The fully jabbed and boosted US climate envoy John Kerry has tested positive for Covid-19 at the United Nations’ COP27 climate summit in Egypt.
It’s bad timing for the chief US climate negotiator to fall ill as negotiators had been desperately trying to break a deadlock over loss and damage funding for developing countries.
The negotiations were scheduled to end on Friday but are set to continue with no clear end in sight.
Representatives from nearly 200 countries have gathered at the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh for two weeks with the aim of driving forward action on so called climate change.
Al Jazeera reports: The talks at the COP27 summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have stumbled on the controversial issue of “loss and damage” funding for less developed countries to deal with the effects of climate change.
“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,” Kerry’s spokeswoman Whitney Smith wrote in a statement late on Friday.
Loss and damage remains the main sticking point between rich and poor nations, particularly the issue of how to compensate countries that have already been ravaged by climate-driven floods, droughts, mega-storms and wildfires.
Negotiations, at least those in public, hit a lull by Friday evening as press conferences and plenaries were postponed or cancelled. Diplomats said they hoped for late-night progress as they changed airline reservations for talks going into extended overtime on Saturday.
“I think we’re in for a bit of a long haul,” World Resources Institute’s International Climate Director David Waskow said.
“Loss and damage sits at the centre in terms of what needs to be done to get this over the finish line,” he said.