The international climate conference being held in Egypt stalled before it got started, with disagreements over the discussion agenda tying up delegates from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning. The sticking point was loss and damage—whether to put the issue of compensating the world's poorest nations for the consequences of climate change on the summit schedule, the Guardian reports. The COP27 opening was delayed by hours. In the end, the clash delivered the conference its first success when an agreement was reached to include the matter on the agenda for the first time in the history of the climate talks.
The US and the EU, reflecting the interests of rich and polluting industrialized countries, have long disapproved of discussing a compensation fund but eased their objections this time, per the New York Times. The agreement is a victory for a bloc supported by China—another big polluter—of poor countries and emerging economies. And it gets the conference off to a constructive start, per Reuters, though there's no agreement on whether to set up the fund sought by poor nations. "We are not asking for favors," said a statement by the Alliance of Small Island States. "We will not be silent victims to the cost of pollution created by others, for the profit of the few." (Read more climate change stories.)