|The severe drought situation recorded in the town of Kajiado, Kenya, October 2022 (Photo: Reuters)
Climate compensation refers to the fact that rich, high-emissions countries should take responsibility for compensating the nations least responsible for planet-heating emissions - but hardest hit by an onslaught of weather extremes - due to their geographical location.
The inclusion of this agenda reflects a sense of solidarity for the victims of climate disasters, COP27 President Sameh Shoukry told the opening plenary.
Last year, rich countries pledged to pay 40 billion USD a year by 2025 to help poor countries adapt to climate change.
But a UN report estimates that that figure will meet less than one-fifth of the actual needs. This has prompted calls for separate compensation funding to help poor countries recover from the damage of climate disasters.
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said financial assistance is important and it’s necessary to outline to potential donors the necessity of funding. Such financial assistance should be sufficient to meet the needs of vulnerable countries to overcome the consequences of climate change.
The UN has repeatedly mentioned the topic as the world has witnessed severe losses caused by climate change in recent years, such as the severe flooding that killed 1,700 people in Pakistan, the evacuation of villages in Fiji because of sea level rise, or the persistent drought in Kenya that has devastated crops.
Compensation is urgently needed, but it’s not easy to reach a consensus among the rich countries. They committed to spending 100 billion USD a year to poor countries starting in 2020, but that commitment has been delayed until 2023.
The COP27 summit, which will end next Friday, is focused on finding a financing and compensation plan on which its 190 members can agree.