Rich nations want to delay loss and damage aid pledge for two years in blow for Cop27 pact

Rich nations want to delay making commitments to a fund for climate compensation for another two years in what would be a blow for those hoping it would be agreed upon in the final Cop27 pact.

The first draft text revealing the status of the negotiations at the summit in Sharm el-Shiekh, Egypt, was published by the United Nations on Monday and sets out a clear divide between rich and poor countries over a proposed loss and damage fund.

The document is the first indication of what the 197 countries that are part of the summit will agree to, and sets out the core political goals and targets from the meeting.

A central issue of Cop27 has been a proposed loss and damage fund after the issue was included on the agenda for the first time after almost two decades of demands from poorer countries.

However, the draft agreement shows disagreement among the parties over the creation of the new fund.

The draft text outlines several options for financially supporting developing countries hit by climate-fuelled disasters. One of those options is to set up a new financing facility – a key demand by developing countries – and have it operational in time for Cop29 in 2024.

Another scenario is for talks over a potential new fund to continue over the next two years.

A source close to the negotiations told The Independent on Monday that developing countries “are pushing hard” for the new financing facility to be committed to and set up through the final Cop27 pact.

But rich nations, which agreed to discuss loss and damage for the first time at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, want negotiations to continue for the next two years.

Developing and vulnerable countries are insisting on a clear timeline for progress on a loss and damage fund over fears rich nations will continue to stall progress.

The inclusion of a loss and damage fund as an agenda item at the beginning of the conference was hailed as a move towards addressing climate injustice faced by vulnerable communities.

Poorer countries, largely in the Global South, are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis despite having relatively small carbon footprints, due to burning of fossil fuels by developed nations.

However, activists say that merely agreeing to the need for such a fund should not be seen as a success for the summit and that a clear timeline and commitment from rich countries to pay for the fund is needed.

The first draft text will now be debated before negotiators agree on the final “Sharm” pact at the end of the summit.

This story was published with the support of Climate Tracker’s Cop27 Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship