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Cop27: EU agrees to finance fund for poorer countries – live

Key eventsShow key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featureFiona HarveyMary Robinson, chair of The Elders and former UN commissioner for human rights, has given her reaction to the EU’s proposal on loss and damage. This proposal from the ministerial co-leads Jennifer Morgan and Maisa Rojas on loss and damage finance puts us…

The issue of loss and damage, the funding being demanded by poorer nations to rebuild after unavoidable climate disasters, is now the pivotal issue at Cop27. The negotiations over the founding and structure of such a fund are wonkish, but Dr Farah Naureen, Mercy Corps’ country director for Pakistan has reminded delegates what loss and damage actually means on the ground:

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“One staggering loss and damage example [is] the catastrophic flooding that hit my country, Pakistan, killing more than 1,700 this year. In the most-affected areas, the water has not receded. Communities are forced to camp in tents on elevated roadsides surrounded by snake-infested water and they are at constant risk of waterborne diseases. Some sleep close to their destroyed homes to keep an eye on the little they still own, wondering how to get their lives and livelihood back.”

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“This year, the total losses and damages caused by flooding are estimated at $30bn in Pakistan. Only 20% of an $800 UN aid appeal for the country has been funded so far, which will address urgent needs, but not long-term recovery and reconstruction. At least 25,000 schools have been damaged, forcing children, especially young girls, to stay at home. Health facilities were also destroyed, leaving thousands of pregnant women without prenatal and delivery care. Most families are not ready to face the harsh winter.”

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“Some countries such as Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK have pledged bilateral funding to address loss and damage. While this recognises the responsibility of higher-income countries for loss and damage, the amounts are small and symbolic.”

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Pakistan produced 0.7% of carbon emissions in 2020. But human-caused global heating made the devastating rains that flooded a third of the nation about 50% worse.

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Extreme weather in 2022 had caused more than $220bn in economic damages by October, according to insurer Aon. To date, about $300m has been committed in loss and damage funds.

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and damage example: Pakistan”,”contributors”: [{“name”:”Damian Carrington”,”imageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/4/17/1397749330473/DamianCarrington.jpg?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=1e02f70d9d908b71f591de0a3cb6fcd2″,”largeImageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2017/10/06/Damian-Carrington,-R.png?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=75b7d649b6c8fc8d90d98a3ae15d3724″}],”primaryDateLine”:”Fri 18 Nov 2022 12.10 GMT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Fri 18 Nov 2022 08.11 GMT”},{“id”:”637747f48f089c66c5057d0b”,”elements”: [{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

I grabbed a word with Canada’s environment minister, Steven Guilbeault, at its Cop27 pavilion this morning. He said Canada was supportive of the EU’s proposal on loss and damage, but countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar should contribute to the fund given their historical emissions and wealth.

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He told the Guardian: “We are not opposed to the idea of creating a new fund. There’s already a lot of funding out there … The G77 seems to really, really want a new fund. I think what the EU proposal does is to say: ‘if we were to create a new fund, we are going to need certain conditions: we need to see real ambition on mitigation in the text’. We agree with that and we are not seeing that right now.

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“We need to have a serious conversation about expanding the donor base. We recognise our responsibility but we are less and less large emitters compared to others. It’s in the interest of vulnerable countries to have more donors … China should definitely be there. I think there are a number of oil-producing nations in the Gulf region that should be part of that. I haven’t looked at the UAE’s figures but Qatar and Saudi Arabia, yes,” he said.

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Saudi Arabia and Qatar should contribute to loss and damage – Canada”,”contributors”: [{“name”:”Patrick Greenfield”,”imageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2022/08/30/Patrick_Greenfield.jpg?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=433fc08bf3dd5eb42b9298a314202d48″,”largeImageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2022/08/30/Patrick_Greenfield.png?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=236f4854e03ae25b82931c7fabce1a73″}],”primaryDateLine”:”Fri 18 Nov 2022 12.10 GMT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Fri 18 Nov 2022 08.11 GMT”}],”filterKeyEvents”:false,”format”:{“display”:0,”theme”:0,”design”:10},”id”:”key-events-carousel-mobile”}”>

Key events

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Fiona Harvey

Fiona Harvey

Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders and former UN commissioner for human rights, has given her reaction to the EU’s proposal on loss and damage.



This proposal from the ministerial co-leads Jennifer Morgan and Maisa Rojas on loss and damage finance puts us on the cusp of a historic breakthrough. We’ve gone from not even having loss and damage finance on the agenda at COP27 to having a fund, a mechanism, and a flow of finance all within our grasp.

