Countries reach a tentative agreement on payments as climate talks progress overtime

The organizers and delegates gave no hint of when the talks would end.

Final drafts of the texts, seen by POLITICO, show that the deal on the damages fund has remained intact despite the ups and downs of the past few hours after an adverb describing vulnerable countries was changed from “private” to “private.” Negotiators said the Egyptian presidency of the summit blamed the change on a typo.

Another part of the deal under negotiation said the process, which aims to encourage rapid reductions in pollution, “will not impose new goals or targets.” This is the line that Europeans have fought so hard to remove.

European regulators have threatened to Exit talks Saturday If countries do not agree to make stronger commitments to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. European officials have accused oil-producing Saudi Arabia and coal-burning China of trying to weaken the deal.

However, a pivotal point in the talks came on Friday, when negotiators said the US had submitted A significant break from its former locations By agreeing to create a fund that would pay developing countries for the damages they suffer from climate damage. Washington has long opposed such a fund, fearing it would expose the United States to legal action for all the carbon it has pumped into the atmosphere over the past century and a half.

Seif Bainyu, the finance minister of the Pacific island of Tuvalu, confirmed on Saturday that an agreement had been reached to create a fund for payments, one of the most contentious issues at the summit.

At the same time, US negotiators insisted that China – the world’s second largest economy and current leader in greenhouse gas pollution – contribute to any such fund. China, referring to a 1992 UN agreement that classifies it as a developing country, has argued that it should receive payments instead.

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US resistance to the climate fund has drawn sustained criticism from delegates representing countries at risk from climate change, even as President Joe Biden sought to use the summit to reassert American leadership on combating global warming.

An EU official said the non-final agreement “determines the creation of new financing arrangements to assist developing countries particularly vulnerable to climate change in responding to loss and damage.”

The same official said that a clause in the draft text referring to “identifying and expanding funding sources” was a vague reference to broadening the base of countries that would contribute to the fund. The European Union will work next year to ensure that this signal applies to countries such as China and Saudi Arabia.

The talks in Egypt set the stage for more crucial negotiations at the upcoming UN climate summit, scheduled for late 2023 in the United Arab Emirates. Those talks will try to develop more details about the new box’s design.

But as key aspects of the negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh dragged on, particularly over a program to encourage sharper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who is leading the talks, cautioned against engaging in any aspect of the agreement.

“I do not want to speculate or prejudice the ongoing discussions and negotiations,” he said.

Sarah Schonehart contributed to this report.

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