Before the end of COP27, debates on the question of financing the consequences of the climate crisis remain tense

That’s the term we hear in all the corridors of the conference center, in the negotiation rooms as well as in the press conferences. And the one who risks bogging down COP27. The burning issue of “loss and damage”, this irreversible damage caused by the climate crisis, remained the stumbling block of the world climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt), a few hours before its official conclusion, which took place on Friday 18th April.

On Thursday, developing countries wanted to present a united front on the issue, summarizing inequalities in the face of global warming. The southern states are most affected by the effects of hurricanes, droughts or rising sea levels, although they have contributed the least to global warming. During a joint press conference, they again called for the creation of a specific financing mechanism for “Loss and Damage”, recalling that this should take place at this conference and not later. “To delay climate justice is to deny climate justice”warned Sherry Rehman, the Pakistani climate minister, whose country chairs the powerful G77 + China negotiating group, which represents 134 countries, or 80% of humanity.

“The most vulnerable countries, responsible for a tiny fraction of greenhouse gas emissions, do not have the resources to recover from the climate catastrophes that are hitting them and hampering their development. We can’t let them down”explains Madeleine Diouf Sarr, head of the climate department at the Senegalese Ministry of the Environment and President of the Group of Least Developed Countries, which represents 46 countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, etc.). “It’s up to the countries that have polluted the environment to pay”, for his part defended Molwyn Joseph, environment minister of the Caribbean island of Antigua and Barbuda. A “moral obligation”more than solidarity.

turning point of the European Union

For thirty years, the rich countries historically responsible for climate change have consistently blocked this request for financial assistance, fearing it will lead to lawsuits and broader claims for compensation. The COP26 in Glasgow in 2021 had simply decided to have a two-year ‘dialogue’ on the subject. But after a summer of climate-related disasters, most notably devastating Pakistan, the debate is now inevitable, and developing countries have, for the first time, managed to get “loss and damage” on the official agenda of climate negotiations.

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