Egypt, which is hosting the upcoming COP27 climate negotiations, is working on how to include compensation for economic losses due to climate catastrophes on the formal agenda of the November summit, as pressure grows from vulnerable countries to prioritize the issue, the country’s special representative of the summit said on Wednesday.

Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt’s special representative of COP27, told reporters that the host country is “putting a lot of effort” into ensuring that the question of how to compensate countries that have experienced heavy economic loss due to climate catastrophes is prioritized at the forum, which will be held from Nov. 6-18 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“We need to find a practical solution that accommodates the various concerns and it’s up to us as the incoming COP presidency, to sort of navigate and finesse this process,” Aboulmagd told reporters. “We are inching closer.”

Including “loss and damage” on the agenda is a complicated task because lower-income and climate-vulnerable countries are seeking compensation for damages from climate-induced extreme weather events while industrialized nations are wary of creating a fund because of the liabilities they may face.

Aboulmagd said as the incoming COP president, Egypt needs to “navigate” the disparate positions and that it has appointed two ministers to come up with a plan for how to include “loss and damage” on COP27’s formal agenda. The two ministers are Germany’s special envoy for international climate action, Jennifer Morgan, and Chile’s environment minister, Maisa Rojas.

At last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, the United States and the European Union rejected calls for a fund to compensate countries for climate-driven losses.

But as different countries grapple with extreme weather this year, pressure is growing for “loss and damage” to be prioritized at COP27.

At the U.N. General Assembly earlier this month, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) – countries among the most vulnerable to sea-level rise and other climate impacts – called for concrete progress toward a funding mechanism.

After visiting Pakistan in the wake of devastating floods, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged governments to address loss and damage at COP27 “with the seriousness it deserves.”

“At COP 27 we need to work together to show leadership and move forward on addressing this very important issue, particularly when it comes to finding a creative way … to find financing for countries who are in extreme need to address the immediate losses and damages that wipe out a significant part of their annual GDP,” Aboulmagd said. (Reuters)


Egypt: About 90 heads of state confirmed for COP27 climate summit – Environment and Development


About 90 heads of state have confirmed attendance at November’s COP27 climate negotiations in Egypt where they will address issues including energy transition and food security at opening sessions, a senior Egyptian official said on Monday.

“We’ve received a large number of confirmations from around the world, I think the last count was about 90 heads of state but the numbers keep coming in,” said Wael Aboulmagd, special representative for the COP27 presidency, without mentioning specific countries.

“What we’ve decided is that our heads of state section will not be a traditional plenary-only type of affair, but rather there will be six roundtables … for heads of state to actually engage in a discussion on the issue at hand.”

Egypt is taking over the presidency of the U.N. climate talks from Britain, and will host the talks from November 6-18 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Topics for leaders’ roundtables held on November 7-8 would include the development of green hydrogen, water and food security, achieving a just energy transition towards renewables, and vulnerable communities, Aboulmagd said.

The themes reflect some of the Egypt’s priorities as it tries to better promote the interests of developing nations and their need for financing to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“We strongly believe that we need all the political will and momentum and direction coming from heads of state to push the process forward, because it has become a very, very adversarial process,” Aboulmagd said.

Egypt is working on how to include “loss and damage” – compensation to climate-vulnerable countries already suffering from climate-related weather extremes – on the summit’s formal agenda.

At last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, the United States and the European Union rejected calls for a fund to compensate for such losses.

At a pre-COP meeting of heads of delegations last month, “no one seemed to say we’re against an agenda item”, said Aboulmagd. (Reuters)