World leaders clash over climate change funding

World leaders clash over climate change funding

SHARMEL-SHEIKH: A fraught UN summit wrapped up on Sunday November 20 with a landmark deal on funding to help vulnerable countries cope with devastating climate impacts, but anger over the failure to be more ambitious in cutting emissions.

The two-week talks in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, which appeared to be on the brink of collapse, delivered a major breakthrough on a fund for climate loss and damage Pakistani climate minister Sherry Rehman, who said the journey has reached its first positive milestone today in Sharm el-Sheikh, which has struggled for 30 years on this path.

Tired delegates applauded when the fund was adopted as the sun came up Sunday after almost two more days of round-the-clock negotiations.

The jubilation over that achievement was countered by stern warnings.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said the talks had taken an important step towards justice with the loss and damage fund, but fell short in pushing for the urgent carbon-cutting needed to address global warming.

Guterres said that our planet is still in the emergency room. This is an issue that the COP did not address. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also warned that more must be done, while French President Emmanuel Macron proposed another summit in Paris ahead of COP 28 in Dubai to agree a new financial pact for vulnerable nations.

A final COP 27 statement covering the broad efforts to deal with a warming planet held the line on the aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

It included language on renewable energy for the first time, and reiterating earlier calls to reduce coal power and phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, but that didn't go much further than a decision from the COP 26 meeting in Glasgow last year on key issues around cutting planet-heating pollution.

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said the EU was disappointed that more than 80 nations had backed a stronger emissions pledge.

Timmermans, who 24 hours earlier threatened to walk out of the talks, said that what we have in front of us doesn't bring enough added efforts from major emitters to increase and accelerate emission cuts.

Britain's Alok Sharma, chairing COP 26 in Glasgow, said that the passage on energy had been weakened, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that the emissions cuts and fossil fuel phase-out were not intentional and that he worked to avoid any backslide by parties.