Climate ‘loss and damage’ talks end in failure


The failure

The failure “is a clear indication of the deep chasm between rich and poor nations,” said Harjeet Singh of the Climate Action Network.

A crucial meeting on climate “loss and damage” ahead of COP28 ended in failure on Saturday, with countries in the global north and south unable to reach an agreement, according to sources involved in the talks.

The agreement to establish a dedicated fund to help vulnerable countries cope with climate “loss and damage” was a signature achievement of last year’s COP27 talks in Egypt.

But countries left the details to be worked out later.

A series of talks this year have tried to reach consensus on key issues such as structure, beneficiaries and contributors, a key issue for richer nations that want China to contribute to the fund.

A transitional committee on establishing the fund met Friday night and into Saturday in Aswan, southern Egypt.

But delegates failed to reach an agreement and deferred the decision to another meeting scheduled for Nov. 3-5 in the United Arab Emirates, according to a webcast of the debate on the United Nations’ official YouTube channel.

Before the collapse, the discussion hit a roadblock over where the funds should be kept.

There was division over whether it would be administered by the World Bank, accused of being in the hands of the West, or in a new independent structure, demanded by many developing nations, but which would be time-consuming and complex to replenish with new funds.

The failure “is a clear indication of the deep chasm between rich and poor nations,” Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International, told AFP on Saturday.

“Developed countries must be held accountable for their brazen attempts to pressure the World Bank as host of the fund, their refusal to discuss the necessary scale of financing, and their blatant disregard for their responsibilities” under the terms of already established international climate agreements. , he said.

Rachel Cleetus of the Union of Concerned Scientists said “today’s disappointing result is a blow to communities… facing a relentless onslaught of climate impacts.”

“United States and others seem more focused on evading or minimizing their responsibility than on engaging in good faith negotiations,” he added.

© 2023 AFP

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