COP27 President Shoukry optimistic to reach ‘satisfactory’ deal on loss and damage

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Nov 2022

Sameh Shoukry, President of this year’s UN climate talks COP27 currently underway in Sharm El-Sheikh, said he is optimistic that a “satisfactory” deal on loss and damage, one of the summit’s most demanding issues, can be reached.

(First from left) Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs and COP27 President Smaeh Shoukry ( photo courtesy: the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


In an interview with Bloomberg TV broadcasted on Tuesday, Shoukry said he would work toward reaching a “definitive landing zone” on the newly placed item on the COP's agenda that would be "satisfactory" to all parties. 

However, Shoukry reiterated that responding fairly and equitably to the challenging issue is certainly the responsibility of the parties, saying “my responsibility is to facilitate the environment to address various perspectives and maybe also suggest some formulas that might meet with their approval.”

“I’m not prejudging the process. I’m only assessing the importance of the issue and that it should be dealt with sufficiently and to the satisfaction for all parties,” Shoukry noted.

The United nations released on Monday a draft text setting out two prospective proposals that could pave the way before COP27 participants to reach an agreement on loss and damage financing for impacted countries. 

The first proposal says COP27 would establish a loss and damage fund by late 2024, while the second proposes two years of technical work  to explore whether the issue should be addressed through a broader “mosaic” of funding arrangements, according to news wires.

The first proposal has been widely supported by several developing countries, including small island states and emerging economies.

“There is a vast global community within the parties that places great importance on loss and damage,” Shoukry said during the interview.

The summit is also focusing on other issues like mitigation, adaptation, maintaining the 1.5 goal of Paris agreement, and finance, including the $100 billion Copenhagen pledge that has yet to be honoured, Shoukry noted.

Shoukry asserted that adopting consensus decisions by the end of the summit is dependent on the will of the parties and their ability to forge understandings and to show flexibility and to address the most pertinent issues.

Such consensus, he said, will provide "guarantees there is not any backtracking on previous commitments, fulfiling the current commitments whether in mitigation, adaptation or bridging the finance gap and dealing with the issue of loss and damage in a way that creates trust and the commonality of our objectives to move forward on climate actions."

Shoukry reaffirmed that “we are in a crisis ... and we have to deal with it today not tomorrow. We should not postpone and we should look at the holistic picture of the consequences of climate change and the impact on lives and livelihoods,” he said.

As the major contributors to carbon emissions and to climate change, developed nations have been called upon to compensate developing nations for environmental  disasters caused by climate change. The issue of compensations, however, has been subject to intense debate.  

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