France regrets COP27’s ‘lack of ambition’ despite progress

France on Sunday said it regretted the "lack of ambition" in the agreement reached at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt despite progress on providing funding for vulnerable countries.

France regrets COP27's 'lack of ambition' despite progress
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the leaders summit of the COP27 climate conference at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of the same name, on 7th November, 2022. Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

A fraught UN climate summit wrapped up Sunday with a landmark deal on funding to help vulnerable countries cope with devastating impacts of global warming — but also anger over a failure to push further ambition on cutting emissions.

The two-week talks in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, which at times appeared to teeter on the brink of collapse, delivered a major breakthrough on a fund for climate “loss and damage.”

But jubilation over that achievement was countered by stern warnings.

“No progress” was made on making additional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and abandoning fossil fuels, France energy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said in a statement.

Paris regretted a “real disappointment” but welcomed the “loss and damage” fund for nations vulnerable to climate change.

“The COP27 agreement may not meet the ambitions of France and the European Union,” the statement said, “but it preserves the most vital thing: it underlines the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5C and urges countries to make extra efforts from 2023.

“Reaffirming this aim was vital in a global context of climate and energy crises.”

The EU had threatened to walk away from the talks if it did not get better commitments on emissions, but did not block the final agreement.

Nearly 200 countries’ representatives gathered at the COP27 in Egypt for two weeks with the aim of driving forward action to fight climate change as the world faces a worsening onslaught of weather extremes.

READ ALSO: Floods, shellfish and wine: 7 ways that the climate crisis is impacting France 

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Natural disaster costs hit 23-year high in France

Natural disasters cost French insurers €10 billion last year, a two-decade high as such events become more frequent and intense, the head of the sector's federation said on Thursday.

Natural disaster costs hit 23-year high in France

“It was an annus horribilis,” France Assureurs president Florence Lustman told Europe 1 radio, citing the hailstorms, floods and droughts that hit the country last year.

Natural disasters cost the industry €3.5 billion on average per year between 2017-2021.

The 2022 figure is the highest since storms pummelled France in 1999.

The insurance federation said the bill from natural disasters will exceed €140 billion over the next 30 years, double the amount for the previous three decades.

Reinsurance giant Swiss Re said in December that natural and man-made catastrophes caused $268 billion of economic losses worldwide in 2022.