At the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which ended on Sunday, it was decided to develop a mechanism for paying vulnerable nations for 'loss and damage' resulting from climate-induced disasters. There was no other substantial breakthrough, and although environmentalists are upset, politicians claim to have struck a realistic compromise.
What exactly was agreed upon at the United Nations climate conference this Sunday, is still not clear. Estonian politicians and environmentalists have yet to fully digest the documents signed at the conference. Some agreements are also open, such as how the climate compensation fund will operate and who will make what contribution.
"There was an attempt to convey a message that strikes a balance between developing and more prosperous nations, such as those in Europe. Coming out empty-handed, with nothing to say to the public, would have been the worst possible outcome for the conference's promoters and organizers. These negotiations and discussions, I believe, were complicated, but they did try to reach a compromise in the end," Andres Metsoja (Isamaa), chair of the Riigikogu Environment Committee, said.
Former Minister of the Environment Tõnis Mölder (Center) was satisfied with the outcome of the conference.
"The main takeaway from the meeting is that a climate damage fund has been established. This agreement was reached. It's a significant achievement in my opinion, and it's clear that several countries have begun to reconsider their climate policies," Mölder said.
For example, Mölder said that the United States was more in accord with Europe than in the past.
"There is still a lack of attention to this issue in China and Asia, where the [climate-related] challenges are severe. In my opinion, the only option is to keep engaging China with the same ideas and offers year after year," the center-right MEP said.
Former Environmental Minister Rain Epner (EKRE) was more critical. Although the United States made a U-turn by agreeing to establish the fund, Epner said that he is skeptical the new course will be followed.
"Unless and until a major scientific breakthrough that fundamentally changes the way energy works, these statements about how we should consume, conserve and transfer energy will be merely declarative in nature," Epler said.
So a modest pragmatic compromise is probably the best course of action, he added.
"It would have made more sense, if there had beed agreed-upon timeframes for closing something down, for stopping something, etc. We have already seen how easily these [agreements] can fail and become absurd," he continued.
While Epler was skeptical of the fund's chances of success, he said that Estonia could benefit from collaboration with larger nations, as long as Estonia's contribution is modest.
As the world's attention is elsewhere - on the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis - according to these politicians, no big new agreements were expected from the summit.
Editor: Kristina Kersa