Countries at the United Nations COP27 climate conference in Egypt have made a final agreement that will establish a fund to help poor countries deal with the climate crisis caused by global warming.
Following negotiations that have been going on all night, the Egyptian president released the document of the agreement at the beginning of Sunday and called a meeting to implement the document as the final agreement of the UN conference.
The conference approved a document to establish a “loss and damage” fund to help developing countries deal with climate-related disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
However, many of the most controversial issues regarding the fund were pushed to the talks that will take place next year, where the “transition committee” will make recommendations for countries to participate in the COP28 meeting in November 2023.
The guidelines will involve “identifying and expanding sources of funding”, which refers to the vexing question of which countries should pay into the new “waste and damage” fund.
However, the establishment of the fund is a great success for poor countries that have been calling for compensation because they are often affected by climate change – such as floods, droughts, heat waves, famines and storms – although it has not helped much. pollution that is warming the earth.
“These lost and damaged funds will help poor families whose homes have been destroyed, farmers whose fields have been destroyed, and islanders who have been evicted from their ancestral homes,” said Ani Dasgupta, president of the environmental group World Resources Institute, minutes later. . the morning’s approval was announced.
Calls from developing countries for such a fund have dominated the two-week conference, with talks likely to continue at their conclusion on Friday.
“This is how our 30-year journey, we hope, has paid off today,” Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said.
A third of their country was submerged this summer by floods and he and other officials used the slogan: “What happened in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan.”
Collins Nzovu, Zambia’s minister of green economy and environment, said he was “happy, very happy”.
“It’s very exciting because for us, winning in Egypt would have been based on our losses and losses,” he said.
“This positive outcome of COP27 is an important step in rebuilding trust with vulnerable countries.”
According to the agreement, the fund began to use funds from developed countries and other private and public organizations such as international financial institutions.
Although developing countries such as China would not be required to contribute, the decision still exists and will be debated for years to come.
This is important to the European Union and the United States, which argue that China and other major polluters who are currently classified as developing countries have the economic power and responsibility to contribute their share.
The fund will focus on the most vulnerable countries, although there may be room for middle-income countries most affected by climate disasters to receive assistance.
Experts say the establishment of the fund is a reflection of what can happen when poor countries remain united.
“I think this is a very good way for governments to come together to implement the first step of … how to deal with the problem of loss and damage,” said Alex Scott, a climate policy expert at think-tank E3G.
But, like all climate funds, it’s one thing to build a fund and another to keep money flowing in and out, he said.
Developed countries have yet to keep their 2009 pledge to spend $100bn a year in additional climate aid – designed to help poor countries build green energy and adapt to future warming.
“In many ways, we’re talking about reparations,” said University of Maryland health and justice professor Sacoby Wilson.
“It’s a word that deserves to be used,” he said, because the rich countries of the north have received the benefits of fossil fuels, while the poor countries of the global south are suffering from climate change.