- BBC News World
With the establishment of a historic fund to repair damages, nearly 200 countries reached an agreement on Sunday to help the nations hardest hit by the catastrophic consequences of climate change.
After more than two weeks of intense negotiations, participants at the United Nations Climate Summit in Egypt, COP27, have reached a commitment to finance a new fund to compensate for climate change. “loss and damage” Due to natural disasters in developing countries are “particularly vulnerable”.
The agreement, of which many details remain to be worked out, supports the so-called “mosaic solution” requested by the EU’s negotiating bloc, among others, which calls for resorting to new financial tools to help pay compensation after extreme events. related to the climate crisis.
The debate over economic compensation for losses and damages has been the big topic put off at climate summits since the 1990s.
But given the rapid increase in extreme weather events and pressure from the least developed countries, which are the least polluting, this time the issue was at the center of the agenda.
At the start of the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, it seemed almost impossible to reach an agreement for fear that the compensation system would open the door to potential multimillion-dollar claims in the future.
However, for the first time in history an agreement was reached on this matter.
Who are “particularly at risk”?
The fund will provide “predictable and adequate” financing to “particularly vulnerable developing countries,” according to the text agreed upon at the meeting.
However, the statement It does not specify which countries will benefit from the fundNor are the details of the financing mechanism the same as the central points that will be determined in the upcoming meetings.
A transition committee of 24 countries, including three from Latin America and the Caribbean, will detail the operation and financing of this initiative for a year, with a view to its adoption at COP 28 at the end of 2023.
Funding will fall mainly on rich countries, those that have contributed the most to global warming, but one of the modalities of action agreed this Sunday calls for “expanding sources of financing,” which would leave an open field for countries like China. Participation as donors, a requirement expressed by the European Union and Canada, among others.
The COP27 agreement also calls for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to provide “financing solutions”. However, it does not mention the possibility of external debt forgiveness, for example, as a relief measure.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the summit was an “important step towards justice,” but on the compensation fund, he issued a key caveat: “Obviously this will not be enough, but it is a much-needed political signal to rebuild the broken trust.”
It reduces polluting emissions
Regardless of the creation of the fund, the European Union has expressed its willingness to make a greater commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with a goal Chinaa country that is currently the world’s largest emitter, responsible for nearly 30% of the total.
This controversy was one of the things that most delayed the conclusion of the summit, which was supposed to officially conclude on Friday.
Ultimately, the EU failed to win acceptance of its demands for increased emissions-cutting targets, leaving a bitter taste among those who push the argument.
Despite the historic financial compensation deal for the poorest countries, the summit “did not increase ambition to tackle the root cause of climate change: the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming our planet,” said Justin Rowlatt, BBC climate editor.
Indeed, he added, since COP27, by introducing a new category of “low-emissions” energy, “many believe they have reneged on what was agreed upon at the last United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.” This means that what could have been a victory for Egypt It will probably end up being doomedRowlatt argued.
At an agreement in Paris in 2015, countries pledged to try to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. And for this summit, they were expected to develop more ambitious plans to reduce emissions, including reducing the use of fossil fuels, which has not happened.
Currently, many countries have individually committed to reaching “net zero” by 2050. This means reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and offsetting the remaining emissions by removing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.
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