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COP27 highlights In historic move, nations agree to pay to help vulnerable countries with climate disasters

Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, bangs the gavel during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Developed nations agreed early Sunday to help developing countries pay for the catastrophic consequences of climate change — a historic agreement reached after weeks of fraught negotiations that went into overtime at this year’s U.N. climate conference in Egypt.

The conference hall of weary diplomats broke out in muted applause after COP27 President Sameh Shoukry sealed the deal with a strike of his gavel. Still, the crucial questions of which countries must provide financing for the fund and which will be eligible to benefit from it have been left to future negotiations.

As daybreak approached, nations adopted an overarching cover decision that does little to push the world toward more ambitious climate action. Despite growing calls for the text to include language on the need to phase out all polluting fossil fuels, it only reiterates language from last year’s pact calling for a “phase down of unabated coal.”

Here’s what to know

  • Negotiators reached a deal on a “loss and damage fund” that represented a significant shift for U.S. leaders, who have long feared such payments could make the nation liable for huge sums, given its historical contribution to emissions.
  • The European Union’s Frans Timmermans expressed disappointment with the conference outcome, saying “the world will not thank us” when there are only excuses for why nations did not agree to move more boldly to slow global warming.
  • Shoukry said the deal before delegates represents “the highest ambition that can be reached at this time.” He urged attendees to consider the agreement “a gateway” to more substantive actions that must take place over time.
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Here's what to know:

Negotiators reached a deal on a “loss and damage fund” that represented a significant shift for U.S. leaders, who have long feared such payments could make the nation liable for huge sums, given its historical contribution to emissions.
The European Union’s Frans Timmermans expressed disappointment with the conference outcome, saying “the world will not thank us” when there are only excuses for why nations did not agree to move more boldly to slow global warming.
Shoukry said the deal before delegates represents “the highest ambition that can be reached at this time.” He urged attendees to consider the agreement “a gateway” to more substantive actions that must take place over time.

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