At the UN’s COP27 summit, a historic agreement was reached that will see affluent countries compensate poorer countries for damage and economic losses caused by climate change.
It brings an end to nearly 30 years of waiting for nations experiencing massive climate impacts.
However, wealthy countries are dissatisfied with the progress made in reducing the use of fossil fuels.
This year’s negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, were on the verge of collapse and ran over by two days.
The historic agreement on the “loss and damage fund” was welcomed with lukewarm applause in the early hours of Sunday, after a confused and frequently turbulent 48 hours had left delegates fatigued.
It is, however, a significant symbolic and political message from affluent nations that have long opposed a fund to address climate consequences such as flooding and drought.
The conference kicked off two weeks ago with strong remarks from vulnerable countries. “We will not give up… the alternative is a watery grave,” Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis declared.
On Sunday, Pakistan’s climate minister, Sherry Rehman, who negotiated the accord on behalf of the group of developing countries plus China, told journalists she was extremely pleased with the outcome.
The terrible floods in at-risk Pakistan this summer, which killed over 1,700 people and caused $40 billion in damage, have provided a compelling background for this conference.
Molwyn Joseph, the environment minister of Antigua and Barbuda and the leader of the Alliance of Small Island States, said on Sunday that the agreement was a “victory for the entire globe” and “restored worldwide faith in this crucial process dedicated to ensuring no one is left behind.”
However, governments and groups such as the United Kingdom, the European Union, and New Zealand departed Egypt dissatisfied with compromises on fossil fuels and climate change mitigation.