Europe can’t put its energy needs first while requesting India to act otherwise: Jaishankar
With the G7 price ceiling on Russian crude oil at USD 60 per barrel taking effect, India on Monday (December 05, 2022) vehemently defended its acquisition of crude oil from Russia during the ongoing Ukraine war – claiming that New Delhi’s purchase was just one-sixth of the European buy in the previous nine months. At a press conference following lengthy discussions with the visiting German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Europe cannot decide to put its energy needs first while requesting New Delhi to take another action, claiming that talks between India and Russia to increase trade began long before the war in Ukraine, NDTV reports. Jaishankar said: “I understand that there is a conflict situation (in Ukraine). I also understand that Europe has a point of view and Europe will make the choices it will make that is Europe’s right. But for Europe to make choices which prioritises its energy needs and then ask India to do something else…” Read: Russian oil shipments to central Europe expected to resume Jaishankar also said that pressure on pricing is also being exerted by Europe’s purchases of Middle Eastern crude oil. The Indian foreign minister commented, “And bear in mind, today, Europe is buying a lot (of crude oil) from the Middle-East. The Middle-East was traditionally a supplier for an economy like India. So it puts pressure on prices in the Middle-East as well. We have been very very understanding of the European choices and European policies.” He was quoted by NDTV as saying: “I think first we need to establish the facts very clearly. Between February 24 and November 17, the European Union has imported more fossil fuel from Russia than the next 10 countries combined. The oil import in the European Union is like six times what India has imported. Gas is infinite because we do not import it while the European Union imported 50 billions Euros worth (of gas).” Read: Bangladesh may prefer to import Russian oil via third country While pledging to further cooperate in the areas of defence and security, commerce, climate change, and renewable energy, the two foreign ministers also signed a bilateral mobility agreement that would make it simpler for individuals to study and work in each other’s countries. The German foreign minister stated at the joint news conference that China has changed significantly in recent years and “the whole region can see this and feel this”, in reference to the country’s “growing aggressiveness”. Baerbock, who was in India for a two-day visit, also promised to shorten the wait time for visas. The talks also touched on Pakistani cross-border terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, and developments in the Indo-Pacific, according to the NDTV report. Read: Fuel import from India through pipeline to start from 2023: PM Russian oil imports into India have significantly increased during the past few months. According to New Delhi, it is its essential responsibility to make sure that Indian consumers have the greatest possible access to the worldwide markets on the most favourable conditions.
COP27: Bangladesh among first recipients of Global Shield financial support
The Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Finance Ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) that includes 58 climate vulnerable economies, and the Group of Seven (G7) on Monday (November 14, 2022) officially launched the Global Shield against Climate Risks – an initiative for pre-arranged financial support designed to be quickly deployed in times of climate disasters. The first recipients of Global Shield packages – called ‘Pathfinder Countries’ – include Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal, according to a message UNB received from COP27 being held in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh. The Global Shield will start its implementation immediately after COP27. Initial contributions include around EUR 170 million from Germany and more than EUR 40 million from other countries. Also read: Climate Change: IOM DDG calls for redoubling efforts ahead of COP 27 In addition, a broad coalition of countries, multilateral institutions, non-state and private sector partners has underlined their full institutional commitment to the Global Shield. Ghana Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, V20 Chair, called this is a path-breaking effort and hoped the funding window will benefit equally compared to the pre-existing structures whose performance remain to be proven. “Our fiscal space is under constant threat and the inflationary pressures of climate change are closing out our options. As part of our Climate Prosperity Plan to reduce the 98 percent financial protection sinkhole, the Global Shield will play a key role in resourcing financial and social protection packages to protect our economy, our enterprises and our communities,” Ken said. Ken said the Global Shield is long overdue. “It has never been a question of who pays for loss and damage because we are paying for it – our economies pay for it in lost growth prospects, our enterprises pay for it in business disruption, and our communities pay for it in lives and livelihoods lost.” Also read: D-8 PTA likely to be operational this year to boost intra-trade Svenja Schulze, Federal Development Minister of Germany, said that under the German presidency, the G7 have committed to scale-up action and support on loss and damage and to work towards a “Global Shield against Climate Risks”, responding to the V20’s call. “Germany stands by its responsibility to support poor and vulnerable people and countries in dealing with loss and damage. This launch sends a signal: We have heard the urgency and we are acting. We aim at overcoming differences even in challenging circumstances. Germany wants to be a bridge-builder.” Henry Kokofu, Special Envoy of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Ghana Presidency, said: “This is definitely the start we need, but the more effective we are in innovations like the Shield, the more we have to emphasize that scale matters.” Recent V20 research found that 98% of the nearly 1.5 billion people in V20 countries do not have financial protection – a massive sinkhole for these countries whose workforce is mainly employed by small and