US Agrees Help Poorer Nations Address Climate Change at COP 27


  • Developed countries at the UN COP 27 summit agreed to create a “loss and damage” climate change fund.
  • The fund would compensate less developed countries bearing the brunt of climate change.
  • The agreement comes after 30 years of pushback from countries like the US.

World leaders from developed nations, including the United States, agreed Sunday to set up a fund for poorer nations at the United Nations COP 27 climate summit in Egypt, reversing on 30 years of hesitation to set up such a fund, the New York Times reported.

According to the Times, the final agreement for a “loss and damage fund” would require 24 countries to work together to arrange the details of who will contribute to the fund, who will receive funds, and where the money would go — the US is looking to exclude China as one of the developing countries that could benefit from the fund.

It also adds a stipulation that developing countries cannot sue developed countries for these payments.

COP 27, or the Conference of the Parties, is an annual summit put on by the UN to address the adverse impacts of climate change. Following the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the COP began meeting every year since in 1994, making this summit the 27 th.

Since the 1992 convention, developing countries have demanded that a “loss and damage fund,” facilitated by the UN, be implemented.

The decision will pave the way for developing countries, who are often the least responsible for the effects of climate change, to be compensated for losses and damages that they have endured as a result of the richest countries emitting the most greenhouse gases. 

Dozens of developing nations, including small island nation like Vanuatu and much of Africa, pressed the rest of the world during the two-week summit in order to make headway on the fund. These countries were successful in getting it on the official agenda for the first time at an annual COP summit, the Times reported, signaling the urgency of the agreement. 

Pakistan, a country that experienced record-setting deadly flooding at the end of summer this year, was one of the countries that pushed for the fund.

Before this year’s summit, Scotland was the only developed nation that offered to begin putting money towards the “loss and damage” of other nations. Other countries, including the US, have side-stepped the agreement in order to avoid legal repercussions — a fear that experts have said is misplaced.

However, developing nations in Europe changed course during this year’s climate talks, pledging millions of dollars to assist developing nations combat damages and loss as a result of climate-induced natural disasters, the Times reported. After some pushback, the US soon agreed to the fund.

“The announcement offers hope to vulnerable communities all over the world who are fighting for their survival from climate stress,” Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister for climate change, told the Times.


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