USAWorld News

UN negotiators agree to pay climate reparations to poor countries

Representatives and negotiators from nearly 200 countries have reached a historic agreement to pay reparations to poor countries that would be victimized by climate change, although supporters say more is needed to cut fossil fuels.

The deal, reached at dawn in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, established a fund for what negotiators call “loss and damage”.

A man walks past an exhibition of videos addressed to world leaders during the United Nations COP27 Climate Summit, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

It was a big victory for the poorest nations who have long demanded money – sometimes seen as “reparations” – because they often suffer from floods, droughts, heat waves, famines and storms although they have contributed little to the pollution that is warming the globe.

While the fund would largely go to the most vulnerable nations, there would be room for middle-income countries badly hit by climate disasters to get help.

The details of the fun have yet to be worked out. This will likely be a major topic at next year’s climate conference in the United Arab Emirates in 2023. So far, only a few countries have made significant payment pledges.


The fund would initially draw on contributions from developed countries and other private and public sources, such as international financial institutions. While big emerging economies such as China – the world’s second-largest economy and biggest emitter – wouldn’t automatically have to contribute, that option remains on the table. This was a key request from the European Union and the United States. They argue that China and other major polluters currently classified as developing countries have the financial clout and responsibility to pay their share.

Xie Zhenhua, China's Special Envoy for Climate, meets with members of the media during the UN Climate Summit COP27, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy for Climate, meets with members of the media during the UN Climate Summit COP27, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
((AP Photo/Olivia Zhang))

Environment officials in developing countries hailed Sunday’s development as an investment in the future and a “victory for our whole world”. Others, particularly EU officials, expressed disappointment that participants had not made stronger commitments to cut fossil fuels and reduce emissions.


While the new agreement doesn’t reinforce calls for emissions cuts, it does retain language to keep alive the global goal of limiting warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Next year’s talks will also see further negotiations to hammer out the details of the new fund for loss and damage, as well as review global efforts to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button