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COP27: Overtime "breakthrough" still has hurdles

While many headlines tout the news that on Saturday (in talks that were supposed to end Friday) nation delegates at COP27 agreed to an historic ‘loss and damage’ fund for climate impact in developing countries, the fund is far from final. Wealthy countries had long blocked the idea of such a fund. Finally achieving agreement on such a fund is a milestone and, as a nod to such reluctance, the agreement reached at COP27 states nations cannot be held legally liable for payments. However, many issues remain open - the fund must be set up and filled with cash. It is likely will be several years before the fund exists, with the COP27 agreement setting out only a roadmap for resolving lingering questions including who would oversee the fund, how the money would be dispersed – and to whom. 

Still, major hurdles remain. The United States and the European Union are pushing for assurances that China will eventually contribute to any fund created — and that China would not be eligible to receive money from it. The United Nations currently classifies China as a developing country, which would make it eligible for climate compensation, even though it is now the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases as well as the second-largest economy. China has fiercely resisted being treated as a developed nation in global climate talks.


cop27, loss and damage