If adopted, this could well ignite bold reform of the wider international financial system so multilateral development banks (MDBs) open their coffers for those in need of loss and damage financing. If this text is agreed at COP27 it not only delivers a UNFCCC answer to loss and damage finance, it could initiate the restructuring of international financial architecture to meet today’s global challenges

Participants in an intergenerational panel discussion address loss and damage, from left, Ugandan climate justice advocate Vanessa Nakate, Chair of Elders and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, and Pakistani climate justice advocate Ayisha Siddiqa, at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Participants in an intergenerational panel discussion address loss and damage, from left, Ugandan climate justice advocate Vanessa Nakate, Chair of Elders and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, and Pakistani climate justice advocate Ayisha Siddiqa, at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photograph: Thomas Hartwell/AP

A little thought experiment for #COP27

By a large distance, the US has the greatest historical responsibility for climate change

But China's emissions today are much higher

If their CO2 emissions remain constant, US would still have a large lead over China by 2030 pic.twitter.com/NDPfRc7Nwu

— Simon Evans (@DrSimEvans) November 18, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/DrSimEvans/status/1593566233534033920″,”id”:”1593566233534033920″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”c3c36da3-8f2a-4c27-8d43-dcf9b6d7a120″}}”>

A little thought experiment for #COP27

By a large distance, the US has the greatest historical responsibility for climate change

But China’s emissions today are much higher

If their CO2 emissions remain constant, US would still have a large lead over China by 2030 pic.twitter.com/NDPfRc7Nwu

— Simon Evans (@DrSimEvans) November 18, 2022

Adam Morton

Adam Morton

At the same press conference at which the Tuvalu minister described the EU loss and damage position as a “breakthrough”, civil society groups responded angrily to the failure of the latest draft text to support the phasing out of fossil fuels. Instead, it suggests countries will just repeat last year’s agreement that coal should be phased down (but not out).

Zeina Khalil Hajj, from the group 350.org, said that “sadly, we are still looking at text with loopholes”.

“We can not consider this Cop to be a success if phasing out fossil fuels is not in the text. We can not consider this an implementation conference [as described by the Egyptian presidency] because there is no implementation without phasing out fossil fuels altogether.”

She said activists objected to the introduction of language that said inefficient fossil fuel subsidies should be “rationalised”. Last year’s Glasgow pact said they should be phased out.

“We can not rationalise burning our planet.”

Catherine Abreu, from Destination Zero, said the Egyptian presidency had ignored calls from India, the US, EU, UK, Tuvalu and several other European countries for fossil fuels to be phased out or down.

“If we don’t see that in the next iteration we will call this Cop a failure.”

Lorraine Chiponda, from the Africa Climate Movement of Movements, pointed to the large number of fossil fuel lobbyists at Cop – more than 600 – and said it was clear they had affected decision making.

She said with a few hours to go there was still “no answer or solution” for African people at what was supposed to be an African-focused Cop. Leaders had failed to address a major push to develop gas resources in Africa that would lead to the construction of pipelines, communities being displaced, water supplies affected and emissions significantly increased.

She said: “The advancement of gas, the advancement of fossil fuels, the level of consideration of the need to phase out gas and oil show that this Cop has failed.”

UCL’s professor of global change science, Simon Lewis, gives his take on the draft cover text.

This from the COP27 draft cover text:

“Acknowledging… overlapping crises of food, energy, cascading risks, geopolitical, financial, debt and economic challenges, compounded and coupled by more frequent and intense climate impacts, all having negative impacts…”

A thread:

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/SimonLLewis/status/1593558080171786241″,”id”:”1593558080171786241″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”8b8b4449-7b5b-4d59-b2c2-d27de7a792cb”}}”>

This from the COP27 draft cover text:

“Acknowledging… overlapping crises of food, energy, cascading risks, geopolitical, financial, debt and economic challenges, compounded and coupled by more frequent and intense climate impacts, all having negative impacts…”

A thread:

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

If it survives the next 2 days of negotiations, this would be a stark acknowledgement by every country on Earth, of failure. We have had astonishing increases in productivity, technological capabilities and overall wealth over past decades, yet this polycrisis is the outcome.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

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If it survives the next 2 days of negotiations, this would be a stark acknowledgement by every country on Earth, of failure. We have had astonishing increases in productivity, technological capabilities and overall wealth over past decades, yet this polycrisis is the outcome.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

