For the first time, countries have put reparation funds for climate damage on the negotiating agenda at this year’s global climate summit.

At the conference, known as COP27, which kicked off this week in Egypt, countries will discuss providing funding for countries that have suffered a disproportionate amount of “loss and damage” from climate change. 

While the impacts of climate change are being felt worldwide, its impacts are not expected to be felt evenly. Both geographical and monetary factors make many developing countries more vulnerable, even though they have historically low fossil fuel use compared to major powers. 

Fossil fuels have been a major force in both industrialization and climate change. As a result, many developing countries have long-argued for specific funding to address the climate-change related suffering they have undergone. 

While compensation for climate damage was added to the agenda, it remains to be seen what countries will actually agree to. 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called addressing the issue a “moral imperative”

“The deadly impacts of climate change are here and now. Loss and damage can no longer be swept under the rug,”  Guterres said. “Those who contributed least to the climate crisis are reaping the whirlwind sown by others.”