Quote Box: Reaction to UN climate meet deal on historic fund

Nov 19, 2022, 8:05 PM | Updated: 10:57 pm
Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, listens during a closing ple...

Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, listens during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — “This is the make or break decade, but what we have in front of us is not enough of a step forward for people and planet,” a disappointed Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Union told his fellow negotiators. “It does not bring enough added efforts from major emitters to increase and accelerate their emissions cuts.

“We have all fallen short in actions to avoid and minimize loss and damage,” Timmermans said. “We should have done much more.”

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The deal “responded to the voices of the vulnerable, the damaged and the lost of the whole world by establishing a fund for the lost and the damaged,” said Pakistan environment minister Sherry Rehman, speaking for a coalition of the world’s poorest nations.

“We have struggled for 30 years on this path. And today, in Sharm el-Sheikh, this journey has achieved its first positive milestone. The establishment of a fund is not about dispensing charity. It is clearly a down payment on the longer investment in our joint futures.”

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“It wasn’t easy at all,” said U.N. Climate Chief Simon Stiell. “We worked around the clock. But this outcome does move us forward” and he said it for the first time addresses “the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change.”

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The deal will help “save our planet from the threat of climate change and turn this climate challenge into an opportunity for growth and development in a just, equitable, inclusive and balanced manner,” said the summit president Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian foreign minister.

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“I’m proud I got to be here to witness this happen and contribute in a small way,” said Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Climate Envoy of the Marshall Islands. “Worn out but so worth it to protect already disappearing islets, shorelines and culture. So many people all this week told us we wouldn’t get it. So glad they were wrong.”

But she added: “I wish we got fossil fuel phase out. The current text is not enough. But we’ve shown with the loss and damage fund that we can do the impossible. So we know we can come back next year and get rid of fossil fuels once and for all.”

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Martin Kaiser, the head of Greenpeace Germany, described the agreement on loss and damage as a “small plaster on a huge, gaping wound.”

“It’s a scandal that the Egyptian COP presidency gave petrostates such as Saudi Arabia space to torpedo effective climate protection. They have prevented a clear decision on the urgently needed phaseout of coal, oil and gas,” he said, adding that the meeting “carelessly risks adherence to the 1.5-degree limit.”

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Harjeet Singh of the environmental group Climate Action Network International said the new fund had effectively “sent a warning shot to polluters that they can no longer go scot-free with their climate destruction.”

“From now on, they will have to pay up for the damages they cause and are accountable to the people who are facing supercharged storms, devastating floods and rising seas,” he said.

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“In a historic breakthrough, wealthy nations have finally agreed to create a fund to aid vulnerable countries that are reeling from devastating climate damages,” said Ani Dasgupta, president of the environmental think tank World Resources Institute.

“This loss and damage fund will be a lifeline for poor families whose houses are destroyed, farmers whose fields are ruined, and islanders forced from their ancestral homes,” he said. “This positive outcome from COP27 is an important step toward rebuilding trust with vulnerable countries.”

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Follow AP’s climate and environment coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

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              Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, listens during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, bangs the gavel during a closing plenary session at the U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Sherry Rehman, minister of climate change for Pakistan, speaks during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Simon Stiell, U.N. climate chief, speaks during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Delegates nap during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, left, and Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, shake hands during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, left, and Sherry Rehman, minister of climate change for Pakistan, pose for photos during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Delegates nap during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, left, and Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, shake hands during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, left, and Sherry Rehman, minister of climate change for Pakistan, pose for photos during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Delegates nap during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, left, and Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, shake hands during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, left, and Sherry Rehman, minister of climate change for Pakistan, pose for photos during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Delegates nap during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, left, and Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, shake hands during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, left, and Sherry Rehman, minister of climate change for Pakistan, pose for photos during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, left, and Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, shake hands during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, left, and Sherry Rehman, minister of climate change for Pakistan, pose for photos during a break in a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Delegates listen during a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, left, holds the gavel at a closing plenary session at the U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Maisa Rojas, minister of environment of Chile, left, and Germany's climate envoy Jennifer Morgan laugh ahead of a closing plenary session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

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Quote Box: Reaction to UN climate meet deal on historic fund