medium enterprises. Read More: COP27: Bangladesh urges developed countries to double climate financing by 2025 According to this research, V20 countries have lost a total of USD 525 billion to climate impacts since 2000. As risks of losses and damages from climate change escalate further, the cost of capital and debt have risen to unsustainable levels, especially across climate vulnerable economies. The Global Shield addresses current weaknesses in the financial protection structure in climate vulnerable economies via pre-arranged finance which disburses quickly and reliably before or just after disasters happen. It expands instruments of financial protection for governments, communities, businesses, and households, thus, lessening the impact of disasters, making vulnerable economies resilient, safeguarding sustainable development, and protecting lives and livelihoods. Read More: Bangladesh wins COP27 award for community-led initiative Germany is providing some EUR 170 million as seed contribution, of which EUR 84 million are core funding to the Global Shield and EUR 85.5 million for related climate risk finance instruments. Further pledges of core funding to the Global Shield include DKK 35 million (about EUR 4.7 million) from Denmark, EUR 10 million from Ireland, USD 7 million from Canada, and EUR 20 million from France. Further contributions by donors are expected to materialize soon. The V20 and G7 have decided that it will be steered by the Global Shield High-Level Consultative Group, which includes representatives of the V20, G7, G20, think tanks, civil society, multilateral organizations and the private sector. A financing structure with three complementary funds forms the foundation of the Global Shield against Climate Risks: the Global Shield Solutions Platform, which builds on InsuResilience Solutions Fund, the Global Shield Financing Facility at the World Bank, and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) & V20 Joint Multi-Donor Fund. Read More: What can COP27 do for climate vulnerable countries?
COP27: Bangladesh to reiterate call to materialize $100bn pledged for developing countries
Global leaders are preparing for the COP27 next month — to take action towards achieving collective climate goals set under Paris Agreement and the Convention. The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or ‘COP27’, will build on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency. These are: urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, and delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries. Also read: Dhaka calls for implementation of climate financing pledges ahead of COP27 Bangladesh will reiterate its call to materialize the pledge of providing US$ 100 billion funds per year to developing countries at the earliest, officials said. Bangladesh will also highlight the importance of “enhanced funds” for climate change mitigation and adaptation at the conference that will take place from November 6 to 18 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Nations are expected to demonstrate at COP27 that they are in a new era of implementation by turning their commitments under the Paris Agreement into action. Read V20, G7 reach agreement on financial protection against climate change loss Heads of states and governments will attend the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit on November 7 and 8 while a high-level segment primarily attended by ministers will take place from November 15-18. The Vulnerable 20 (V20) and Group of 7 (G7) will jointly launch the Global Shield Against Climate Risks at COP27 in a wider effort to accelerate pre-arranged financing at speed and scale. The V20 membership stands at 58 economies representing some 1.5 billion people including Bangladesh. Read Climate Change: IOM DDG calls for redoubling efforts ahead of COP27 The Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers from climate vulnerable economies and the G7 Presidency have already announced they have reached agreement on a financial protection cooperation that responds to loss and damage as a contribution to the Paris Climate Treaty. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has called for implementation of climate financing pledges commensurate with the principles of loss and damage ahead of the climate conference going to take place in Sharm El Sheikh next month. State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam has said Bangladesh firmly believes that climate change is a security issue and it must be discussed at a regular interval at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Read UN Resident Coordinator stresses urgency of fighting climate change Bangladesh has been a significant player in global climate diplomacy and during the presidency of CVF, Bangladesh emerged as a bold voice in the climate change negotiations under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Bangladesh has launched the “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan” with the aim to put her on a journey from climate vulnerability to resilience to climate prosperity. The government sees it as one of the landmark policy guidelines for climate vulnerable countries. As government representatives begin to finalize the agenda for the COP27 climate change conference in Egypt next month, the UN chief told journalists in New York that the work ahead is “as immense as the climate impacts we are seeing around the world”. “At COP27, I will launch an action plan to provide early warning systems for all within five years,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He urged the governments, international financial institutions and civil society to support it. Read Bangladeshi youths join Global Climate Strike “We came out of Paris, COP21, with a historic agreement which set out a framework of what needs to be done, and then in Glasgow last year, an agreement on how to do it,” said Simon Stiell, the sixth Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or UN Climate Change. 2022 marks seven years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change - a landmark international treaty to tackle the climate crisis. The agreement calls for limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. To get there, the world needs to halve its carbon emissions by 2030. Read What can COP27 do for climate vulnerable countries?
