Question of compensation for poor on COP27 agenda

STORY: Should rich nations compensate the poorer nations most vulnerable to climate change?

It's a question delegates at COP27 in Egypt are adding to the formal agenda for the first time as the climate summit gets underway from Sunday (November 6).

At the plenary opening the summit, COP27 president Sameh Shoukry said such discussions were needed to address gaps in responding to losses and damage caused by climate change.

“The inclusion of this agenda reflects a sense of solidarity and empathy with the suffering of the victims of climate-induced disasters and to this end, we all owe a debt of gratitude to activists and civil society organizations who have persistently demanded a space to discuss funding for loss and damage. And that’s provided the impetus needed to bring this matter forward.”

For more than a decade, wealthy nations have rejected official discussions on funds they provide to help poor countries cope with the consequences of global warming.

At last year's COP26 in Scotland, high-income nations blocked a proposal for a loss and damage financing body, instead supporting a three-year dialog for funding discussions.

Shoukry said some parties had shown reservations to the issue becoming an official part of the COP27 agenda.

"I think we can go beyond whatever reservations existed and move forward, again, and look at the positive development in the inclusion of the agenda and this does open the door for a more in depth, more transparent consultation and negotiation process.”

Shoukrry added that the loss and damage discussions will not guarantee compensation or necessarily acknowledge liability, but are intended to lead to a conclusive decision "no later than 2024."