Climate finance dominates talks at COP27

Loss and damage dominate talks at COP27. [AP]

The Conference of Parties 27 (COP27) formally started on Sunday at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with the issue of loss and damage dominating talks.

"Loss and Damage" are costs that nations - mainly poor and developing countries - are incurring due to adverse effects of climate change like drought, floods and high temperatures.

With the subject now on the agenda, it provides a platform for poor and developing countries to discuss funding arrangements and demand compensation for loss and damage from rich nations that contribute the most to climate change.

However, the discussion on loss and damage will not deliberate on liability or binding compensations.

During the opening plenary, Sameh Shoukry, the COP27 President said the discussions will hopefully lead to a conclusive decision no later than 2024.

Discussions to decide what should go into this year's agenda ran late into Sunday night as delegates debated how to handle the matter of loss and damage.

They later agreed to include it in the formal agenda. It will be the first time the matter is formally discussed during a COP.

"This creates for the first time an institutionally-stable space on the formal agenda of COP and the Paris Agreement to discuss the pressing issue of funding arrangements needed to deal with existing gaps, responding to loss and damage," said Shoukry.

Compensating developing nations

Ironically, the global change summit, which has been held annually for the last 26 years, has never discussed the issue of loss and damage in its formal agenda.

So far, discussions on climate change funding have mainly centred on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and helping communities adapt to future impacts.

During COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, high-income countries blocked a proposal to start a loss and damage fund and instead proposed to start discussing funding over the next three years.

Developed nations failed to fulfil their promise to give $100 billion annually to developing countries.

Kenya's President William Ruto will speak on behalf of Africa at the World Leaders Summit.

Ruto chairs the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).

The President is also expected to deliver the Kenyan national statement that will outline Kenya's policies and strategies to tap into the global carbon market.

Kenya has endured three severe droughts in the last decade: 2010-2011, 2016-2017 and 2020-2022.

The 2022 drought has been the most devastating for Kenya in the past 40 years after failed rains in the last four years.

In the last long rain season, 30 million bags of maize were harvested against the national requirement of 40 million bags.