After late-night deliberations, delegates at the COP27 climate meeting in Egypt agreed to put the difficult question of whether affluent countries should compensate poor countries most susceptible to climate change on the formal agenda for the first time.
For more than a decade, wealthier countries have resisted public discussions on what is known as loss and damage, or monies provided to assist poor countries in dealing with the effects of global warming.
COP27 President Sameh Shoukry told the plenary that kicks off this year’s two-week United Nations conference, which is attended by more than 190 countries, that the decision created ‘an institutionally stable space’ for discussion of ‘the important problem of financial arrangements.’
High-income countries defeated a proposal for a loss and damage financing agency at COP26 last year in Glasgow, instead backing a three-year dialogue for funding negotiations.
The loss and damage discussions presently on the COP27 agenda will not promise compensation or necessarily accept liability, but will aim to reach a conclusion ‘no later than 2024,’ according to Shoukry.