This kind of acknowledgement, as a sort of background, as tense discussions are ongoing at #COP27, gives space to the kind of alternatives needed to get off our current trajectory.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

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This kind of acknowledgement, as a sort of background, as tense discussions are ongoing at #COP27, gives space to the kind of alternatives needed to get off our current trajectory.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

The need to fundamentally reform the world's financial architecture is needed and is referenced in the draft text. The need to pile investment into renewables. The need to get funding for loss and damage to the vulnerable. And much more.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

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The need to fundamentally reform the world’s financial architecture is needed and is referenced in the draft text. The need to pile investment into renewables. The need to get funding for loss and damage to the vulnerable. And much more.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

These are easier sells when we can acknowledge what we've done over recent decades has failed, and brought the world to a many-sided crisis. We can work on solutions at the right scale when we acknowledge the scale of our problems.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

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These are easier sells when we can acknowledge what we’ve done over recent decades has failed, and brought the world to a many-sided crisis. We can work on solutions at the right scale when we acknowledge the scale of our problems.

— Simon Lewis (@SimonLLewis) November 18, 2022

Karl Mathiesen, Politico’s senior climate correspondent, with a great quote from an Egyptian official on when Cop27 is likely to finish.

Senior Egyptian official on COP27 closing time: “I hope even today … Inshallah. I mean, you're in Egypt for quite some time. So you know that inshallah means a lot of things. So inshallah finish today.”

UN note: We are planning a plenary for midnight on Saturday.

— Karl Mathiesen (@KarlMathiesen) November 18, 2022

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Senior Egyptian official on COP27 closing time: “I hope even today … Inshallah. I mean, you’re in Egypt for quite some time. So you know that inshallah means a lot of things. So inshallah finish today.”

UN note: We are planning a plenary for midnight on Saturday.

— Karl Mathiesen (@KarlMathiesen) November 18, 2022

Also UN: “Catering services will continue throughout the day on Saturday should the COP be extended. Not so sure about Sunday yet.”

— Karl Mathiesen (@KarlMathiesen) November 18, 2022

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Also UN: “Catering services will continue throughout the day on Saturday should the COP be extended. Not so sure about Sunday yet.”

— Karl Mathiesen (@KarlMathiesen) November 18, 2022

Loss and damage example: Pakistan

Damian Carrington

Damian Carrington

The issue of loss and damage, the funding being demanded by poorer nations to rebuild after unavoidable climate disasters, is now the pivotal issue at Cop27. The negotiations over the founding and structure of such a fund are wonkish, but Dr Farah Naureen, Mercy Corps’ country director for Pakistan has reminded delegates what loss and damage actually means on the ground:

“One staggering loss and damage example [is] the catastrophic flooding that hit my country, Pakistan, killing more than 1,700 this year. In the most-affected areas, the water has not receded. Communities are forced to camp in tents on elevated roadsides surrounded by snake-infested water and they are at constant risk of waterborne diseases. Some sleep close to their destroyed homes to keep an eye on the little they still own, wondering how to get their lives and livelihood back.”

“This year, the total losses and damages caused by flooding are estimated at $30bn in Pakistan. Only 20% of an $800 UN aid appeal for the country has been funded so far, which will address urgent needs, but not long-term recovery and reconstruction. At least 25,000 schools have been damaged, forcing children, especially young girls, to stay at home. Health facilities were also destroyed, leaving thousands of pregnant women without prenatal and delivery care. Most families are not ready to face the harsh winter.”

“Some countries such as Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK have pledged bilateral funding to address loss and damage. While this recognises the responsibility of higher-income countries for loss and damage, the amounts are small and symbolic.”

Pakistan produced 0.7% of carbon emissions in 2020. But human-caused global heating made the devastating rains that flooded a third of the nation about 50% worse.

Extreme weather in 2022 had caused more than $220bn in economic damages by October, according to insurer Aon. To date, about $300m has been committed in loss and damage funds.

Victims of heavy flooding from monsoon rains carry relief aid through flood water in the Qambar Shahdadkot district of Sindh Province, Pakistan, Sept. 9, 2022.
Victims of heavy flooding from monsoon rains carry relief aid through flood water in the Qambar Shahdadkot district of Sindh Province, Pakistan, Sept. 9, 2022. Photograph: Fareed Khan/AP

Ruth Michaelson

Ruth Michaelson

The Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice held a press conference to try and unpick the state of negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as outlining what Gadir Lavadenz of GCDCJ called the “hypocrisies” occurring during the talks.

