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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT – The most vulnerable countries most irresponsible of their global warming emissions have been fighting for 30 years to force wealthy polluters to shell out cash for climate change damage.

Their final push took barely two weeks.

When the latest UN conference in Egypt began, the “loss and damage” caused by climate-induced disasters was not even officially discussed.

But a concerted effort among developing countries to make it the definitive issue of the conference has melted the resistance of wealthy polluters who have long feared unlimited liability, creating an unstoppable momentum as negotiations proceed. increased.

Finally, the decision to create a loss and damage fund was confirmed on Sunday morning after conflicting negotiations with countries wrapped up overnight over various issues over curbing global warming emissions. It was the first item.

Mohammed Adou, Executive Director of Power Shift Africa, said: “This just shows that this United Nations process can pay off, and that the world can recognize that the plight of vulnerable people should not be treated as political football.”

The loss and damage covers a wide range of climate impacts, from flash flooded bridges and homes, to the threat of extinction across cultures and island nations, to rising sea levels.

Observers say the failure of rich polluters to meet their funding promises to help curb emissions and help nations become more climate resilience means that loss and damage will increase as the planet warms. It is said to mean that it is inevitably increasing.

Event attribution science now allows us to measure how much global warming increases the likelihood or intensity of individual cyclone, heatwave, drought, or heavy rain events.

This year has been rife with climate-induced disasters, from devastating floods in Pakistan to severe drought threatening famine in Somalia, already suffering from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising food and energy costs. attacked the countries where

Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy at Climate Action Network International, said: “We all know things are getting out of our hands.

who pays?

The agreement was a strenuous balancing act between seemingly irreconcilable differences.

Meanwhile, the G-77 and China’s bloc of 134 developing countries called for the immediate creation of a fund at COP27, with operational details to be agreed later.

Wealthier countries, such as the United States and European Union member states, acknowledged that countries targeted by climate change disasters need funding, but backed a “mosaic” of financing arrangements.

They also wanted funds to be concentrated in the most climate-vulnerable countries and have a broader range of donors.

This is the code for countries such as China and Saudi Arabia that have become wealthier since being listed as developing countries in 1992.

After a last-minute wording dispute, the final loss and damage document called for the establishment of a fund as part of a broader financing arrangement for developing countries “particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.” Decided.

Other key issues remained vague or fell to the mandate of a new Transition Commission tasked with developing plans to implement decisions in the run-up to the 2023 UN Climate Summit in Dubai.

Ines Benomar, a researcher at think tank E3G, said the reference to expanding funding sources was “passably vague.”

But she said the debate is likely to resurface next year, especially over whether China, the world’s largest emitter, should maintain its “underdeveloped” status.

“The discussion has been postponed, but now it’s getting more attention,” she said.

Chinese envoy Xie Zhenhua told reporters on Saturday that the fund should be for all developing countries.

But he added: “Hopefully it will be offered to fragile states first.

“empty bucket”

Singh said other innovative sources of funding, such as fossil fuel extraction and air passenger taxation, could raise “hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Loss and damage pledges to date are insignificant compared to the scale of the damage.

This includes $50 million (S$68.75 million) from Austria, $13 million from Denmark and $8 million from Scotland.

About $200 million has also been pledged, mostly from Germany, to the Global Shield project launched by the G-7 and climate-vulnerable countries.

The World Bank estimates that Pakistan’s floods alone caused USD 30 billion in damage and economic losses.

According to a 2018 study, depending on how much the world reduces carbon pollution, losses and damages from climate change will cost developing countries between $29 billion and $580 billion by 2030, could reach $1 trillion to $1.8 trillion.

Adow said the damages fund is just the first step.

“What we have is an empty bucket,” he said.

“We need to fill it up so aid flows to the most affected people facing the climate crisis now.” – AFP World takes first step to make wealthy polluters pay for climate change damages, latest world news

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