Kerry self-isolating with COVID as fragile COP27 climate talks enter overtime
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating, his spokesperson said Friday, as the UN climate talks entered overtime at the COP27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The big picture: Major issues remain in the negotiations, which were supposed to wrap up Friday. Kerry's positive COVID test significantly limits the normally hands-on diplomat's ability to maneuver in the fraught final talks.
- Spokesperson Whitney Smith said in a statement that Kerry "is working with his negotiations team and foreign counterparts by phone to ensure a successful outcome of COP27."
- He is fully vaccinated and boosted and experiencing mild symptoms, Smith added.
State of play: Kerry had been huddling with his counterparts from the EU, China and other nations during the fragile and complex talks.
- Negotiations are expected to continue long into the night on Friday into Saturday.
- The most sensitive area of the negotiations is largely centered on whether and how to create a new fund for big, wealthy industrial countries to compensate vulnerable nations already feeling the brunt of climate harms, with more coming in the future.
- The U.S., the world's largest historical emitter and currently second-largest behind China, is a key player in discussions over this compensation called "loss and damage" that has emerged as the thorniest topic at the talks.
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