In Sharm el-Sheikh, delegates at the U.N. climate summit agreed on Sunday to establish a landmark “loss and damage” fund to help the Global South deal with the worst effects of the climate catastrophe, largely caused by rich countries. The U.S., historically the world’s worst polluter, was the last major holdout on the proposal before finally agreeing to the fund on Saturday. But it’s unclear how these commitments will be enforced. In the U.S., such funds would need to be appropriated by a now-split Congress. Meanwhile, activists, the U.N. and vulnerable nations have condemned the lack of action on lowering emissions in order to reach the goal of keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This is Alok Sharma, president of last year’s COP26, speaking Sunday.
Alok Sharma: “Emissions peaking before 2025, as the science tells us is necessary, not in this text. Clear follow-through on the phasedown of coal, not in this text. A clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels, not in this text. And the energy text weakened in the final minutes. Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degrees was weak. Unfortunately, it remains on life support.”