PM hails excellent climate diplomacy

Terms it ‘first pivotal step towards goal of climate justice’

Picture source - AFP

Pakistan on Sunday welcomed the announcement that countries adopted a hard-fought final agreement at the COP27 climate summit that sets up a fund to help poor countries being battered by climate disasters.

After tense negotiations that ran through the night, the Egyptian COP27 presidency released the final text for a deal and simultaneously called a plenary session to quickly gavel it through. The session first swiftly approved the text’s provision to set up a “loss and damage” fund to help developing countries bear the immediate costs of climate-fuelled events such as storms and floods. But it kicked many of the most controversial decisions on the fund into next year, when a “transitional committee” would make recommendations for countries to then adopt at the COP28 climate summit in November 2023.

Those recommendations would cover “identifying and expanding sources of funding” – referring to the vexed question of which countries should pay into the new fund. Calls by developing countries for such a fund have dominated the two-week summit, pushing the talks past their scheduled Friday finish. And after a pause requested by Switzerland to review the final text, negotiators gave no objections as COP27 President Sameh Shoukry rattled through the final agenda items.

By the time dawn broke over the summit venue in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the deal was done. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the development as the “first pivotal step towards the goal of climate justice”. “It is up to the transitional committee to build on the historic development,” he said. The premier also thanked Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman and her team for their hard work. He said the development was a “manifestation of excellent climate diplomacy that made this possible”.

Taking to Twitter, Rehman said that it had been a “long 30-year journey from demand to formation of the loss and damage fund for 134 countries”. “We welcome today’s announcement and joint text hammered out through many nights. It’s an important first step in reaffirming the core principles of #climatejustice.”

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