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UAE talks to pave way for COP28

About 70 ministers met in Abu Dhabi. (AFP/File)
About 70 ministers met in Abu Dhabi. (AFP/File)
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01 Nov 2023 01:11:14 GMT9
01 Nov 2023 01:11:14 GMT9

Arab News

DUBAI: A “loss and damage” fund for developing countries hit by climate change dominated preliminary talks in the UAE on Tuesday before COP28 in Dubai in a month’s time.

About 70 ministers met in Abu Dhabi to hammer out details before the UN climate summit, the most important since the landmark Paris agreement in 2015.

“The main focus for the moment is clearly the loss and damage fund,” French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said. Egypt’s delegate to the talks, Mohamed Nasr, said “almost 80 percent of the text” had been agreed, and an African negotiator said the “real battles” would be fought at COP28.

The agreement to set up a dedicated fund to help vulnerable states cope with climate loss and damage was a flagship achievement of last year’s COP27 in Egypt, but countries left the details to be worked out later.

Developing nations are demanding that negotiators at the Dubai summit nail down the fund’s operation, governance, location, contributors and beneficiaries, and a timeline for payouts. But many are skeptical of the willingness of wealthy countries to establish the fund.

The last round of negotiations in mid-October ended in failure, with a next round scheduled from Nov. 3-5 in Abu Dhabi. “We were one or two days away from an agreement,” one European negotiator said, but disagreements on issues including beneficiaries had delayed a breakthrough.

“The US does not want to put in a penny if China is a potential beneficiary,” the negotiator said.

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