EU countries meet to agree stance for U.N. climate negotiations

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By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS, Oct 24 (Reuters) – European Union countries will attempt on Monday to agree their negotiating position for this year’s U.N. climate talks, including on the contentious topic of financial 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 climate change-fuelled impacts.

A draft of the EU’s negotiating position for the United Nations summit in November, which climate ministers will attempt to approve on Monday, 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, given the divergent views among rich and poor nations about where those talks should lead.

“Action and support for vulnerable countries, populations and vulnerable groups need to be further scaled up,” said the EU draft document seen by Reuters on Friday.

But the document 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. 

The ministers will also decide whether the EU should commit to upgrade its own climate change target to be more ambitious, according to the draft document. 

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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