By The Associated Press
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The Marshall Islands’ climate envoy said small island nations don’t want the COP27 meeting to end without an agreement on loss and damage funding.
“Waiting for the next COP or even COP29 is not an option for us. We’re not walking away without this fund,” Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner said at a press panel. “We’ve been really clear. We need the fund now and it needs to be a fund.”
She said momentum is gaining around the idea of a funding mechanism for loss and damage suffered by developing countries bearing the brunt of climate change. “We’re doing our best to keep holding the line and pushing the ambition.”
The Marshall Islands are a chain of islands between Hawaii and the Philippines, most of which are no more than two meters (6.5 feet) above sea level.
— Lines in the sand need redrawing to reach climate deal
— Women lead climate talks’ toughest topic: reparations
— Scientists try to bolster Great Barrier Reef in warmer world
Sherry Rehman, climate minister for Pakistan, said developing countries would continue to press hard for a deal on the issue of ‘loss and damage’ at this year’s U.N. climate talks in Egypt.
Rehman told reporters Thursday that the group of countries she chairs, known as G77 and China, wants “at the very least a political announcement of intent” on rich polluters providing new financial aid to poor nations for the effects of global warming.
She made clear that she didn’t not expect “a slew of finance” to result from the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh but added that “if this continues to be kicked down the road we will see it as a climate justice denied.”
Rehman said she was aware that some countries “are anxious about liabilities and judicial proceedings.”
“I think we can work around all those anxieties,” she said. “The idea here is not to make any one country or group of countries uncomfortable or put them in an adversarial position.”
But she said the recent devastating floods in her own country, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage, showed how people who have done little to cause climate change are being hit hard.
“That dystopia that came to our doorstep will come to everyone’s,” she said. “So before it comes to that point, let’s learn to work together and bring some focus and real ambition for climate justice and delivery on joint goals.”
Senior western officials have met with the Egyptian diplomat chairing this year’s U.N. climate talks amid concerns that negotiators may not be able to reach an agreement.
Alok Sharma, the British official who chaired last year’s talks in Glasgow, the EU’s climate chief Frans Timmermans and Canada’s Climate Minister Steven Guilbeault told Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that “there are still lot of gaps remaining” in the draft decisions.
Sharma’s office said the three officials told Shoukry that the recent pledge made by the Group of 20 major developed and emerging economies in Bali “should be the baseline and not a ceiling” at the climate talks, known as COP27.
“The last thing anyone wants is for this COP to end without consensus,” they said, according to Sharma’s office.
A draft decision proposed by host Egypt for this year’s U.N. climate talks has surprised negotiators who say it includes ideas never previously discussed at the two-week talks.
This includes a call for developed countries to achieve “net-negative carbon emissions by 2030” — a far tougher target than any major nation has so far committed to and which would be very hard to achieve.
Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, say the 20-page draft released early Thursday is far more bloated than what would normally have been expected at this stage of negotiations.
The talks are due to wrap up on Friday but it is not unusual for the annual meeting to go into overtime.
Follow AP’s climate and environment coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment
Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.