COP27 ends historic agreement to help most vulnerable countries

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COP27 ended, early this Sunday morning (20), with a historic, but incomplete, agreement.

After almost 30 years of discussions, the richest countries have agreed to create a fund to help the most vulnerable nations recover from the damage already caused by climate change.

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However, the working details of the fund have not been defined. The COP27 delegates decided to create a special temporary committee to propose the operating rules.

The committee will have a year to work and intends to present new proposals at COP28, which will take place at the end of 2023 in the United Arab Emirates. It is necessary to define fundamental parts, such as which countries should contribute financially to it and which nations will be able to benefit from the resources.

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The creation of the fund was a historical demand from developing countries, but the initiative had been constantly blocked by the United States and the European Union.

Rich countries feared that the creation of the fund could generate more financial and legal liabilities for them.

Because these countries have historically emitted much more greenhouse gases, they are the biggest contributors to climate change. But these nations claim they cannot be legally held responsible for paying compensation to the worst-affected countries — and that they have contributed much less to the climate crisis.

The negotiations to arrive at the creation of the fund were tough, difficult and prolonged.

COP27 was supposed to end on Friday, but it had to be extended so that the 197 countries present could reach a consensus.

A previous proposal, presented by the European Union, suggested that not only rich countries but also large developing nations – such as China, India and Brazil – should contribute financially to the fund.

This proposal fell and was replaced by the commitment to create a fund, without further details on how it will work. But, under pressure from the US and Europeans, the approved proposal also explicitly says that no country should be forced to pay “compensations” to others for climate effects.

In the temporary committee negotiations, the Americans and Europeans are likely to continue to insist on relying on contributions from developing nations. But they must face stiff resistance.

COP27 achieved little progress in other areas. One of its biggest failures was to leave out of the agreement tougher measures to curb the use of fossil fuels.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has acknowledged the problem. “We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and this is an issue this COP has not addressed. A damages fund is essential – but it is not an answer if the climate crisis wipes a small island state off the map – or turns an entire African country into a desert,” he said at the end of the last COP27 plenary.

Negotiators from developing countries, including Brazil, also complained about the “lack of transparency” about the final text —especially in relation to proposals for adapting to climate change.

According to them, the adaptation text – which had already been approved by most countries – was changed without prior consultation in the final stretch. The text would favor developed countries and harm developing nations, according to the analysis of these negotiators.

But the worst problem is that every world leader who has passed through Sharm el-Sheikh in the last two weeks has said that the planet is on the verge of a climate disaster and that there is no time to lose.

After two weeks of negotiations, what COP27 actually decided was to lose another year to define the rules of an important fund for many nations.

Source: CNN Brasil

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