Cop27: Egypt wants compensation for countries hit by climate change disasters

Two ministers, from Germany and Chile, will lobby for inclusion of compensation on the summit's agenda

A man in front of a house damaged by devastating rains and floods in Pakistan. Egypt wants to include compensation for countries that experience economic losses caused by climate change in the Cop27 agenda. Reuters
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Egypt wants to include compensation for countries which experience economic losses caused by climate change in the agenda of Cop27 in November, the country's special representative to the summit said.

Wael Aboul Magd said the host country was "putting a lot of effort" into ensuring that the question of how to compensate countries that have suffered economically due to climate catastrophes was prioritised.

The summit will be hosted by Egypt in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh from November 6 to 18.

"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," Mr Aboulmagd said.

"We are inching closer."

Including "loss and damage" on the Cop27 agenda is a complicated task because lower-income and climate-vulnerable countries are seeking compensation for damages from climate-induced extreme weather events. Meanwhile, industrialised nations are wary of creating a fund because of the liabilities they may face.

Mr Aboulmagd said Egypt had appointed two ministers to plan for how to include "loss and damage" on Cop27’s formal agenda. They 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 US and the EU 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 prioritised at Cop27.

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

After visiting Pakistan earlier this month after devastating floods, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged governments to address loss and damage at Cop27 "with the seriousness it deserves."

"At Cop27, we need to work together to show leadership and move forward on addressing this very important issue, particularly when it comes to finding a creative way ... to find financing for countries who are in extreme need to address the immediate losses and damages that wipe out a significant part of their annual GDP," Mr Aboulmagd said.

Updated: June 12, 2023, 9:52 AM