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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a tweet on Monday, called for a “vow to succeed at all costs” at the 27th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).

The COP27 – organised by the UN on climate change and the need for sustainable solutions – is being held in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6-18. World leaders, think-tanks, heads of governments and international financial institutions are attending.

Shehbaz highlighted the importance of the deliberations involving world leaders at the conference, saying that these will “shape the future of our struggle against climate change”.

He referred to the climate crisis as “the challenge of the century”, adding that it is our “duty” to leave behind a “clean and green environment” for future generations.

PM Shehbaz left Egypt yesterday as the Egyptian President and COP27 Chairperson Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi invited him to co-chair the COP27 roundtable conference along with the prime minister of Norway.

Earlier, delegates at the climate summit agreed to discuss whether rich nations should compensate poor countries most vulnerable to climate change for their suffering.

Just in the past few months, climate-induced catastrophes have killed thousands, displaced millions and cost billions in damages across the world.

“This creates for the first time an institutionally stable space on the formal agenda of COP and the Paris Agreement to discuss the pressing issue of funding arrangements needed to deal with existing gaps, responding to loss and damage,” COP27 president Sameh Shoukry told the opening plenary.

Read COP27: world stage for impactful climate change?

Much of the tension at COP27 is expected to relate to loss and damage – funds provided by wealthy nations to vulnerable lower-income countries that bear little responsibility for climate-warming emissions.

At COP26 last year in Glasgow, high-income nations blocked a proposal for a loss and damage financing body, instead supporting a new three-year dialogue for funding discussions.

The loss and damage discussions now on the agenda at COP27 will not involve liability or binding compensation, but they are intended to lead to a conclusive decision “no later than 2024,” Shoukry said.

“The inclusion of this agenda reflects a sense of solidarity for the victims of climate disasters,” he added.

Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman is also attending the summit with the goal of getting the world to commit to helping countries like Pakistan deal with the growing “loss and damage” caused by global warming.

As richer nations focus on debating how to slow rising temperatures while still producing the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions, poorer places are already suffering the consequences of a hotter climate and more extreme weather, from worsening floods and droughts to deadly heat and rising sea levels.

Pakistan has been battered by back-to-back climate catastrophes in recent years — floods, heatwaves and forest fires — and is struggling to find the funding it needs to recover from unprecedented flooding that started in June, inundating a third of the country.

Rehman, alongside other officials and climate experts in Pakistan, are calling for the establishment of a dedicated “Loss and Damage Finance Facility”. They see COP27 as an opportunity not only for governments to set up such a fund but also to commit an amount to launch it.

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