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In COP27 overtime, world leaders reach deal on climate disaster aid for vulnerable nations

World leaders reached a deal for wealthy nations to pay billions of dollars into a loss and damage fund to help developing countries deal with climate disasters.

Aerial views of melt pools and melt rivers on Petermann Glacier in remote northwest Greenland
Aerial views of melt pools and melt rivers on Petermann Glacier in remote northwest Greenland (AN/Dave Walsh/Climate Visuals)

Negotiators clinched a deal in overtime at the U.N. climate talks at Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, for rich nations to compensate poorer nations grappling with the effects of global warming.

The deal calls for the establishment of a dedicated fund that helps developing countries by paying for so-called loss and damage, or reparations, from climate-affected droughts, floods and other extreme weather.

Governments also agreed to set up a transitional committee for making recommendations on the new fund at COP28 next year. Its first meeting is expected to be held during the first quarter of next year.

The deal marked an important turning point in the decades-old movement for climate justice. But there were major compromises: No new emissions reductions, despite requests from more than 90 nations to phase out oil and gas use that were blocked by the COP27 Egyptian presidency as host of the talks, and no direct links or earmarks for the funding to any form of official liability or reparations that rich nations worried could usher in endless claims.

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