has done for this country and for the world. Will he also inform the House what discussions he has had with the Treasury about what we as the United Kingdom Government can do to help the countries that are threatened?

I will ignore that additional comment. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow East (Bob Blackman) for his very kind words. A number of things have happened in relation to the UK. The Chancellor has set out the conditions to restore the 0.7% commitment and we know that, on the latest forecast, that will be restored by 2024-25. In addition, the UK worked with other countries to ensure that the $100 billion delivery plan also set out when additional funding will be made available to support developing countries.

Whether it is progress in relation to a dedicated loss and damage funding facility, efforts to raise ambition when it comes to national climate commitments, or delivering on climate finance and adaptation pledges, implementing the Glasgow agreement will require the work of our COP presidency not only to be sustained but to be enhanced over the next 11 months. Can the President therefore confirm today that the COP26 unit will be fully funded to deliver on all the work programmes mandated in the Glasgow agreement, and that the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero will continue to receive support from the Treasury throughout the remainder of the UK presidency?

I can certainly confirm that we will be taking very seriously our work during the presidency year, and I will return to the House in due course and set out a written statement on our role during that presidency year.