After putting off discussing the matter for years, the COP27 United Nations climate summit has come to a provisional agreement for a “loss and damage” fund for countries facing the most severe effects of climate change, The Hill reported.
The draft paper would not become official until the more than 200 participating countries in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, ratified a larger COP27 agreement. Nevertheless, it represents a significant change from earlier years, when the wealthy countries that would fund such an effort refused to consider the issue.
The proposed fund is detailed in the draft document and would be accessible to any developing country that is especially susceptible to the severe consequences of climate change.
The initial agreement is a significant step forward for developing countries that have tried very hard to have their voices heard on the global arena on climate concerns, even though the paper is short on details about the financial architecture and logistics of the fund.
The establishment of such a fund, which would utilize funds from wealthier, developed nations to pay for irreparable losses brought on by the consequences of climate change, has long been demanded by countries in the global south and those on low-lying islands.
John Kerry, the country’s climate envoy, stated earlier this year that although the United States has long been in the vanguard of resistance to the proposal, the country was open to it. Delegates from the European Union (EU) released a proposal late last week that Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans referred to as the EU’s “final offer.”
Any agreement, according to Timmermans, would be contingent on a revised definition of a “developing” country. According to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, China, which is now the world’s top emitter, is considered a developing nation.
Lead Guinean negotiator Alpha Kaloga called the accord, which came about after “30 years of patience,” a “unique moment” on Twitter.
A number of other sensitive topics are on the table as the conference’s deliberations stretch into overtime, including a phasedown of unabated fossil fuel development sponsored by India, which the EU has backed but which countries like Saudi Arabia are expected to resist.