As it happened: COP27: Historic climate change deal struck to help countries hardest hit by warming

The sun has risen again here, ending two long nights in Sharm el-Sheikh. There have been exhausted negotiators, high peaks of drama and low moments of confusion.

The conversations stalled
till Thursday when the EU made a proposal that rich countries would pay for climate damage in poor countries. But progress was slow
on Fridayand the 1800 deadline was slowly ticking on – the beginning of the betting on what time this COP would go.

Saturday

Suddenly on Saturday, the EU, quickly followed by other countries, dramatically revealed they were ready to walk away from the COP without a deal. I spent the morning lurking around country offices trying to figure out what was going on. The New Zealand delegation office was kind enough to supply me with excellent coffee – but the main question was: is COP about to collapse?

Copyright: Reuters

Image caption: At one point, it looked like the EU and other countries (including Canada, whose environment minister is pictured talking to reporters) might leave

During lunch, I saw Pakistan’s climate minister Sherry Rehman, a key figure, slumped in a chair outside a plenary hall. “We were up all night,” she told me.

The rumors continued. Journalists and activists staked out meeting rooms to find the leaders to pick up on any hints of the action – I saw what appeared to be anger on the face of British negotiator Alok Sharma who raced between the rooms.

Sunday

As the clock ticked into a second night, speculation swung back and forth. A deal was close, and then it was hours away.

As the energy faded, teams made the decision to stay at COP or come back the next morning. The COP27 presidency said a final meeting would begin at 3 a.m. local time, but no one really believed it.

Copyright: Getty Images

Image caption: Summit participants take a rest after days of arguing over the deal

And suddenly at 0330 local time, after a restless nap, it was all good. Leaders entered the plenary and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry quickly began making the decisions — that means taking them with the tap of a small gavel or gavel.

Journalists and activists rushed back in, and at the pivotal moment when the historic loss and damage deal was struck, exhausted nations applauded.

However, it wasn’t over yet. Switzerland immediately called for the procedure to be suspended, saying countries had not had time to read the final political agreement. It looked like there was going to be a fight. Nations huddled together. Britain’s Alok Sharma walked over to the EU and US delegations – no doubt discussing the extent to which they would compromise on the ambition to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

The ministers returned to their seats, their positions were clear, and the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement was finally passed.

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