The European Commission has announced a €1 billion (about $1 billion) program to help finance climate change adaptation and resilience in Africa.
The programme, called the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package, aims to improve cooperation between the EU and the African Union.
It will be funded by the European Union and the governments of Germany, France, Denmark and the Netherlands, said EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans, adding that other countries would be welcome to join the initiative.
Timmermans said the size of the fund was a starting point and that a small share of it, about 60 million euros, would go towards spending “loss and damage”.
The European Union also said on Wednesday that it would “put forward ideas on how to move the loss and damage negotiations forward” at the UN’s COP27 climate summit. However, this came at a time when senior politicians dampened hopes for a broad agreement on the idea of establishing a global fund to compensate developing countries suffering from the effects of climate change in Sharm El-Sheikh this year.
What about the conversations about the global “loss and damage” fund?
One of the main issues at the summit was the issue of so-called “loss and damage” financing. This would involve richer nations compensating for less developed countries that are facing the effects of climate change even though they have historically done relatively little to cause it.
The United States and the European Union have allowed the issue to appear on the agenda of COP27 in Egypt, but both powers have also shown persistent reservations about the idea.
The United Nations’ group of 77 developing countries, along with China, proposed setting up a global loss and damage fund, saying the need for a fund was “urgent and immediate”.
The EU wants to explore other options, too: Timmermans
Timmermans, the European climate commissioner, told DW on Wednesday that the bloc would prefer to explore “other potential solutions” that he said might be achievable more quickly.
“We also need to talk about terms. Some states want a specific fund for that, that could be a solution. We’re open to that,” Timmermans said. “But we also want to explore other possible solutions because it takes many years to create a fund and we want to start helping vulnerable countries now.”
The Dutch politician spoke to DW shortly before taking the stage in Sharm El-Sheikh on Wednesday. He said more flexibility was needed so that funding could reach places of need more quickly.
“We need to make sure [developing countries] Getting this funding is much faster than it is today, because sometimes they wait for years and they cannot wait for years to rebuild their countries when they are affected by climate disasters.”
Timmermans said the EU wanted there to be a “successful outcome on loss and damage here in Sharm el-Sheikh”.
What does German Berbock say on this issue?
German Foreign Minister Analina Berbock, a Greens politician, said on Wednesday that talks about losses and damages were ongoing but that ideas were still “diverging”.
Particularly affected countries that are not responsible for the carbon dioxide emissions of industrialized countries have a right to claim protection from damages and losses caused by climate change, Berbuck said.
“The fact that we have now succeeded in putting this requirement on the climate conference agenda for the first time opens an important door, and we must now build on this,” she said.
However, Burbock said, “We still have a difficult road ahead.”
msh, los/fb (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)