Lavandez criticised what he labelled as “so-called developed nations not only obstructing negotiations but locking the world in a fossil fuel dependent path, by closing all sorts of fossil-fuel based energy deals”, during Cop27.

Panelists Meena Raman of the Third World Network and Mohamed Adow of Power Shift Africa both criticised the current options being discussed at Cop27 around a fund for “loss and damage”, particularly around debates over the definition of “vulnerable,” countries.

“We need a fund that can channel support to the most vulnerable communities, but a way that allows us to define what vulnerability is,” said Adow.

In their reading, this language was already settled in the text of the Paris agreement, and efforts to put further definitions on it now risks restricting access to the fund only to a tiny minority of countries, rather than recognising that the majority of the global south is vulnerable to the impact of the climate crisis.

Raman outlined the current options being discussed for a loss and damage fund, including establishing a fund immediately, establishing a fund that begins in 2024 or an alternative funding arrangement entirely.

“Watch the United States and other developed countries hiding behind the US to see whether they’ll be in support of a proposition to establish a fund right here in Sharm el-Sheikh,” she said. “Overall in the negotiations, the US in particular and others including Switzerland for the environmental integrity group, they have been quite belligerent. What they’re trying to do across all agenda items is to wreck the Paris agreement and wreck the convention. How they do this is by not acknowledging their historical responsibility, removing references to common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities … you can’t come to Sharm el-Sheikh and try to delete all you’ve agreed to in the past and pretend as though there’s no historical responsibility.”

Brandon Wu of ActionAid USA also voiced criticisms of the EU’s loss and damage proposal put forward last night, saying that while the proposal would establish a fund immediately, that “the fund here includes a number of poison pills”.

He said: “One of them is this focus on vulnerable countries only, as well as broadening the donor base. These are two things that go against agreements that have already been made, and were extremely hard fought, and we found a landing zone in Paris that again not everyone was happy with, but we already have. Again, this push to broaden the donor base in particular is an abdication of responsibility from developed countries, let’s be clear on what it is. It would be a lot more credible if the US, if the EU, were actually meeting their climate finance obligations, but they’re not coming anywhere close. They say we’re getting close to the 100 billion [US dollars] while 75% of what they’re counting is loans or private finance or export credit, it’s not real finance that’s flowing north to south.”

Final text for Santiago Network – to provide technical help for those facing loss and damage – has also finally been published. (This was agreed 2 days ago)

🌊 Advisory board established
🌊 Board will have Indigenous, women, youth members
🌊 Secretariat location to be decided pic.twitter.com/BrTTbH8u96

— Josh Gabbatiss (@Josh_Gabbatiss) November 18, 2022

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Final text for Santiago Network – to provide technical help for those facing loss and damage – has also finally been published. (This was agreed 2 days ago)

🌊 Advisory board established

🌊 Board will have Indigenous, women, youth members

🌊 Secretariat location to be decided pic.twitter.com/BrTTbH8u96

— Josh Gabbatiss (@Josh_Gabbatiss) November 18, 2022

Text here: https://t.co/JhZ783NdEq

— Josh Gabbatiss (@Josh_Gabbatiss) November 18, 2022

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Adam Morton

Adam Morton

The low-lying Pacific island of Tuvalu has been reacting to the EU’s proposal on “loss and damage”. Its finance minister, Seve Paeniu, called for support for phasing out all fossil fuels, language so far missing from the draft Sharm el-Sheikh agreement.

He described the EU position on loss and damage as a “breakthrough”.

“They are now agreeing to setting up a response fund. To me, that is a major concession and major breakthrough,” he said. “It is our hope that will be ending up in the text of the conference decision.”

He said there would then be 12 months before the next Cop “to do all the work” on designing the fund. He also welcomed an EU push for a recognition that global emissions need to peak by 2025, rather than 2030, and that greater action was needed to cut methane. But he said that were not enough to accelerate ambition towards limiting heating to 1.5C.

Paeniu said language in a draft agreement for the conference needed to be strengthened to say there should be a ban on all new fossil fuel extraction and production, including oil and gas, not just a phase down of unabated coal power. “That needs to be in the conference decision by the end of today.”

