A Breakthrough on climate compensation and 7 other takeaways from COP27

(Bloomberg) -- They got there in the end. After dawn on Sunday morning in Egypt, bleary-eyed ministers adopted a final agreement for COP27 and completed more than two weeks of UN climate negotiations in the Sinai peninsula.
The deal included a historic provision to set up a fund to help poorer countries face the harm caused by climate change, and that outcome was understandably celebrated by nations on the front line of a warming world. “A mission 30 years in the making has been accomplished,” said Molwyn Joseph, the minister from Antigua and Barbuda and chair of the AOSIS group of small island nations.
But beyond loss and damage — the COP-world term for paying up for climate catastrophes — the final deal was a clear disappointment for those wanting to ratchet up the ambitions of last year’s Glasgow agreement. The statement didn’t include a commitment to broaden the pledge to phase down unabated coal emissions to cover all fossil fuels, and there was no reference to global greenhouse gas emissions peaking by 2025.
The endgame was clearly tough for the European Commission climate chief Frans Timmermans, who had taken center stage at the summit, proposing a grand bargain on loss and damage in exchange for more emissions ambition and then threatening a late walkout by the European Union.
In the end, the EU and its allies had to settle for some technical changes to the so-called work program on mitigation. Now that the books have closed on COP27, here’s a look at eight key takeaways from two weeks of climate talks involving nearly 200 countries.
1. A new fund for loss and damage
Climate change causes inequities and exacerbates them. The rich countries gained their wealth from fossil fuels, leaving poor countries who haven’t benefited from those emissions with huge bills from the resulting climate impacts. After decades of calls to compensate climate victims in the developing world, COP27 finally produced an agreement to create a fund that would address loss and damage.
But this breakthrough comes with enormous question marks. No sums of money were actually committed at Sharm El-Sheikh, and the rules of how the fund would work were left to be decided at next year’s COP28 in the United Arab Emirates. Henry Kokofu, Ghanaian politician and head of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, warned that without further concrete steps there is a risk of simply creating “an empty bank account.”
2. Possible changes coming to ...