Will developed nations pay compensation for climate damage? The issue that could make or break mass COP27 summit | Climate News

Egypt’s vast coral reef system, home to charismatic orange and white-striped clownfish, blue, purple and pink corals and extensive underwater structures, brings in $7bn (£6.15bn) a year in tourism – country more than any other in the world.

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If the planet warms by 2.5 degrees Celsius – as estimated – a tenth of Egypt’s coral will disappear, unable to cope with warmer oceans loaded with more carbon. The Global Ocean Panel Initiative predicts that about 40 percent of this revenue comes from the reef.

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Coral reefs simply cannot adapt to climate change, nor can the thousands of people who depend on them for food and work.

Fryeria rueppellii Red Sea, Egypt (Fryeria rueppellii) (Thomas Aichinger/VWPics via AP Images)
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Ferria roppelli in the Red Sea, Egypt. Photo: Thomas Aichinger/VWPics via AP


Meanwhile, as sea levels rise on northern Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, it kills cities like Alexandria and poisons the salt land in the fertile Nile Delta.

“A lot of people are losing their livelihoods there. It affects agriculture. It affects fishing and it affects infrastructure,” says Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, Egypt’s chief climate negotiator. are

Losses and damages that are beyond the scope of human adaptation carry enormous economic and social costs.

The question of compensation has long dogged the United Nations climate talks, but this year angry developing countries are hoping it will take center stage. At the upcoming UN climate talks COP27 in Egypt.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the case a “litmus test” of how seriously governments take the growing climate toll on the most vulnerable countries. Developing countries say there can be no success at COP27 without new and additional cash.

Destructive floods in Pakistan This summer, the debate about who should pay for climate catastrophe was reignited. The floods not only killed 1,700 people and uprooted another 33 million, but also caused $10bn (£8.54bn) in damage.

But Pakistan It has contributed little to the climate change fueling the disaster, and neither are most of the developing countries that suffer the most severe impacts.

“People are losing their homes. People are losing their livelihoods. Coastlines are sinking, islands are sinking and ultimately history is being destroyed,” campaigner Vanessa Knockte told Sky News.

An analysis of 173 countries by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) think tank found that the developing countries most at risk of such losses are Burundi, Somalia and Mozambique, which are among the world’s lowest emitters. are among the countries, while these countries are facing such losses. The least-risk developed countries were Luxembourg, Switzerland and Ireland.

Pakistani women wade through floodwaters as they seek shelter in Shikarpur district of Sindh province, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.  Photo: AP
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Pakistani women wade through floodwaters as they seek shelter in Shikarpur district of Sindh province, Pakistan, in September. Photo: AP

“Our contribution to climate change is negligible, yet we are the first and most affected by its effects,” said Madeleine Diouf Saar, head of climate change at Senegal’s Ministry of the Environment. adds to the challenges.”

For years, rich countries resisted recognizing the need for reparations.

Claire Shakiah from the IIED told reporters in October that the concerns “are very much wrapped up in what sets a precedent in terms of reparations, slavery is an important one for the United States.”

The concept of ‘finance’ for loss and damage

Ms Diouf Saar said that developed countries claim that countries can easily adapt to climate damages such as drought, sea level rise, floods etc.

“We adapt, but we are not fine,” added Ms Diouf Sarr, who chairs the negotiating group of 46 least-developed countries at COP27 this year. “It can no longer be ignored, and we are increasingly seeing a willingness to engage on this issue across the board.”

It is considered somewhat of a coup that the concept of “finance” for loss and damage is likely to be on the official agenda for the first time at the UN COP conference.

Before that, vague terms like “mechanism” or “facility” were all that was meant to get through the war on the agenda.

Climate damage ‘so severe, so real’ for many countries

Africa, small island states and fragile states have been pushing the issue for years.

The idea of ​​reparations gathered significant traction at COP26 in an agreement to establish a “dialogue” – hailed as a success but frustrating developing countries that want to deal with cash, not talks.

The leaders say they need “more time to talk and see what they can do. But a child who is starving in Turkana … there is no time for more dialogue,” Vanessa Nakte. said

And now the climate damage has become “so severe and so real for many countries that they recognize it’s a big problem and there’s more openness to talk about compensation,” Ms. Shakia said. said

This year, Europe has suffered its worst wildfires on record amid a brutal drought, with some crops in England expected to fail in half after record heat.

Nearly 600 people have died in floods in Nigeria, and Hurricane Ian has destroyed citrus and melon crops, vegetables and livestock in Florida, costing $1.5bn (£1.3bn).

This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region SDIS 33, (SDIS 33) (Department of Fire and Rescue Service 33) shows firefighters as they battle a fire Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in southwestern France. Fires are being tackled near Saint-Magny, south of Bordeaux.  (SDIS 33) via AP)
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A major drought fueled record wildfires in Europe. Photo: SDIS 33 via AP
Sunflower fields are completely dry in Kochresbourg, near Strasbourg, eastern France, on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022.  Parts of the European Union could face another three months of hot and dry conditions as Europe faces a major drought that has fueled wildfires.  The Earth Observation Program of the 27-nation bloc warned in a report about rivers and damaged crops.  Photo: AP
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The drought also caused crop failure – sunflowers are wilting in France. Photo: AP

In September, Denmark became the first country to pledge adequate compensation for climate damage, committing 100 million Danish kroner (£11.7m).

This figure is not even a drop in the ocean of what is needed, but it does break a taboo about recognizing the need for financial compensation for rich countries.

Pakistan, still grappling with climate change at home, also chairs the powerful Group of 77 (G77) this year, meaning the bloc will take a strong position.

And developing countries hope that Egypt’s hosting of the COP will also help advance the debate. Egypt certainly thinks it can.

“I think we will be able to provide funding avenues… which should be decided within a very limited timeframe,” Ambassador Nasr said.

‘The whole government in question’

But the challenge isn’t just explaining the loss and loss of funding, it’s how. Should it be provided through the COP process, multilateral development banks, or a new initiative, and is it financed in the form of taxes, windfall profits, or insurance or loans?

The cold hard truth is that the slower rich countries are to reduce their emissions – and they are already far behind – the worse the climate damage will be, and the greater the demands for compensation, including from their own citizens. Will be high.

COP negotiations rely on international cooperation and trust, and countries must bring something to the table if they expect others to do the same.

Rich countries have already lost their pledge to give developing countries $100 billion a year by 2020 to help them reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

But that money is crucial to speeding up the wheels of negotiations and encouraging, or even enabling, developing countries to take climate action. They are told to jump the frog on their industrial revolution opportunity, because the Global North is already polluted with them. It requires money.

“Finance has always played a role in building trust,” added Mr Nasr.

“If we lose in finance delivery, this entire government will be in question.”

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