Europe makes ‘final offer’ on climate reparations ahead of COP27 deadline

The European Union released a proposal at the COP27 climate summit on Friday that includes a version of the “loss and damage” fund long sought after by developing countries.

The proposal, released in the early hours of the day, does not include details on the actual financial mechanism of the fund, one of the major unanswered questions regarding the issue of loss and damage. Instead of an explanation, the document reads: “{Shameful Funding Agreement Responding to Loss and Damage}”.

Countries on the front lines of climate change have pushed for loss and damage to be part of COP conferences for years, but the issue never made it to the final negotiations, largely because of the opposition from major industrialized countries that would pay into such a fund. This year, however, the United States has signaled its willingness to discuss the idea, while stopping short of outright approval.

European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans presented the proposal as a compromise after EU leaders have long been wary of the notion of the fund.

“A number of parties that are…very important continue to insist that all they want is a fund,” Timmermans said. told reporters this morning. European officials, he said, were willing to negotiate a proposed fund as long as it was “targeted at the most vulnerable” and had a “broad donor base, which means it must be based on the Paris agreement”. [Climate] Agreement, so that you take into account the economic situation of the member countries in 2022 and not in 1992”, as proposed by the G77 bloc of developing countries.

China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is considered a “developing” nation under the 30-year-old United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The EU document specifically identifies the proposed fund as being reserved for “particularly vulnerable countries”.

“The reluctance with a fund is that we know from experience that it takes time before such a fund is created and even longer before that fund is filled,” he added. “I have to say this is our final offer, this is where member states can find an agreement… I have to thank them all for the courage to go this far, but that’s it.”

The COP27 summit released its first proposed draft agreement on Thursday, and negotiations could push the conference into overtime. In addition to the issue of loss and damage, another contentious topic is an Indian-backed phase-down of all fossil fuel production unabated, which goes further than an initial push for a phase-down of coal in particular. .