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Germany wants climate loss on agenda of UN talks

BERLIN– Germany wants the huge economic damage resulting from global warming to be discussed at this year’s United Nations climate talks, the German foreign minister said on Friday.

Vulnerable countries have long demanded that big polluters be held accountable for the effects their greenhouse gas emissions are having around the world, including the destruction caused by extreme weather and sea level rise resulting from rising global temperatures.

But the wealthy countries that have accounted for the majority of emissions that have been warming the planet since the start of the industrial age have largely opposed efforts to formally debate the issue of “loss and damage” lest they have to pay for climate reparations.

Last year’s climate talks in Glasgow failed to reach agreement on the creation of a special fund for loss and damage.

Speaking after a meeting with her counterpart in Pakistan, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the recent devastating floods in the South Asian nation had shown “what dramatic consequences the climate crisis is having in all regions”. .

“As one of the hardest hit countries in the world, Pakistan is paying a high price for global CO2 emissions,” Baerbock, a member of the Greens environmental party, told reporters in Berlin.

“This is why Germany will work for a fair cost sharing at COP27 in Egypt, putting the issue of climate adaptation on the agenda, but above all also the issue of loss and damage,” said she declared.

Germany’s climate envoy, former Greenpeace chief Jennifer Morgan and Chile’s environment minister Maisa Rojas have been tasked with finding common ground between nations ahead of UN talks on the weather next month in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Germany is also giving Pakistan an additional €10 million in flood aid, bringing its total commitment to €60 million, Baerbock said.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the “biblical floods” affected 33 million people and at one point a third of the country was under water. Many roads, hospitals and farms in Pakistan have been destroyed.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Friday that Pakistan was “on the brink of a public health catastrophe” due to the risk of diseases such as cholera, malaria and dengue fever, while malnutrition also increased after the floods.


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