Ursula von der Leyen: northern countries must follow EU and pledge funding to global south

Addressing the COP27 climate summit on Tuesday, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen urged countries in the global north to follow the EU’s example in pledging climate financing to the global south.

World leaders have been gathering this week in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt at the UN climate conference to agree on concrete action to combat extreme weather and rising temperatures.

"The global south has the resources in abundance, let’s team up," von der Leyen said.

“That is why European Union is signing new hydrogen partnerships with Egypt, Namibia and Kazakhstan. That is why are supporting partners such as Vietnam and South Africa to decarbonise their economies.

“We need to reach the Paris goal, and Europe is staying the course. We will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030."

Loss and damage is one of the key areas that climate activists are calling for world leaders to address.

It refers to the most devastating impacts of extreme weather, which can destroy a country’s physical infrastructure and tear apart its social fabric.

Rachel Simon, a climate and development policy expert at the Climate Action Network Europe told Euronews that activists have been highlighting the issue, which affects developing countries for “over 30 years”.

“Finally we have this moment at COP27 whereby parties can choose to take action to support frontline communities and address the losses and damages they're experiencing, or they can kick the can down the road and delay action even further,” she said.