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COP27: UN climate change panel ready to ‘limit global warming’, dwell on compensation for developing nations – WION

The United Nations’ 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) climate summit began on Sunday in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh city. Shadowed by the cost-of-living crisis in the western nations and severe weather events in Africa and parts of Asia, much of the tension in Sharm el-Sheikh is expected to be about funds to be pledged by rich nations to help their developing counterparts in the global south fight climate change. 

Compensation for developing nations to be discussed

Delegates at the COP27 summit agreed to discuss whether rich nations should compensate developing countries most vulnerable to climate change for their suffering.

“This creates for the first time an institutionally stable space on the formal agenda of COP and the Paris Agreement to discuss the pressing issue of funding arrangements needed to deal with existing gaps, responding to loss and damage,” COP27 president Sameh Shoukry said in the opening plenary of the conference.

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The loss and damage discussions now on the agenda at COP27 will not involve liability or binding compensation, but they are intended to lead to a conclusive decision “no later than 2024,” Shoukry said.

At COP26 in 2021 in Scotland’s Glasgow, high-income nations called for a new three-year dialogue for discussions related to climate-related aid to the poorer nations. Whether Sharm-el-Sheikh will be able to replace the vagueness of Glasgow with respect to a tangible solution towards such a funding programme, remains to be seen. 

“The inclusion of this agenda reflects a sense of solidarity for the victims of climate disasters,” COP27 president Sameh Shoukry added.

In his opening speech, the head of the United Nations panel of climate scientists emphasised the urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions while also working towards global adaptation to the effects of climate change. 

Scientific community ‘ready to work’ to limit global warming: Key UN panel chair on Climate Change

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save our planet and our livelihoods,” said Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The scientific community remains ready to work with you and support you every step of the way in this journey to limit global warming and also for achieving sustainable development. Humanity, our planet, and species living on it deserve nothing less,” he added. 

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The outgoing chair of the Conference of the Parties talks, British official Alok Sharma, said countries had made considerable progress at their last meeting in Glasgow, including on setting more ambitious targets for cutting emissions.

“We kept 1.5°C alive,” he said, referring to the goal of the Paris pact, to keep temperature increase since pre-industrial times under that threshold.

More than 40,000 participants were registered for this year’s talks. The host Egypt said over 120 world leaders will attend, many of them speaking at a high-level event on November 7-8, while U.S. President Joe Biden was expected to arrive later in the week.

(With inputs from agencies)

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