Attendees from Tuvalu pose for a photo during the COP27 climate conference at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of the same name, on November 9, 2022.
Attendees from Tuvalu during Cop27 at Sharm el-Sheikh. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Patrick Greenfield

Patrick Greenfield

If you are confused about what is going on at Cop27 this morning, we need to go back to 1992 when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established. The Soviet Union had just been dissolved, the world’s human population was about 5.5 billion, and countries such as China and South Korea were still industrialising.

Much has changed in 30 years. Some former eastern bloc countries are part of the EU and as such, have become donor nations in the UNFCCC process. The UAE, Brazil, South Korea, China, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are much wealthier and have emitted enormous amounts of greenhouse gases.

Many wealthy donor countries feel that countries whose economies have grown significantly since 1992, especially China, should contribute to any loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries. There will be a big tussle on this issue in the coming hours and days in Egypt between negotiators.

U.S. President George Bush is watched by first lady Barbara Bush as he signs the Earth Pledge at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, June 12, 1992.
President George Bush is watched by first lady Barbara Bush as he signs the Earth Pledge at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Photograph: M Frustino/AP

Here is the latest from Carbon Brief’s senior policy editor Simon Evans on how close we are to agreement.

#COP27 status 1030am

There's finally a proper draft cover text…

…overnight the EU put fwd grand bargain on loss & damage finance for most vulnerable, with broader donor base, in return for ambition…

…and now 9 of 32 areas we're tracking are agreedhttps://t.co/sEYWJQHnJI pic.twitter.com/Vrg7Gqt1C6

— Simon Evans (@DrSimEvans) November 18, 2022

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China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar should contribute to loss and damage – Canada

Patrick Greenfield

Patrick Greenfield

I grabbed a word with Canada’s environment minister, Steven Guilbeault, at its Cop27 pavilion this morning. He said Canada was supportive of the EU’s proposal on loss and damage, but countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar should contribute to the fund given their historical emissions and wealth.

He told the Guardian: “We are not opposed to the idea of creating a new fund. There’s already a lot of funding out there … The G77 seems to really, really want a new fund. I think what the EU proposal does is to say: ‘if we were to create a new fund, we are going to need certain conditions: we need to see real ambition on mitigation in the text’. We agree with that and we are not seeing that right now.

“We need to have a serious conversation about expanding the donor base. We recognise our responsibility but we are less and less large emitters compared to others. It’s in the interest of vulnerable countries to have more donors … China should definitely be there. I think there are a number of oil-producing nations in the Gulf region that should be part of that. I haven’t looked at the UAE’s figures but Qatar and Saudi Arabia, yes,” he said.

Steven Guilbeault, minister of the environment and climate change of Canada, speaks at the COP27 U.N.
Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s minister of the environment and climate change, speaks at Cop27. Photograph: Peter Dejong/AP

Loss and damage has been the main issue and sticking point at these talks, but what exactly does it mean? My colleague Nina Lakhani’s explainer should answer your questions:

Megan Darby, editor of ClimateHome, is also going through the new text (which dropped, she says, a couple of hours after they’d sent out the newsletter).

oh great, new #COP27 cover text dropped just after we sent out our newsletter – 10 pages down from 20 https://t.co/6mDYUCEV9y

— Megan Darby (@climatemegan) November 18, 2022

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She points out that the demand for fossil fuel phase-down which many people wanted still has not made the cut. But also adds:

Provocative basic language on “deep regret” that developed countries are so rubbish has gone.

The latest draft text has also been published and is being combed through by everyone.

Sébastien Duyck, a senior Attorney working at #COP27, thinks there are four main areas of concern:

  • the deletion of references to human right to a clean environment;

  • no reference to phasing out of oil & gas;

  • references to “low emission energy systems” & “clean power generation” opening door for continued promotion of #FossilFuels instead of shift to #RenewableEnergy

  • and no reference to the crucial biodiversity COP-15 upcoming next month and the need for a strong outcome

Mikael Karlsson has tweeted the EU proposal here.

EU COP27 proposal. https://t.co/BjIbaiowZj

— Mikael Karlsson (@MikaelKarlsson_) November 18, 2022

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Good morning, and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the Cop27 climate talks.

Today is theoretically the final day of the conference, but these events usually overrun and most people expect it to last into Saturday and possibly even Sunday.

However, a major step forward came overnight as the European Union agreed to support the creation of a fund for loss and damage finance – that is, money provided by rich countries to help poorer countries adapt to and recover from the devastating effects of the climate crisis.

My colleagues Fiona Harvey and Adam Morton have the full story here:

Patrick Greenfield will be here shortly, and you can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @pgreenfielduk.

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