John Kerry Tests Positive For COVID At UN Climate Talks

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry has examined constructive for COVID-19 on the U.N. local weather talks in Egypt, a spokeswoman mentioned late Friday evening, the newest setback for what gave the impression to be stalled negotiations that have been already going into extra time.

“He is fully vaccinated and boosted and experiencing mild symptoms. He is working with his negotiations team and foreign counterparts by phone to ensure a successful outcome of COP27,” spokeswoman Whitney Smith wrote in an announcement late Friday.

Kerry’s sickness was positive so as to add to worries in regards to the pace of negotiations, which have been scheduled to finish Friday however are persevering with with no clear finish in sight.

U.S. Particular Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry attends a session on the International Methane Pledge on the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

AP Photograph/Nariman El-Mofty)

Negotiations, at the very least these in public, hit a lull Friday afternoon into the night, as press conferences and plenaries have been postponed or cancelled. Diplomats mentioned they hoped for late evening progress as they modified airline reservations for talks going into prolonged extra time in Egypt.

Delegates mentioned there was some headway being made, particularly on probably the most troublesome sticking level. That’s the problem of ‘loss and damage,’ which is the concept of some sort of compensation — a devoted fund or one thing much less formal — from wealthy nations to assist out poor nations already hit exhausting by excessive local weather occasions worsened by a long time of burning of fossil fuels by developed nations.

“I think we’re in for a bit of a long haul,” World Assets Institute worldwide local weather director David Waskow mentioned. “Loss and damage sits at the center in terms of what needs to be done to get this over the finish line.”

After being a tad remoted in not favoring a devoted loss and injury fund, there may be speak of the USA engaged on one more proposal with the European Union, which produced a shock supply Thursday, Waskow mentioned. He additionally famous that one subject is the shocking unity of poorer nations, typically referred to as G-77 and China, on the problem, insisting on a fund being established at this summit.

“We are very busy and they’re making some progress and they’ve gotten some clarity on all positions,” Molwyn Joseph, who spoke on behalf of small island states, informed The Related Press.

“There is the possibility that we could get an outcome, but also it could fall over at the last minute,” mentioned New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister James Shaw. “And I think if that happened, it would be a real shame because this is as close (on loss and damage) as we’ve ever been before.”

Nakeeyat Dramani Sam of Ghana chided delegates at this yr’s U.N. local weather talks, saying they might act sooner to rein in world warming in the event that they have been her age.

“It is an emergency,” she informed negotiators, holding an indication that learn “Payment Overdue”. “If all of you were to be young people like me, wouldn’t you have already agreed to do what is needed to save our planet?”

However after her standing ovation, it was again to nations squabbling over a number of thorny points, with the Egyptian presidency acknowledging that the talks will go into extra time on Saturday, if not longer.

“Time is not on our side,” mentioned Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. Talking because the summit’s chair, he pledged to attempt to discover frequent floor on key points Friday and Saturday. “The global community is looking to us to be bold and ambitious.”

The most important battle is over what the 10-year-old activist and writer alluded to. Nations are cut up over a number of competing choices on loss and injury. Pakistan’s local weather minister, Sherry Rehman, informed her fellow negotiators that two of the proposed choices that don’t instantly present a fund “are not tenable” for the 77 poorest nations and China.

A brand new draft cowl resolution from the Egyptian presidency got here out Friday morning, half the scale of Thursday’s 20-page doc that was criticized for being imprecise and bloated. However this new 10-page one nonetheless has little new in comparison with earlier years and loads of locations with yet-to-be-decided choices. And a few of the most talked about proposals, from the European Union, Barbados and India aren’t in it, reflecting the Egyptian presidency’s priorities.

The EU made a shock proposal late Thursday that referred to as for the creation of a fund for “loss and damage” funds to probably the most weak nations, an concept lengthy resisted by some wealthy nations in Europe and the USA. However it might additionally require rising economies similar to China, the second greatest polluter after the U.S., to contribute and ties any deal to more durable emissions cuts.

“We’re making clear that Europe is on the side of the most vulnerable states,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock mentioned. “Others can now show which side they are on.”

The EU proposal would additionally require stepped up efforts on “mitigation,” the time period used for work to gradual world warming, like drastically lowering emissions of greenhouse gases. It additionally adopts a name to section down all fossil fuels — a measure first proposed by India and a dramatic step up from earlier commitments to only section down coal.

Until emissions are diminished extra steeply, “no money in the world could pay for the damages and losses of the future,” Baerbock mentioned.

EU local weather chief Frans Timmermans mentioned Friday that the bloc’s proposal on funding for loss and injury and mitigation is “a final offer” that seeks to “find a compromise” between nations as negotiators work out a approach ahead on the United Nations local weather talks in Egypt.

The environmental advocacy group Motion Assist referred to as the proposal a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” as a result of it doesn’t go far sufficient.

The EU plan is a counter to a proposal made by the Group of 77 and China, which might create a fund however solely require developed nations to contribute, excepting prime polluters China and India.

China, which had been quiet throughout a lot of the talks, and Saudi Arabia each mentioned the cash for a loss and injury fund shouldn’t come from them. Developed nations ought to foot the invoice, China mentioned. Each additionally insisted that the 2015 Paris Settlement that goals to restrict world warming to an formidable 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) enhance shouldn’t be altered, which might be interpreted as not strengthening efforts.

As for the USA, there was “a deafening silence” after the EU revealed their proposal, mentioned Preety Bhandari, senior adviser on local weather finance on the World Assets Institute. “So I assume overnight and during the course of the day there will be a lot of diplomatic outreach across various parties to finally help us land the decision on funding for loss and damage here at COP27.”

The EU plan is much from the one proposal.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders, a gaggle of retired leaders, praised the three choices on loss and injury that German local weather envoy Jennifer Morgan and Chilean Surroundings Minister Maisa Rojas have been hammering out, saying “it puts us on the cusp of a historic breakthrough. We’ve gone from not even having loss and damage finance on the agenda at COP27 to having a fund, a mechanism, and a flow of finance all within our grasp.”

Friday’s draft from the Egyptian presidency contains some imprecise references to reform to multilateral improvement banks however didn’t embrace or make reference to the detailed Bridgetown Initiative on monetary reform from Barbados and its Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

Additionally lacking is a controversial proposal by India to alter the Glasgow pact language that requires a section down of coal to a section down of all fossil fuels, together with oil and pure fuel. Egypt has dramatically ramped up pure fuel manufacturing from newly found fields in recent times and is a detailed ally of fossil-fuel powers Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The concept behind increasing the language to all fossil fuels is {that a} coal-only section down hurts principally creating nations, whereas this assaults the issue of emissions extra instantly and throughout the board, in line with longtime negotiations analyst Alden Meyer of the assume tank E3G.

Samy Magdy, Frank Jordans and Olivia Zhang contributed to this report.

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