'Loss and damage' climate fund should be in place this year -Egyptian negotiator
By Aidan Lewis
CAIRO (Reuters) - A fund to deliver financing to places affected by climate-fuelled disasters should be created by the annual U.N. climate summit that opens at the end of November, the lead host negotiator at last year's summit said on Thursday.
Agreement to establish a "loss and damage" fund was secured at COP27 in Egypt last November, but the deal did not spell out who would pay into the fund or how money would be disbursed.
Before COP27 rich Western countries had long resisted calls from vulnerable states for a loss and damage fund, fearing it could make them liable for historic emissions.
A committee tasked with deciding how funding should work held its first, three-day meeting this week in the Egyptian city of Luxor. It includes 14 representatives of developing countries, and 10 from developed countries.
The talks did not tackle contentious issues such as sources of financing or the type of projects the fund would cover, but there was some convergence between delegates over a road map to create a fund, said Mohamed Nasr, Egypt's lead climate negotiator.
Asked if a fund would be up and running by the time of COP28, which will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 in the United Arab Emirates, he told an online briefing: "Will it be created? I hope so and I assume so, and this is what we are working towards."
"Will it be delivering? I think this is a question of how complex this fund will be, and what will be the governing modalities and the working modalities of the fund."
The main points of divergence at the Luxor meeting were over whether to identify gaps in the existing system of climate finance before looking at the mechanics of the fund, or to work on both in parallel, Nasr said.
"Although they have different views, in many cases there was this mood of cooperation and understanding and responsibility that part of the outcome in UAE has to be these funding arrangements and the fund," he told journalists in an online briefing.
Delivering on time would be a "major challenge", he added.
(Reporting by Aidan Lewis in Cairo; Editing by Matthew Lewis)