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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) – The Marshall Islands’ climate envoy said the small island nations do not want the COP27 meeting to end without an agreement on financing loss and damage.

“Waiting for the next COP or even COP29 is not an option for us. We are not walking away without this fund,” said Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner at a press panel. “We are very clear. We need the fund now and it has to be a fund.”

She said there is momentum building around the idea of ​​a funding mechanism for loss and damage suffered by developing countries under the pressure of climate change. “We are doing our best to continue and push the ambition forward.”

The Marshall Islands are a chain of islands between Hawaii and the Philippines, most of which are no more than two meters (6.5 feet) above sea level.

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Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate minister, said developing countries would continue to push hard to deal with ‘loss and damage’ at this year’s United Nations climate talks in Egypt.

Rehman told reporters on Thursday that the group of countries she chairs, known as the G77 and China, want “at least a political announcement of intent” on wealthy polluters providing new financial aid to poor nations for the effects of the global warming.

She made it clear that she did not expect the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh to lead to “cash” but added that “if this continues to be put on the road we will see it as climate justice denied.”

Rehman said she was aware that some countries are “concerned about liabilities and judicial proceedings.”

“I think we can work around all those concerns,” she said. “The idea here is not to make any particular country or group of countries uncomfortable or put them in an adversarial position.”

But she said the recent devastating floods in her own country, which caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage, showed how people who have done little to cause climate change are being hit hard.

“That dystopia that has come to our doorstep will be for everyone,” she said. “So before it gets to that point, let’s learn how to work together and bring focus and real ambition to climate justice and deliver on common goals.”

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Senior western officials met with the Egyptian diplomat who chaired this year’s United Nations climate talks amid concerns that negotiators may not be able to reach an agreement.

Alok Sharma, the British official who chaired last year’s talks in Glasgow, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans and Canadian Climate Minister Steven Guilbeault told Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that “there are still many gaps” in the draft decisions.

Sharma’s office said the three officials told Shoukry that the commitment made by the Group of 20 major developed and emerging economies in Bali should be “a baseline and not a ceiling” at the climate talks, known as COP27.

“The last thing anyone wants is for this COP to end without an agreement,” they said, according to Sharma’s office.

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A draft decision proposed by host Egypt for this year’s United Nations climate talks has surprised negotiators who say it includes ideas never before discussed at the two-week talks.

That includes a call on developed countries to “achieve negative carbon netting by 2030” — a much tougher goal than any major nation has committed to so far and would be very difficult to achieve.

Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, say the 20-page draft released early Thursday is much more verbose than would normally be expected at this stage of negotiations.

The talks are expected to end on Friday but it is not unusual for the annual meeting to go into overtime.

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