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Rich nations want to delay making commitments to a loss and damage fund for another two years in what would be a blow for those hoping it would be agreed upon in the Cop27 pact.

The first draft text revealing the status of the negotiations at the summit in Sharm el-Shiekh, Egypt, was published by the United Nations on Monday and sets out a clear divide between rich and poor countries over a proposed loss and damage fund.

The document is the first indication of what almost 200 countries that are part of the summit will agree to and sets out the core political goals and targets from the meeting.

This year’s summit has been predominantly focused on a proposed loss and damage fund following the inclusion of the issue in the agenda after almost two decades of demands by poorer countries.

However, the text released by the United Nations on Monday shows there are still disagreements among the parties over the creation of the new fund.

The draft text outlines several options for financially supporting developing countries hit by climate-fuelled disasters. One of those options is to set up a new financing facility – a key demand by developing countries – in time for the Cop29 conference.

While another scenario envisions an option for the negotiations over the new fund to continue with two more years of talks.

A source close to the negotiations told The Independent that developing countries “are pushing hard” for the financing facility to be set up and committed to in the final pact. But rich nations, which have agreed to discuss the new fund for the first time, want the negotiations to continue for the next two years.

While the fund is not set to be operational for two years, developing and vulnerable countries have insisted on a clear timeline for progress in the final pact with fears that the rich nations might continue to stall the progress.

The inclusion of a loss and damage fund as an agenda item at the beginning of the conference was hailed as a move towards addressing climate injustice faced by vulnerable communities that are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, largely caused by the mass burning of fossil fuels by developed nations.

However, activists say that merely agreeing to the need for loss and damage fund should not be seen as a success for the summit and say a clear timeline and commitment from rich countries to pay for the fund is needed.

The first draft text will now be debated and likely revised before negotiators agree on the final “Sharm” pact at the end of the summit.

This story was published with the support of Climate Tracker‘s Cop27 Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship

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