A coalition of countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties, also known as COP27, reached a tentative agreement on a “loss and damage” fund to assist countries vulnerable to climate change.
Although not official until ratified by participating nations and light on details, the measure marks a potential breakthrough in negotiations between wealthy and poorer nations seeking to forestall the ramifications of climate change as the COP27 summit in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, barrels into overtime.
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“30 years of patience. The day has arrived. It is done. YES a new Fund for responding Loss and Damage in developing countries. … This is a unique moment a win for all citizens of the world. Head of Delegation have agreed,” Alpha Kaloga, a negotiator for Guinea, tweeted.
For nearly two weeks, the delegation from the European Union had refused to placate demands for the fund, but reversed course Friday, the Guardian reported. Despite the United States having historically been opposed to similar proposals in the past, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, who recently contracted COVID-19, has signaled openness to the plan.
Under the draft text, the fund would be open to developing nations “that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.” Additional specifics about logistics surrounding the fund have not yet been worked out.
The EU delegation reached a tentative agreement with some 134 developing countries on the proposal. One obstacle for the EU was the definition of a “developing” country. China is classified as a developing country under a 1992 framework for combating climate change, the Hill reported.
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Other fraught matters, such as a phasedown of certain types of fossil fuel development, reportedly remain open for negotiators to work through, given the likely opposition from countries such as Saudi Arabia, per the Hill.
The COP27 was initially slated to be held from Nov. 6 to Nov. 18, but it has gone into overtime as delegations continue to work through issues.