SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — For the first time, the world’s nations have agreed to help pay for the damage to poor nations from global warming, but they ended marathon climate talks on Sunday without addressing the root cause of those disasters: the burning of fossil fuels.

The deal, struck at dawn in this Egyptian Red Sea resort town, creates a fund for what negotiators are calling losses and damages.

It’s a big win for poor countries that have long demanded the money – sometimes seen as compensation – because they often fall victim to climate change from floods, droughts, heat waves, famine and storms, despite contributing little to pollution that warms the globe.

It has also long been cited as an equity issue for countries affected by extreme weather conditions and small island states facing livelihood threats from rising sea levels.

“Three long decades and we have finally achieved climate justice,” said Seve Paeniu, Tuvalu’s finance minister. “We have finally answered the call of hundreds of millions of people around the world to help them deal with loss and damage.”

Pakistan’s Environment Minister Sherry Rehman said the foundation was “not for charity”.

“This is clearly a down payment for a longer-term investment in our shared futures,” she said, speaking on behalf of a coalition of the world’s poorest countries.

Molvin Joseph of Antigua and Barbuda, who heads the Organization of Small Island States, called the agreement “a victory for the whole world.”

“We showed those who felt neglected that we hear you, we see you, and we give you the respect and care you deserve,” he said.

The deal followed a gamble on climate change rather than fossil fuels.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, delegates approved the compensation fund but did not touch on contentious issues related to global warming, emissions reductions and the desire to phase out all fossil fuels. Late into the night, the European Union and other countries fought back against what they saw as a departure from the Egyptian president’s comprehensive deal and threatened to derail the rest of the process.

The package was revised again, removing most of the elements the Europeans objected to, but did not add any of the increased ambition they had hoped for.

“What we have before us is not enough progress for people and the planet,” Frans Timmermans, the executive vice-president of the European Union, told his fellow negotiators. “It doesn’t bring enough additional effort by major emitters to increase and accelerate emissions reductions.

“We all failed in our actions to avoid and minimize loss and damage,” Zimmermans said. “We should have done a lot more.”

German Foreign Minister Analena Berbock also expressed disappointment.

“It is more than frustrating to see a number of major emitters and oil producers obstructing overdue steps to mitigate and phase out fossil energy.

The agreement includes a veiled reference to the benefits of natural gas as a low-emissions energy, despite many countries calling for a phase-out of natural gas, which actually contributes to climate change.

While the new agreement does not strengthen calls for emissions cuts, it retains language to support the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The Egyptian presidency continued to offer proposals that harked back to the 2015 Paris Agreement, which also mentioned a weaker 2 degree target. The world has already warmed 1.1 degrees (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

The agreement also does not extend last year’s call for a global phase-out of “undiluted coal”, even as India and other countries pushed for oil and natural gas to be included in the Glasgow language. It was also the subject of a last-minute debate, which particularly upset the Europeans.

At last year’s climate talks, the president chided the leadership of the summit for undermining his efforts to do more to reduce emissions by listing what had not been done.

“We have joined with many parties to propose a range of measures that would help to peak these emissions by 2025, as the science tells us is necessary. Not in this text,” stressed Alok Sharma from Great Britain, emphasizing the last part. “A clear implementation of the gradual reduction of coal. Not in this text. A clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels. Not in this text. And the energy of the text weakened in the last minutes.”

And in his remarks to negotiators, UN climate chief Simon Steele, who hails from Grenada, urged the world to “move away from fossil fuels, including coal, oil and gas”.

However, this fight was overshadowed by the historical compensation fund.

“A few positives to note amid the gloom and doom” are not cutting emissions fast enough to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, said climate scientist Maarten van Aalst of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Center, which responds to climate disasters.

It’s a reflection of what can be done if the poorest countries stick together, said Alex Scott, an expert on climate diplomacy at the E3G think tank.

“I think it’s very important that governments come together to actually work out at least a first step toward … how to deal with the issue of loss and damage,” Scott said. But as with all climate finance, it’s one thing to create a fund and another to get the money flowing in and out, she said. The developed world has still not fulfilled a 2009 pledge to spend $100 billion a year on other climate aid designed to help poor countries develop green energy and adapt to future warming.

Next year’s talks will also include further talks on working out the details of a new loss and damage fund, as well as a review of the world’s efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, which scientists say are falling out of reach.

According to the agreement, the fund will initially rely on contributions from developed countries and other private and public sources such as international financial institutions. While major emerging economies such as China will not automatically contribute, the option remains on the table. This is a key demand from the European Union and the United States, which argue that China and other major polluters, currently classified as developing countries, have the financial clout and responsibility to pay.

The fund will mainly focus on the most vulnerable countries, although there will be an opportunity to get help for middle-income countries that have been seriously affected by climate disasters.

Martin Kaiser, head of Greenpeace Germany, described the damages agreement as “a small Band-Aid on a huge, gaping wound”.

“It is a scandal that the president of Egypt, the COP, has given oil powers like Saudi Arabia the space to torpedo effective climate protection,” he said.

Many climate campaigners worry that getting decisive action to end fossil fuel use will be even more difficult at next year’s meeting in Dubai, located in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

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