Energy & Environment

UN climate summit releases draft of long-sought ‘loss and damage’ agreement

FILE- People walk through floodwaters after heavy rainfall in Hadeja, Nigeria, Monday, Sept 19, 2022. Officials in Nigeria say the death toll from this year’s flooding has now risen to 603. Authorities have called the floods the country’s worst in more than a decade, blaming the disaster on unusually heavy rainfall and the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam in neighboring Cameroon. (AP Photo, File)

A draft agreement for the international COP27 climate summit includes funds for “loss and damages,” a long-sought provision paying reparations to countries on the front lines of environmental disaster.

The draft, released Monday, must be agreed to by the nearly 200 nations attending the conference and will likely undergo major amendments if it survives that process at all.

Under the draft text, participating countries would begin a two-year implementation process and be ready to put a funding mechanism into action no later than COP29 in 2024.

The draft includes an option whereby a funding arrangement, which could involve a United Nations (U.N.) funding facility, is ready to be implemented by November 2024. Another option offered by the draft would consider a “mosaic” of funding arrangements, including the U.N.

The text does not include details that have often been major bones of contention in the loss and damages debate, including definitions of exactly what kind of damages would be covered or how much would be paid.

The nations at the greatest risk from climate change have long called for such a fund from developed and Western nations. Developed countries such as Canada, Denmark and Germany have signaled support for the idea before, but it has historically gotten nowhere at the COP summit, with wealthier nations unable to agree on their own liability for greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this year, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said the U.S. was open to loss and damages, saying American delegates are “100 percent ready” to discuss it.

Kerry was less committal on whether the U.S. or China would pay into such a fund, telling The Guardian over the weekend, “It’s not fully defined. … There are all kinds of different views on what it could be. No one can sign up to something on it, not yet. … We are not at the [financial] facility discussions yet.”

Tags Climate change climate reparations COP 27 John Kerry John Kerry loss and damages
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