Lines in the sand need to be redrawn to deal with the climate

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) – As international climate talks in the Egyptian desert enter their final days, negotiators are trying to move key countries’ lines in the sand on multiple issues, including compensation for disasters climate, gradually reducing all fossils. fuel use and additional financial assistance to the poor nations.

The final document from the UN’s annual climate meeting, known as COP27, must be unanimous. There are at least a half-dozen cases where nations are “taking the negotiations hostage” by taking seemingly inflexible positions, said Alden Meyer, a longtime negotiation observer at the E3G think tank.

And poor nations are about to publicly complain about Egypt’s presidency of the meeting and its “inaction” at a press conference early Thursday afternoon.

Spoilers have emerged on many fronts, including the US, Saudi Arabia and China, opposing the reforms demanded by both developed and developing nations.

On the all-consuming issue of providing money to countries affected by climate-related disasters — referred to as “loss and damage” in the negotiators’ parliament — the United States is resisting any suggestion that this should labeled as compensation, not to mention offsets, for decades of greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized nations.

But small island nations are talking about killing any market if they don’t get money for the climate disasters they argue have been brought on by rich polluters.

Another point of contention is who pays. European countries supported calls from island nations for a “mosaic” of financial arrangements drawing on public and private sources of money. But negotiators differ widely on whether each major emitter should pay; heavy pollutants China and India argue that they should not have to contribute because they are still officially considered developing nations.

The issue of loss and damage is one of three financial aid pots discussed. Rich nations have agreed in previous conferences to spend $100 billion a year to help poorer countries develop cleaner energy systems and adapt to prevent future disasters – although they are lagging behind in the funds to give.

Loss and damage is about paying the cost of climate impacts that are already unavoidable, such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels. The 2015 Paris agreement said the issue “does not involve or provide a basis for liability or compensation,” but that option remains open under the broader UN climate framework in which the annual negotiations take place.

Some insiders say they are worried they won’t find consensus on the issue, but are not ready to give up hope.

Meanwhile, the “Lula lovefest” continued in Sharm el-Sheikh, where Brazil’s President-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has made great strides in combating deforestation, drew more attention during a session on action youth and participation in government. .

On Wednesday, the crowds applauded him, criticizing rich nations and calling for the climate summit to come to the Amazon. His predecessor is often criticized for inaction on climate change.

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