PARIS: A key meeting on climate “loss and damage” ahead of COP28 ended in failure on Saturday, with countries from the global north and south unable to reach an agreement, according to sources involved in the talks.
Agreement to create a dedicated fund to help vulnerable countries deal with climate “losses and damage” was the main achievement of last year’s COP27 talks in Egypt. But the states left the details to a subsequent agreement. A series of talks held this year have sought to reach agreement on basics such as structure, beneficiaries and participants – a key issue for wealthier countries that want China to pay into the fund.
A transitional committee to establish the fund met late Friday and Saturday in Aswan, southern Egypt. But delegates were unable to reach an agreement and postponed a decision until another meeting on Nov. 3-5 in the United Arab Emirates, according to a webcast of the debate on the United Nations’ official YouTube channel.
Before the breakup, the debate hit a snag over where the funds should go. There was a split over whether it should be run by the World Bank, which has been accused of being in the hands of the West, or a new independent structure that many developing countries have called for but would be time-consuming and complicated to fill with new funds.
The failure is “a clear indication of the deep divide between rich and poor countries,” Harjeet Singh, head of global policy strategy at Climate Action Network International, said in a statement to AFP Saturday.
“Developed countries must be held accountable for their brazen attempts to push the World Bank to host the fund, their refusal to discuss the necessary scale of financing and their blatant disregard for their responsibilities” under the terms of already adopted international climate agreements, he said. R
achel Cleetus of the Union of Concerned Scientists said “today’s disappointment is a blow to communities … facing an unrelenting onslaught of climate impacts”. “The U.S. and other rich countries seem more focused on avoiding or minimizing their responsibility than engaging in negotiations in good faith,” she added.
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