Historic Compensation Agreement for Global Warming Vulnerable Countries

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Delegates applauded after the fund was approved

Egypt:

The UN climate summit COP27 on Sunday approved the creation of a special fund to cover the damage suffered by vulnerable countries from the effects of global warming.

The two-week talks have swung between fears that the process could collapse, to hopes of a major breakthrough in a climate “loss and damage” fund.

Delegates applauded after the fund was approved in the middle of the night after days of marathon negotiations over the proposal.

Collins Nzovu, Zambia’s Green Economy and Environment Minister, said he was “enthusiastic. Very excited.”

“This is a very positive result of 1.3 billion Africans,” he told AFP.

“Very exciting because for us success in Egypt would be based on what we get from loss and damage.”

However, the plenary has yet to approve a series of decisions and the final COP27 statement on a host of other controversial issues, including a call for a “rapid” reduction in emissions to meet the ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5. degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

The session was interrupted because Switzerland asked for more time to revise the text.

An informal coalition of “high ambition” countries called for strong language about cutting emissions, moving away from planet-warming fossil fuels and reaffirming the 1.5°C target.

The European Union even threatened to walk away on Saturday rather than make a “bad” decision.

Papua New Guinea adviser Kevin Conrad said late Saturday that the “usual suspects” were trying to remove all references to fossil fuels. In the past, Saudi Arabia in particular has tried to block such language.

The latest draft calls for “accelerating efforts to phase out unabated coal plants and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.

– ‘Historical’ deal –

Conversely, the loss and damage deal – which barely made it onto the negotiating agenda – gained critical momentum during the talks.

Developing countries pressed relentlessly for the fund during the summit, eventually succeeding in winning the backing of wealthy polluters who have long feared unlimited liability.

With warming of about 1.2°C so far, the world has seen a cascade of climate-induced extremes in recent months, which have put a spotlight on the plight of developing countries facing escalating disasters, as well as a energy and food price crisis and rising debt.

The World Bank estimated that devastating floods in Pakistan caused $30 billion in damage and economic loss this year.

Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said ahead of the fund’s approval that its creation would be “a historic reminder to vulnerable people around the world that they have a voice and that if they unite… we will actually can start breaking down barriers we thought were impossible”.

The fund will target developing countries “particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change” – language the EU had requested.

The EU demanded the wording to ensure that wealthier developing countries such as China, which has grown to become the world’s second largest economy, are not beneficiaries of the fund.

The Europeans also wanted a broad base of financiers to cough up money – code for China and other wealthy emerging countries.

The final decision text left many of the thornier issues for a transition committee, which will report to next year’s climate meeting in Dubai to get the funding up and running.

– ‘Keep 1.5C Alive’ –

Now it is about whether the top agrees on the final statement.

Scientists say limiting warming to 1.5°C is a much safer guardrail against catastrophic climate impacts as the world is currently way off track and moving towards about 2.5°C under current commitments and plans .

Earlier, Colombian Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said the climate talks are “viable” and need both a loss and damage fund and a commitment to 1.5C.

Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, warned that if not enough is done to reduce emissions and keep 1.5°C alive, “there is no money on this planet that will be able to which will occur due to natural disasters, etc. we are already seeing”.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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