Delegates from the world over agreed Sunday on the need that wealthier nations should provide loss and damage funding to the countries most affected by climate change.
The decision was reached on the closing day of the Conference of Parties United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) at the Egyptian resort of Sharm-El Sheikh.
The achievement was dubbed as historic and decisive after organizers postpone the closing meetings of the event, originally scheduled for last Friday when no conclusive deal had been reached.
COP27 President Sameh Shoukry, who is also Egypt's Foreign Minister, valued the work achieved in the last two weeks and celebrated that the results were a testimony of the collective will, as a community of nations, to express a clear message that resonates strongly today, here in this room and around the world.
Multilateral diplomacy continues to work... despite the difficulties and challenges of our time, the divergence of views, the level of ambition or apprehension, we remain committed to the fight against climate change... we rose to the occasion, assumed our responsibilities, and took the important and decisive political decisions that millions of people around the world expect of us, Shoukry added.
Pakistan's Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said COP27 responded to the voices of the vulnerable, the damaged, and the lost of the whole world.
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell considered that the historic outcome moves forward because it benefits the most vulnerable: We have determined the way forward in a decades-long conversation about financing loss and damage, deliberating on how to address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the worst impacts of climate change, Stiell explained.
COP27 maintained the decisions of previous meetings such as maintaining the goal of limiting global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, which according to the UN reinforces the action of countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change, in addition to boosting support for the financing, technology and capacity building needed by developing countries.
Regarding the creation of a specific fund for loss and damage, the UNFCCC highlighted the importance of the issue being added to the agenda and adopted for the first time at COP27.
The COP 27 dignitaries also agreed to establish a transition committee to make recommendations on how to arrange these matters ahead of next year's COP28 to be held in the United Arab Emirates. The first meeting of the transition committee is expected to take place before the end of March 2023.
The participants also agreed to launch the Santiago Loss and Damage Network to channel technical assistance to developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
However, COP27 fell short of getting developed countries to pledge up to US$ 100 billion annually in funding for the 2030 goals. In addition to that, leading climate negotiators such as France have said Sunday's agreement lacked ambition, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the talks had taken an important step towards justice.
Our planet is still in the emergency room, Guterres said. We need to drastically reduce emissions now and this is an issue this COP did not address.
European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said the EU was disappointed, adding that more than 80 nations had backed a stronger emissions pledge. What we have in front of us is not enough of a step forward for people and planet, he said.
While the final statement included language on renewable energy for the first time, it also referred to low-emissions energy, raising concern among some that it opened the door to the growing use of natural gas – a fossil fuel that leads to both carbon dioxide and methane emissions.