Adaptation, loss, damage key to COP26 goals

At the start of a crunch week for the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, government ministers will get down to the nitty gritty of trying to honor earlier promises to pay for climate-linked losses and damages and addressing questions of how best to help nations adapt to the effects of climate change.

There are just five days left at the Glasgow talks to cut deals needed to keep alive the possibility of capping global warming at 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels - the limit beyond which the world will be courting devastating climate impacts. Richer nations want to show they can come good on earlier pledges.

Developing countries may well be wary. At a U.N. climate summit 12 years ago in Copenhagen, rich nations promised to hand developing countries $100 billion a year by 2020 to help them adapt to climate change. The target was missed and at COP26, richer nations have said they will meet the goal in 2023 at the latest, with some hoping it could be delivered a year earlier.

Sven Harmeling, the international policy coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe, said on Monday (November 8) that 50 percent of the $100 billion should be put to adaptation. "It's currently around 20 percent, 25 percent only and the $100 billion aren't even met, so that's definitely a very big adaptation finance gap," he said. "Developed countries so far have been resisting a real discussion about where can additional and new loss and damage finance come from to repair some of the damages that countries and communities are facing."