At the UN’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt, delegates decided to discuss whether rich nations ought to pay poor nations who are most vulnerable to climate change for their suffering.
Thousands of people have died, millions have been displaced, and billions have been damaged globally as a result of climate-related disasters just in the last few months.
Unprecedented heatwaves burned three continents, droughts grew worse in Africa and the western United States, cyclones whipped the Caribbean, and massive floods decimated large portions of Pakistan and Nigeria.
According to COP27 President Sameh Shoukry, “this creates for the first time an institutionally stable space on the formal agenda of COP and the Paris Agreement to discuss the pressing issue of funding arrangements needed to cope with existing gaps, responding to loss and damage.”
As world leaders arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Sunday for the discussions planned to last until November 18, the item was added to the agenda.
The loss and damage subsidies provided by wealthy nations to vulnerable lower-income countries that have little responsibility for climate-warming emissions are likely to cause much of the tension at COP27.
High-income nations opposed a proposal for a loss and damage financing body at COP26 in Glasgow last year, in favour of a new three-year dialogue for funding discussions.
No liability or legally enforceable compensation will be discussed at the present loss and damage discussions at COP27, but they are meant to end in a decision “no later than 2024,” according to Shoukry.
The fact that this agenda was included, he continued, “reflects a sense of solidarity with the victims of climate disasters.”