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UN climate summit adopts ‘loss and damage’ fund – Newsalertlive

UN climate summit adopts ‘loss and damage’ fund

November 20, 2022

The UN’s COP27 climate summit approved on Sunday the creation of a special fund to cover the losses suffered by vulnerable nations hit by the impact of global warming.

Delegates applauded after the “loss and damage” fund was approved by consensus following two weeks of contentious negotiations over demands by developing nations for rich polluters to compensate them for the destruction from weather extremes.

The “loss and damage” inflicted by climate-induced disasters was not even officially up for discussion when UN talks in Egypt began.

But a concerted effort among developing countries to make it the defining issue of the conference melted the resistance of wealthy polluters long fearful of open-ended liability and gathered unstoppable momentum as the talks progressed.

“At the beginning of these talks loss and damage was not even on the agenda and now we are making history, said Mohamed Adow, executive director of Power Shift Africa.

“It just shows that this UN process can achieve results, and that the world can recognise the plight of the vulnerable must not be treated as a political football.”

Loss and damage covers a broad sweep of climate impacts, from bridges and homes washed away in flash flooding, to the threatened disappearance of cultures and whole islands to the creeping rise of sea levels.

This year an onslaught of climate-induced disasters — from catastrophic floods in Pakistan to severe drought threatening famine in Somalia — sharpened focus on disaster-hit countries, which were already struggling with soaring inflation and mounting debts.

‘An important first step’

Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman was quick to take to Twitter after the announcement, saying that it had been a “long 30-year journey from demand to formation of the loss and damage fund for 134 countries”.

“We welcome today’s announcement and joint text hammered out through many nights. It’s an important first step in reaffirming the core principles of #climatejustice.”

She went on to say that now that the fund had been established, Pakistan looked forward “to it being operationalised, to actually become a robust body that is able to answer with agility to the needs of the vulnerable, the fragile and those on the frontline of climate disasters”.

“The announcement offers hope to vulnerable communities all over the world who are fighting for their survival from climate stress,” she said.

Rehman also specially thanked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for “checking in daily after they left Sharm El Sheikh to see where they needed to intervene to help the negotiations”.

“Such solid support kept many of us going just when we thought it’s touch and go,” she said.

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