During last year's COP27 climate summit in Egypt, developing countries managed to fight through the climate damage fund that they have wanted for decades. Today, the fund was given a formal green light by all countries, which led to a standing ovation in plenary.

"Thank you for starting the meeting with this. It gives us a good feeling," said Egypt's representative.

Long-awaited by poor countries

The Climate Damage Fund, or "loss and damage" as it is called in the negotiations, is a great success for vulnerable countries that want compensation for both sudden climate disasters and slow climate damage such as sea level rise. This has been one of the most sensitive issues in the climate negotiations in recent years.

Promises of money

The United Arab Emirates is among the countries that have now pledged to fill the new fund with $100 million. In addition, Germany pledged $100 million, Britain $60 million, the United States $17.5 million, and Japan $10 million. Prior to the meeting, only the EU had promised a "substantial contribution" to the new fund. But it is still small sums compared to what the fund is expected to need.

It's going to be a fight

Over the next two weeks, there will be tough negotiations on how the fund will work, which countries will contribute and which will be able to receive money. The decision states that all developing countries should be entitled to subsidies, but that the focus should be on the most vulnerable.

The Climate Damage Fund will be managed by the World Bank for the next four years, something developing countries have criticized for fear that they will lose influence. The U.S. has been a major opponent of countries with large historical emissions paying more. That would mean great economic demands on the United States.