Response to UN climate meeting deal on historic funds

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) – “This is the decade of all or nothing, but what we have ahead of us is not a step forward for the people and the planet,” a disappointed Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of The European Union told his negotiating partners. “It’s not bringing enough additional effort for the big emitters to scale up and accelerate their emissions cuts.

“We all failed to prevent and minimize loss and damage,” Timmermans said. “We should have done a lot more”

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The accord “answered the voices of the vulnerable, the injured and the lost around the world by establishing a fund for the lost and injured,” said Pakistani Environment Minister Sherry Rehman, calling for a coalition of the world’s poorest nations.

“We have struggled on this path for 30 years. And today, in Sharm el-Sheikh, this journey has reached its first positive milestone. Setting up a fund is not about giving alms. It is clearly a down payment on the longer investment in our future together.”

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“It wasn’t easy at all,” said UN climate chief Simon Stiell. “We worked around the clock. But this result moves us forward,” and he said it addresses for the first time “the impact on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the worst impacts of climate change.”

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The agreement will help “save our planet from the threat of climate change and turn this climate challenge into an opportunity for growth and development in a just, equitable, inclusive and equitable manner,” said Summit President Sameh Shoukry Egyptian Foreign Minister.

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“I’m proud to be here to witness this happening and to be able to make a small contribution,” said Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Climate Ambassador for Marshall Islands Culture. So many people told us all week that we didn’t understand. So glad they were wrong.”

But she added: “I wish we had a fossil fuel phase-out. The current text is not sufficient. But with the damage fund we have shown that we can do the impossible. So we know we can come back next year and get rid of fossil fuels once and for all.”

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Martin Kaiser, the head of Greenpeace Germany, described the loss and damage agreement as “a small band-aid on a huge, gaping wound”.

“It is a scandal that the Egyptian COP presidency has given petrostates like Saudi Arabia space to torpedo effective climate protection. They prevented a clear decision on the much-needed phase-out of coal, oil and gas,” he said, adding that the meeting “frivolously risks compliance with the 1.5 degree limit”.

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Harjeet Singh of environmental group Climate Action Network International said the new fund effectively “sent a warning shot to polluters that they can no longer get away with their climate destruction”.

“From now on, they must pay for the damage they cause and be accountable to the people who face charged storms, devastating floods and rising seas,” he said.

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“In a historic breakthrough, wealthy nations have finally agreed to set up a fund to help vulnerable countries hit by devastating climate damage,” said Ani Dasgupta, president of environmental think tank World Resources Institute.

“This loss and damage fund will be a lifeline for poor families whose homes have been destroyed, farmers whose fields have been ruined and islanders who have been displaced from their ancestral homes,” he said. “This positive outcome of COP27 is an important step towards restoring confidence in vulnerable countries.”

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Follow AP’s climate and environmental reporting at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

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The Associated Press’s climate and environmental reporting is supported by several private foundations. Learn more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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