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Climate damage fund for poor nations approved at COP27


Negotiators early Sunday approved a historic deal that would create a compensation fund for poor countries that are victims of extreme weather made worse by rich countries’ carbon pollution, but a bigger deal overall has yet to be done due to the battle over emissions reduction efforts.

Discussions on the master deal were halted while delegates had time to read what they would vote on in addition to the compensation fund they approved to their own accolades.

Decided to set up a fund for what negotiators called losses and damages. It’s a big win for poorer countries, which have long called for cash – sometimes seen as compensation – because they are often victims of climate catastrophe despite closing contributes little to global warming pollution.

Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman, who often leads the way for the world’s poorest countries, said: “This is how our 30-year journey, we hope, has finally come to fruition. today”. A third of her country was submerged this summer by devastating floods, and she and other officials used the motto: “What happened in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan. .”

Maldives Environment Minister Aminath Shauna told The Associated Press on Saturday “that means for countries like us, we will have many solutions that we have advocated for.”

The ministers made the statement during the closing plenary session at COP27 early on Sunday morning. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)

It’s a reflection of what can be done when the poorest countries remain united, says Alex Scott, an expert on climate diplomacy at the E3G consultancy.

“I think it’s very important that governments come together to really figure out at least the first step of…how to deal with loss and damage,” said Scott. But like all climate finance, creating funds is one thing, and money flowing in and out is another, she said.

The developed world has yet to keep its 2009 pledge to spend $100 billion a year on other climate aid – designed to help poor nations develop green energy and adapt to future warming.

Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at the International Network for Climate Action, said the agreement “gives hope to vulnerable people that they will receive help to recover from it.” climate catastrophe and rebuilding lives”.

Egypt’s president, which was criticized by all sides, proposed a new loss and damage deal on Saturday afternoon and within hours an agreement was signed but the Norwegian negotiator said not Egyptians but nations working together.

Germany’s climate envoy Jennifer Morgan and Chile’s Environment Minister Maisa Rojas, who put the deal on the agenda and finished, hugged after it passed, posed for a photo together and said “yes, We made it!”

Under the agreement, the fund will initially attract contributions from developed countries and other private and public sources such as international financial institutions. While major emerging economies like China will not be required to contribute initially, that option remains on the table and will be negotiated in the coming years. This is a key claim by the European Union and the United States, who argue that China and other major polluters are now classified as developing countries with the financial viability and responsibility to pay under their way.

The fund is aimed primarily at the most vulnerable countries, although there will be room for middle-income countries severely damaged by climate disasters to receive aid.

‘We are extremely overtime’

Gloomy, bleary-eyed delegations began to fill the plenary hall at 4 a.m. local time on Sunday with no overarching decision.

Entering the final session, battles were drawn over India’s demand to change last year’s agreement that called for a gradual reduction of “undigested coal” to include a gradual reduction of oil and natural gas, two Other fossil fuels produce heat-trapping gases. While European and other countries continue to promote the language, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Nigeria have been adamant in not using it.

Norway’s Climate Change Minister Espen Barth Eide told the AP news agency: “We are overworked. Early this morning our spirits were very good. I think many people are more frustrated about the situation. lack of progress”. This, he said, makes it more difficult for fossil fuel emissions to remain and to maintain the agreed goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. at the climate summit in Glasgow last year.

Youth activists hold up signs encouraging world leaders to maintain policies that have limited warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times and compensate those who have lost their lives. loss and damage, at the United Nations Climate Summit COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Saturday. (Nariman El-Mofty/Press Association)

“Some of us are trying to say that we really have to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and that requires some action. For example, we have to reduce fuel use. fossil,” Eide said. “But there’s a very powerful fossil fuel lobbying group… trying to block any language that we make. So that’s pretty obvious.”

An official close to the negotiations said the United States, which has been reluctant in the past to talk about loss and damage, is “working to sign off”.

If a deal is accepted, it still needs to be passed in a unanimous decision on Sunday. But other parts of the deal, outlined in a package of proposals presented earlier in the day by the Egyptian negotiators, are still being discussed as negotiators work towards what they hope to achieve. Hope is their last meeting.

Members of the media were seen sleeping before the closing of the COP27 plenary session early Sunday morning. (Peter Dejong/The Associated Press)

Both developed and developing countries are very concerned about proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, known as mitigation. Officials said the language given by Egypt went against some of the commitments made in Glasgow to maintain a target of limiting global warming to 1.5C since pre-industrial times. The world has warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius since the mid-19th century.

Some of the Egyptian language on mitigation seems to go back to the 2015 Paris agreement, which was before scientists knew how important the 1.5 C threshold was and much of the talk about the 2 C goal. weaker, which is why scientists and Europeans fear going back, said climate scientist Maarten van Aalst of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center.

Ireland’s Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said: “We need to get an agreement on 1.5 degrees. We need strong words on mitigation and that’s what we will push.”

‘Hope for the vulnerable’

However, attention is focused around the compensation fund, which is also referred to as the equity issue.

VIEW | Youth speak out about climate issues at COP27:

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Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at the International Climate Action Network said: “The draft decision on loss and damage financing offers hope to vulnerable people that they will receive help to recover from the climate disaster and rebuild their lives.”

China’s chief negotiator would not comment on a possible deal. European negotiators have said they are ready to back the deal but declined to speak publicly until the entire package is passed.

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