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Loss and damage: EU faces pressure to agree on climate compensation at COP27

Displaced people stand on flooded highway, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Sehwan, Pakistan.
Displaced people stand on flooded highway, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Sehwan, Pakistan.   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo   -  
By Euronews  with Reuters

Ministers from European Union countries will attempt on Monday to agree their negotiating position for this year's UN climate talks. 

It will include the contentious topic of compensation for the damage climate change is inflicting on the world's poorest.

The EU, the world's third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is facing pressure from developing nations to soften its long-standing resistance to compensation for the "loss and damage" wrought by floods, rising seas and other impacts fuelled by climate change.

"We will bring ideas to the table to make sure that adaption and loss and damage are addressed in a way that developing countries see as positive. I think it's extremely important that the EU plays that role," EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said on Monday.

SOPA Images/ Sultan Mahmud Mukut / SOPA Images
Kalabogi, a coastal village in Bangladesh, was full of cultivable land until the rising sea levels began to swallow the area all the way up to the Bay of Bengal.SOPA Images/ Sultan Mahmud Mukut / SOPA Images

Will the EU back talks on loss and damage funding?

A draft of the EU's negotiating position for the United Nations summit in November, which climate ministers will attempt to approve at Monday's meeting, showed the 27 nation bloc would support talks on the topic at the COP27 gathering in Egypt.

That could represent a breakthrough since even getting the issue of loss and damage onto the summit agenda has proved contentious amid divergent views among rich and poor nations about where those talks should lead.

But the EU draft document, seen by Reuters, remained vague on what such discussions at the summit in the coastal resort of Sharm El Sheikh - expected to be attended by 200 countries - should ultimately deliver.

Developing countries say COP27 must establish a fund to support countries struck by climate impacts like the floods in Pakistan this year that killed nearly 1,700 people.

Ministers will also decide whether the EU should commit to upgrading its own climate change target to be more ambitious.

Some diplomats said countries were still at odds over whether to agree to raise the target by a certain date, or whether to pre-emptively agree to upgrade it at all.