© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO : A sticker affixed to a fence is seen at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland on November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
By Valerie Volcovici
WASHINGTON (Stocksak), – More than 100 U.S. environmental organizations called on John Kerry, the top U.S. climate diplomat, to support the creation a fund to compensate countries that have suffered economic and physical losses from climate change. This is a key demand for vulnerable countries at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.
The Sierra Club and Greenpeace USA signed a letter stating that the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses is responsible for nearly 25% of global cumulative greenhouse gases emissions since the Industrial Revolution. They also urged the Sierra Club to take responsibility for any loss or damage.
The United States and the European Union, which are the third-largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, are under pressure from lower-income countries to relax their resistance to compensation for “loss and damages” caused by climate change-related impacts such as rising seas, flooding, and other related events.
“The U.S.’s negotiating posture on loss and damage has been recalcitrant, creating a major obstacle to meeting the urgent needs of climate vulnerable countries and causing great harm to our nation’s reputation on the world stage,” the groups wrote in the letter.
A senior Biden administration official said last week that while the United States doesn’t necessarily oppose the creation a new “loss or damage” funding facility, it believes there are existing sources that could be tapped to help cover climate-related losses.
“Would…we…exclude talking about proposals to new things?” The official stated that no, of course not. “We think it is important to look at the existing institutions to see where the gaps are.”
According to the official, the United States rejected a proposal by climate-vulnerable nations in Glasgow last year at COP26 climate summit. It did not specify if some countries would be legally liable.
A draft of the EU’s negotiating strategy for COP27, leaked last week, showed that the bloc of 27 nations would support talks about the topic at the COP27 gathering. However it did not specify if it supports a funding mechanism.
Egypt, host of the United Nations climate negotiations, has asked the environment ministers from Chile and Germany to develop a plan to include the controversial topic of loss and damage on the formal summit agenda.