NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The chairman of an influential negotiating bloc at the upcoming United Nations climate summit in Egypt has called for compensation for the poorest countries suffering from climate change to be a priority.
Madeleine Diouf Sarr, who chairs the group of least developed countries, told The Associated Press that the November conference – known as COP27 – should “capture the voices and needs of the most climate-vulnerable nations and deliver climate justice”.
Sarr said the group would like to see “a deal to establish a dedicated financial facility” that pays nations that are already dealing with the effects of climate change at the summit.
The LDC group, made up of 46 nations that account for only a small fraction of global emissions, negotiates as a bloc at the UN summit to defend the interests of developing countries. Questions such as who pays for poorer countries to switch to cleaner energy, ensuring no community is left behind in an energy transition, and building the capacity of vulnerable people to adapt to climate change have long been on the bloc’s agenda.
Developing countries still face serious challenges in accessing clean energy finance, with Africa attracting only 2% of total clean energy investment over the past 20 years, according to the International Agency for renewable energies. The United Nations meteorological agency recently estimated that the global supply of clean energy must double by 2030 for the world to limit global warming within set limits.
Sarr added that the bloc will push for funds to help developing countries adapt to droughts, floods and other climate-related events, and urge developed countries to accelerate their emission reduction plans. The group is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to its lack of ability to adapt to extremes, the UN weather agency said.
“We’ve delayed climate action for too long,” Sarr said, pointing to the pledged $100 billion a year in climate aid to the poorest countries that was pledged more than a decade ago.
“We can no longer afford to have a COP that ‘everything speaks’. The climate crisis has pushed our limits of adaptation, caused inevitable loss and damage, and set back our much-needed development,” Sarr added.
The COP27 president also said this year’s summit should be about implementing the plans and commitments that countries have agreed to at previous conferences.
Sarr defended the UN conference as “one of the few spaces where our nations come together to hold countries accountable to their historic responsibility” and highlighted the success of the 2015 conference in Paris by setting the goal of limit warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F).
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