Countries in Asia have overcome regional tensions to appoint members to the UN committee due to work out details of a fund for climate victims.
The move comes a little over a week before the committee on loss and damage is due to hold its first meeting in Luxor, Egypt, on 27-29 March. It means every position on the committee has now been filled.
In a breakthrough deal at the Cop27 climate talks, countries agreed to set up a fund dedicated to support vulnerable countries address climate-related losses and damages. But how the fund will operate, who will pay, who will benefit and how it will be governed remain to be worked out.
To do so, countries agreed to appoint a 24-member committee to make recommendations ahead of the next round of UN climate talks in the UAE.
The make-up of the committee carefully reflects geographies and groupings of countries based on wealth. It includes 10 members from developed countries and 14 from developing nations.
The Asia-Pacific group was the last to nominate its members. The group has three seats, including one for a representative of the UAE Cop28 presidency. Sources told Climate Home News that competition between Asian countries caused the delay.
“It’s a fractious region,” a committee member from a different grouping told Climate Home. “Everyone hates each other. They have almost each had a war with the other and border skirmishes.”
To resolve the issue, the group appointed representatives from six countries to share attendance to three planned meetings this year. India, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia will share one seat, while China, South Korea and Pakistan will share the other.
The Asia-Pacific group is not the only one which has had to compromise. Countries from Latin America and the Caribbean and wealthy nations are also sharing seats to allow more governments to join the discussions.
Mohamed Nasr, Egypt’s lead climate negotiator and a committee members, said: “This issue is of extreme importance to everybody, so everybody wants to be sitting at the table.”