V20, G7 reach agreement on financial protection against climate change loss
The Vulnerable 20 (V20) and Group of 7 (G7) will jointly launch the Global Shield Against Climate Risks at COP27 in a wider effort to accelerate pre-arranged financing at speed and scale. The Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers — from climate-vulnerable economies — and the G7 Presidency have announced they have reached an agreement on financial protection cooperation that responds to loss and damage as a contribution to the Paris Climate Treaty. V20 Chair Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister of the Republic of Ghana, and Svenja Schulze, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, from the G7 Presidency met in Washington DC to conclude the final details of the Global Shield, according to a joint media release received from Washington DC early Saturday. Read Dhaka calls for implementation of climate financing pledges ahead of COP27 The V20 membership stands at 58 economies representing some 1.5 billion people including Bangladesh. The Group of 7 (G7) consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA. The European Union also participates in G7 meetings. Germany took on the presidency of the Group of 7 from the United Kingdom on 1st January this year. The presidency lasts for one year. Read US, Egypt launch group to prepare for COP27 climate summit Ofori-Atta said they are pleased that the G7 Presidency of Germany has partnered with the V20 on the Global Shield Against Climate Risks. It is obvious that their socio-economic losses are compounding due to the increased severity and scale of climate-fuelled risks, said the Minister. V20’s debt service payments alone are half a trillion US dollars over the next four years, and on top of that, the Group is facing inflation and currency depreciation against the dollar. Read Civil Society calls for protecting climate vulnerable women and girls Pre-arranged funding and the efficient delivery of subsidies for insurance through the V20 Trust Fund is critical to ensure that we do not increase our debt burdens. It is important to recognize that we do not ask for charity. What we need is stronger economic cooperation through Climate Prosperity Plans between the developed world and the climate vulnerable countries of the world. "We need new investments enabled by protection instruments under the Global Shield to fortify our economies, supply chains and communities against these accelerating climate risks. I am pleased that Ghana is part of the pathfinder countries under the Global Shield and look forward to expedited action so we can scale up this intervention across the African continent and the rest of the developing world,” Ofori-Atta said. Read Cabinet sends back National Adaptation Plan on climate change for modification Schulze said climate change is already a dramatic reality and it is no longer a question of whether climate change-related loss and damage will happen, it is only how often it will occur – and how fierce and how expensive it is, and most importantly, who is affected most. "To stop the climate crisis from becoming worse, we need to drive global climate action with even greater commitment," said Schulze. "This includes that we must acknowledge that there is climate-related loss and damage and that the most vulnerable countries, in particular, need our solidarity in dealing with it," said the German Minister. Read Bangladeshi youths join Global Climate Strike "This is where we want to build bridges for the upcoming global climate conference in Egypt by putting forward concrete solutions. The world needs concrete action more than words in order to deal with loss and damage," Schulze said. Together with the most vulnerable developing countries, Schulze said, they have taken a big step in this regard. "The decision to build together a Global Shield against Climate Risks will offer millions of vulnerable and poor people financial and social protection after climate disasters.” Read UN experts alarmed by restrictions on civil society ahead of climate summit The Global Shield includes the following: Strengthened coordination within the global climate and disaster risk finance and insurance (CDRFI) architecture across G7, V20, and other climate-vulnerable economies to ensure coherence of different institutions’ and donors’ efforts at the global, regional and national levels. A global, flexible, and collaborative financing structure to mobilise and pool respective donor and other funds and enable a more systematic global approach to closing protection gaps. Sustained protection in the face of increasing climate risks by scaling up existing successful CDRFI programmes, including social protection schemes, and preparing country-specific, needs-based CDRFI support packages, including the scaling up of smart premium and capital support to address affordability barriers. Read CSOs demand Bangladesh put loss, damage finance on COP27 agenda Formed in 2015, the V20 Group of Finance Ministers is dedicated cooperation of economies systematically vulnerable to climate change. Currently chaired by the Republic of Ghana, V20 Group members are also states of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). The Global Shield builds on the InsuResilience Global Partnership which the V20 and G20 previously introduced with a goal of insuring 500 million people in climate-vulnerable countries by 2025. Read Climate Change: IOM DDG calls for redoubling efforts ahead of COP 27 The Global Shield Against Climate Risks at COP27 is a wider approach that encompasses an acceleration of these efforts including social protection schemes, with V20 and G7 members.