New global climate deal reached at conference in Egypt

Climate reparations, or “loss and damage” financing, is a highly contentious and emotional issue that is considered a core issue of climate justice.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Government ministers and negotiators from nearly 200 countries finally reached an agreement on Sunday to create a new fund to compensate poor countries for the ‘loss and damage’ they suffer from extreme weather conditions worsened by climate change. climatic.

The agreement, reached in the early hours of Sunday morning, also reaffirmed efforts to limit global temperature rise to the crucial temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The two-week COP27 climate summit took place in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh amid growing extreme weather, geopolitical conflict and a deepening energy crisis. .

Delegates struggled to reach consensus on a range of issues, even as a slew of UN reports released ahead of the conference made it clear how close the planet is to irreversible climate breakdown. .

The extent of the divide between climate envoys has seen talks continue beyond Friday’s deadline, with campaigners accusing the United States of playing a “deeply obstructive” role in blocking demands from countries in development.

Some of the main sticking points included battles over whether all fossil fuels or just coal should be named in the text of the decision and whether to create the “loss and damage” fund for countries affected by disasters fueled by by the climate.

The highly contentious and emotive issue of loss and damage dominated the UN-brokered talks and many felt that the success of the conference depended on rich countries securing agreement to create a new fund.

The summit made history as the first to see the topic of loss and damage financing officially on the COP27 agenda. The issue was first raised by climate-vulnerable countries 30 years ago.

Raising hopes of a breakthrough on loss and damage afterwards, the European Union said on Thursday evening that it would be ready to support the request of the G-77 group of 134 developing countries to create a new repair.

The proposal was welcomed by some countries in the South, although campaigners called the offer a “poison pill”, as the bloc said it was only willing to provide aid to “countries the most vulnerable”.

Rich countries have long opposed the creation of a fund to deal with loss and damage, and many policymakers fear that accepting responsibility could trigger a wave of lawsuits from countries on the frontlines of the crisis. the climate emergency.

The final deal was reached after tense negotiations throughout the night, with many delegates exhausted by the time the deal was announced around 4am. local hour.

There has been some disappointment with the lack of emphasis on raising emission reduction targets, and there are many details of the loss and damage fund that still need to be ironed out, including the issue difficult to know which countries will contribute to the fund. .

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