During last year’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt, developing countries were able to provide the climate damage funding they have needed for decades. Today, the fund was given a formal green light by all countries, leading to a round of applause.
– Thanks for starting the meeting with this. This gives us a good feeling, said the representative of Egypt.
Long awaited by poor countries
Climate damage funding, or “loss and damage” as it’s called in negotiations, is a big win for vulnerable countries that need compensation for both sudden climate disasters and slower climate impacts like sea-level rise. It has been one of the most pressing issues in climate negotiations in recent years.
Promises of money
The United Arab Emirates is among the countries that have now pledged $100 million in new funding. Also, Germany pledged $100 million, Great Britain $60 million, the United States $17.5 million and Japan $10 million. Ahead of the meeting, only the European Union pledged a “substantial contribution” to the new fund. But these are still smaller amounts than what the fund is expected to need.
It will be difficult
Over the next two weeks, tough negotiations will take place over how the fund should work, which countries should contribute and which countries should receive the money. The decision states that all developing countries should have the right to grant aid, but focus on the most vulnerable.
The EU and many poorer countries are demanding that countries with high emissions and capacity, such as China and Saudi Arabia, pay into the fund, which they have so far resisted.
The climate damage fund will be administered by the World Bank for the next four years, something developing countries have criticized for fearing they could lose influence. The United States has been a major opponent of countries with large historical emissions. That would mean huge financial demands on the US.
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