UN say upcoming COP27 summit in Egypt must demonstrate action over talk
"This COP needs to demonstrate that there is a distinct shift from negotiations to implementation," UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell told journalists online.
"Paris told us what needs to be done, and Glasgow defined how we need to do it," he said, referring to the landmark 2015 deal that sets a cap on global warming, and the summit last year in Scotland that finalised the treaty's rulebook.
"Sharm El-Sheikh is about getting stuff done -- moving from words to action."
Diplomats from nearly 200 countries gathering in the Red Sea resort for the November 6-18 conference are tasked with greening the global economy and helping poor, climate-vulnerable nations who have barely contributed to the problem cope with evermore deadly storms, heatwaves, droughts and floods.
Last year's conference saw a flurry of sideline commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions, but left developing countries deeply frustrated over funding limitations.
This year, Stiell said, "there are high expectations" that nations which grew rich burning fossil fuels will move toward the creation of a funding facility to cover "loss and damage", UN-speak for unavoidable and irreversible climate impacts.
This year has seen a proliferation of extreme weather around the world. Just in the last few weeks, massive flooding left millions displaced in Nigeria and a third of Pakistan under water, and Hurricane Lisa has this week battered Belize.
"This discussion has been going on for three decades," said Stiell, who has seen climate devastation up close as a senior minister in Grenada.
"The time to have an open and honest discussion on loss and damage is now."
The US and the European Union -- fearful of creating an open-ended reparations framework -- have dragged their feet and challenged the need for a separate funding stream.
Until recently, they were reluctant to even allow the issue onto the formal COP agenda.
But Stiell said he was optimistic this first step would be taken, probably on Monday.
"I am encouraged to have seen a softening of positions on loss and damage," he said.
Since he took on the top UN climate job in August, he said, "the tone has shifted signficantly".