“Should youth take your place?”

“Should youth take your place?”


NOS News

  • Helen Ecker

    Climate and Energy Editor

  • Helen Ecker

    Climate and Energy Editor

“If you were as young as me, wouldn’t you have already agreed to do whatever it takes to save our planet?” Today, a ten-year-old girl from Ghana delivered a speech at the Climate Summit in Egypt. “Should youth take over from you? Maybe youth-only delegations should go to the next UN climate summit.”

After her speech, Nikiyat gives Dramani Sam a standing ovation. But then reality set in again: negotiations at the final stage of the climate conference reached an impasse. There is disagreement over two issues: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a potential global compensation fund for countries vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

It is still not clear whether the ideas presented in recent days can count on the support of the whole world. Tonight, the United States, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom put forward a final proposal. China is eagerly waiting for a response.

developing country

It is important for the EU that not all countries receive money from this compensation fund. For example, China is still officially considered a developing country, but in practice, according to the European Union, this has long ceased to be the case. The country has experienced tremendous economic growth and today it emits the most carbon dioxide emissions of all countries.

The United States has also had great difficulty creating such a fund so far. The US contribution to past forms of climate finance is very modest. The promise of rich countries in 2009 to provide 100 billion available annually from 2020 has not been fulfilled. This harms developing countries and damages trust between rich and poor countries.

This may also explain the cohesion of vulnerable countries, now that the Climate Damages Fund is officially on the agenda of the climate conference for the first time. They’ve been advocating this for years, but so far the richer countries have backed away. The latter seems now to be overshadowed by the dynamism of the poorer part of the world. It also appears that more far-reaching agreements on a maximum of 1.5 degrees of warming can only be reached if an agreement on a compensation fund is also reached.

The whole night

“We want the United States to show compassion and empathy for people who are already suffering from the climate crisis,” said Harjit Singh of the Climate Action Network, an umbrella organization for NGOs working on climate change around the world. “If the Loss and Damage Fund is not created now, we will call this climate summit a failure.”

Today, the environment minister of Antigua and Barbuda, an island nation in the Caribbean, said some progress was being made. According to Minister Molwin Joseph, speaking on behalf of the entire SIDS group, there is progress in the climate damage debate. But he said that not all sides agreed. “It will take all night to solve all the problems.”

Today was the last official day of the Climate Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh. But it became clear this morning that the negotiations will continue until the end of the week. For most scientists, civil servants and companies, this was the last day. Tens of thousands of people have left the summit and are on their way home again. Climate activists, who are less present at this summit than at other climate conferences, are also packing their bags.

Fossil fuels

Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakati calls on negotiators to help countries at risk. “We really need to set up a loss and damage financing facility,” she said. She also called for a slow phase-out of fossil fuel use. She believes that continued investments in oil and gas must stop. “We cannot do justice if we make new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure.”

Egypt, the host and chair of the summit, will have to do everything it can to get the noses of all the countries of the world pointing in the same direction this weekend.

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