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Egypt's Foreign Minister Samih Zhukri (l) speaks during the closing ceremony at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Christophe Gateau/DPA via Reuters

What We’re Watching: Climate comp fund, Malaysian coalition building

COP27 delivers on reparations but fails on fossil fuels

Two days behind schedule, the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, finally wrapped up with a historic agreement on Sunday. Wealthy countries will pay poor nations for the economic damage caused by climate change. The so-called "loss and damage fund" will compensate the developing world for impacts like droughts and flooding, which rich nations led by the US had resisted for 30 years. But so far it's only a political statement of intentions with no financial commitment, so it'll be up to future COPs to work out the details. What's more, climate activists' joy over the much-awaited reparations deal was overshadowed by a lack of progress in cutting fossil fuels. Efforts to include stronger language on phasing out oil and natural gas on top of coal were rebuffed by top fossil fuel producers as well as by major guzzlers in the developing world who won't jeopardize their economic growth to embrace renewables. In other words, a victory for climate justice but a painful defeat for clean energy at a COP where expectations were low.

Get more COP27 insights from Eurasia Group analyst Franck Gbaguidi on our Instagram and YouTube channels.

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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wields the gavel as she presides over the first impeachment of President Donald Trump.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

What We’re Watching: Pelosi’s farewell, #RIPTwitter, Malaysian vote, Iranian rage, UK austerity

Pelosi takes a final bow

Nancy Pelosi is standing down as leader of the Democratic Party in the US House, but she’ll remain in Congress as a representative of San Francisco. She was both the first woman to serve in the ultra-powerful role of House Speaker and a hate figure for many on the right. Pelosi’s personal toughness, Herculean fundraising prowess, and ability to hold together the typically fractious Democratic Party in the House will remain her legacy for Democrats. For Republicans, seeing her pass the gavel to one of their own in January will mark a moment of triumph in an otherwise disappointing midterm performance. In announcing her plans, Pelosi noted that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.” At a moment when both parties are led by politicians of advancing age, that’s a big step – and a trend we’ll be watching closely as a new Congress takes shape and the next race for the White House begins. Eurasia Group US Managing Director Jon Lieber says his bet is on 52-year-old Hakeem Jeffries taking the Democratic reins. If Jeffries gets the job, he'll make history as the first Black politician to lead a party in Congress.

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Malaysians wave flags during the 65th National Day celebrations parade in Kuala Lumpur.

EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

Will elections bring more political stability to Malaysia?

Malaysia will hold early elections on Nov. 19­­, the government announced Thursday. Polls were not due until September 2023, but Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had come under intense pressure to bring them forward from senior figures in the ruling United Malays National Organization party and its Barisan Nasional partners. Several of these face criminal prosecutions they hope a new government would quash, while others argued elections should be held earlier to deprive the opposition of time to regroup.

Malaysia has gone through significant political instability — and three prime ministers – since the shock 2018 election defeat of UMNO, which had ruled the country since independence. Amid much greater parliamentary fragmentation and shifting political alliances, the country was led by two other coalitions – Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional – until BN returned to power in 2021 with Ismail’s premiership. BN and PN have governed Malaysia together since 2020, but PN was previously the senior partner whereas BN now is.

Will the upcoming polls result in greater political stability? Will they make much difference in the policy outlook? Eurasia Group analysts Peter Mumford and Fadli Yusoff explain.

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Former Malaysian political rivals Dr Mahathir, Tengku Razaleigh to jointly meet media

December 14, 2020 3:38 PM

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK0 - Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and senior Umno MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will be holding a joint press conference on Monday (Dec 14), adding to speculation that the seasoned politicians are finally joining forces after a long rivalry.

Malaysia's Mahathir offers to testify against Azmin in suit by voters, signalling fraying ties

December 02, 2020 5:22 PM

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has offered to testify against Senior Minister Azmin Ali in a suit brought by Datuk Seri Azmin's constituents in Gombak ward.

Perikatan Nasional was Mahathir's idea: Azmin

November 30, 2020 5:00 AM

PETALING JAYA • The plan to form Perikatan Nasional (PN), a coalition of mainly Malay parties from both sides of the aisle, originated from then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad before the collapse in February of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government that he helmed, said Malaysia's Senior Minister for Economy Azmin Ali.

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