The countries at the latest UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, reached agreement that established a funding mechanism to compensate vulnerable nations for "loss and damage" from climate-induced disasters.
Speaking about the outcome, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, "This COP has taken an important step towards justice. I welcome the decision to establish a loss and damage fund and to operationalize it in the coming period".
At this year's conference many developing countries made "strong and repeated appeals" to establish a loss and damage fund in order to compensate vulnerable countries for climate disasters - especially countries that have contributed very little to the climate crisis.
Meanwhile, the COP27 President and the Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, told delegations at the conference that the draft decisions will enable the scale up implementation to transform the future of climate neutrality and climate resilient development.
He added, "The world is watching, I call on us all to rise to the expectations entrusted to us by the global community, and especially by those who are most vulnerable and yet have contributed the least to climate change".
Negotiations finally came through on Sunday, November 20, after missing its initial deadline of Friday, November 18. The negotiations have paved way to establish a loss and damage facility with a commitment to set up a financial support structure for the most vulnerable countries by the next COP in 2023, and a post-2025 finance goal, as well as the mitigation work program which would reduce emissions faster.
At the negotiations, the UN Secretary General reminded the priorities regarding climate action, including the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and "keep alive the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree Celsius limit".
"We need to drastically reduce emissions now - and this is an issue this COP did not address," the UN Secretary General highlighted.
Speaking on this manner, UN Secretary General also notes that while the fund for loss and damage was crucial, it was not an "answer if the climate crisis washes a small island State off the map - or turns an entire country into a desert".
He also urged for "just energy transition partnership to accelerate the phasing out of coal and scaling up renewables".