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Egypt Working to Prioritize 'Loss and Damage' at COP27

Egypt Working to Prioritize 'Loss and Damage' at COP27

Thursday, 29 September, 2022 - 05:30
Sand blows across a normally submerged area at Theewaterskloof dam near Cape Town, South Africa, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

Egypt, which is hosting the upcoming COP27 climate negotiations, is working on how to include compensation for economic losses due to climate catastrophes on the formal agenda of the November summit, the country's special representative of the summit said on Wednesday.

Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt's special representative of COP27, told reporters that the host country is "putting a lot of effort" into ensuring that the question of how to compensate countries that have experienced heavy economic loss due to climate catastrophes is prioritized at the forum, which will be held from Nov. 6-18 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

"We need to find a practical solution that accommodates the various concerns and it's up to us as the incoming presidency, to sort of navigate and finesse this process," Aboulmagd told reporters. "We are inching closer,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

Lower-income and climate-vulnerable countries are seeking compensation for damages from climate-induced extreme weather events while industrialized nations are wary of creating a fund because of the liabilities they may face.

Aboulmagd said as the incoming COP president, Egypt needs to "navigate" the disparate positions and that it has appointed two ministers to come up with a plan for how to include "loss and damage" on COP27's formal agenda. The two ministers are Germany's special envoy for international climate action, Jennifer Morgan, and Chile's environment minister, Maisa Rojas.

At last year's COP26 in Glasgow, the United States and the European Union rejected calls for a fund to compensate countries for climate-driven losses.

But as different countries grapple with extreme weather this year, pressure is growing for "loss and damage" to be prioritized at COP27.

At the UN General Assembly earlier this month, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) - countries among the most vulnerable to sea-level rise and other climate impacts - called for concrete progress toward a funding mechanism.

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