SHARMEL-SHEIKH, Egypt: Countries agreed early on Sunday, November 20 at the COP 27 climate summits to set up a fund to help poor countries affected by climate disasters but delayed approving a wider deal outlining global resolve to fight climate change.
After tense negotiations that ran through the night, the Egyptian COP 27 presidency released a draft text for an overall agreement and simultaneously called a plenary session to givel it through as the final, overarching agreement for the UN summit.
The text's provision to set up a loss and damage fund was approved by the session to help developing countries bear the costs of climate-fuelled events such as storms and floods.
It kicked off many of the most controversial decisions on the fund next year when a transitional committee would make recommendations for countries to adopt at the COP 28 climate summit in November 2023.
Those recommendations would cover identifying and expanding sources of funding - referring to the question of which countries should pay into the new fund.
The two-week summit has been dominated by calls from developing countries for such a fund, pushing the talks past their scheduled Friday finish.
After the plenary approval for the loss and damage fund was approved, Switzerland called for a 30 minute suspension for time to look at the new text of the overall deal - specifically the language relating to national efforts to reduce climate-warming emissions, the Swiss delegate said.
Negotiators had been worried late on Saturday about changes being discussed so late in the process.
The document, which forms the overall political deal for COP 27, needs approval from the nearly 200 countries at the climate summit in Egypt.
The draft did not contain a reference requested by India and some other delegations to phasing down use of fossil fuels. Instead it referred to a phase down of coal only, as agreed at last year's summit.