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‘This is our final offer’: Deal hangs in balance at COP27 climate talks

At the COP27 climate summit talks are at an all-time high. Egypt, the host nation, extended the conference into Saturday to try to reach a last-minute agreement.

The Egyptian COP presidency was criticized for leaving the draft of a pact to the last day of two weeks of negotiations. This left little time for countries and it came to no surprise that it was not signed off.

Up to late Thursday, the countries were at odds over who should pay for climate damages in vulnerable countries. This included typhoons that dump water on small islands and droughts that leave people starving in East Africa.

Pakistan was the first to demand a special pot of money from the developing countries, while the European Union demanded a patchwork of support.


The EU made a surprise proposal at the last minute to break the deadlock. They agreed to come to an agreement with the EU, but with two important amendments.

Frans Timmermans (EU climate chief) said Friday morning, “I must say, this is the final offer.”

According to the bloc, its tweaks will help target the fund more effectively to the most vulnerable countries. It also draws in funding from other sources than state contributions. For example, levies on polluting industries such as shipping, flying and fossil fuel production.

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The EU plan was “not tenable” according to the Pakistani environment minister. This happened after a devastating monsoon in Pakistan this year.

Sherry Rehman, however, told the delegates that the negotiating bloc comprising 77 countries and China (which Pakistan chairs), is working to refine its idea. They fear that the expanded terms will allow historic polluters to avoid what they consider their moral obligation to pay for the damage caused.

The United States is the largest historical emitter. It has always resisted the demands for payments for climate damage. However, it has been very quiet about the EU’s proposal. It did however meet with its British and European counterparts to discuss the matter.

Eamon Ryan, the EU’s chief negotiator for payment for climate damage, stated that he believes John Kerry, the US climate envoy, is “pretty much agreeable on the nature and outcomes”. Sky News reported that the two countries had “shared understanding…” about what needed to happen.

Image: Protesters have been outside the summit. Pic by AP

The EU would resolve the long-standing problem of China being classified as a “developing” country by inviting major emitting countries and middle-income countries into the fund.

The amount of support that it receives from countries in need will determine whether the plan can break the impasse in negotiations about a financial package and thus facilitate negotiations on other areas such as slashing polluting pollution.

Many are still considering it, but others fear that the narrowed eligibility will exclude those in dire need.

Mohamed Adow, Director of Power Shift Africa, stated that the fund should not be used to heal old divisions and expand the donor base.

A COP climate summit has both its beauty and its pain. It relies on consensus which means that everyone must sign the agreement. Egypt is the host and must drive the process.

Despite the praises for the skill and experience of its negotiators it produced only a draft of the deal Friday morning, hours before the summit was to close.

Continue reading:

Tensions soar after faltering COP27

What it is really like at a COP Summit

Analysis: Money is the fault line at every summit

Later, it was confirmed that talks would continue into Saturday. This has been a common occurrence at previous COPs including in Glasgow.

In a delayed press conference Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt’s special representative, stated that they are following a clear game plan. He was responding to Sky News’ question. He argued that the plan gives them “a little more influence over the product”.

The pact does not make any progress in reducing climate-heating emission. This is an important issue for both developing and vulnerable countries, such as small island states. They fear that they will be exterminated if global warming continues to rise to 1.5C above preindustrial levels.

India’s suggestion to expand on its previous pledge to “phase out coal” for all fossil fuels seems to have been rejected. Language about limiting global warming to 1.5C is still unclear.

The Daily Climate Show airs Monday through Friday at 3.30pm, while The Climate Show with Tom Heap airs Saturday and Sunday at 3.30pm & 7.30pm.

All about Sky News on Sky News’ website and app on YouTube and Twitter.

This show examines how global warming has impacted our environment and offers solutions.


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