The agreement by the 194 countries at COP27 to agree to setting up a new Loss and Damage Fund to channel money from the wealthier and developed world to the most vulnerable is an amazing achievement.

Two weeks ago, this item wasn't even on the COP27 agenda for discussion.

Developing countries had refused to discuss it because it was originally spoken about as a form of compensation to the victims of climate change.

Compensation has legal connotations and could have landed the developed world with unlimited liability claims for centuries to come. No country could ever afford that.

But this was an African COP taking place in Egypt. And African countries are very sore about the rich world.

They have been repeatedly let down by wealthy nations who have not delivered the climate finance promised for years and continue to increase greenhouse gas emissions compounding the problem.

So poorer and developing countries dug in their heels. Rows took place behind the scenes. Then finally at the last minute, just before the negotiations started, "Loss and Agenda" minus the term "compensation" was put on the official COP27 agenda.

Nobody expected what followed. That within two weeks the nations of the world would have agreed to, and signed off on, setting up of a Loss and Damage Response fund, and that all governments in a position to contribute would be expected to do so, including China and Saudi Arabia.

Both of these nations were developing countries 30 years ago and might have expected to be beneficiaries. But they are rich countries now and they too are expected to play their part in this.

And who would have thought that world’s governments would agree to explore how the money for the fund could be raised by levies on the international oil and gas industry, international shipping and aviation, all of which have made phenomenal profits from emitting extraordinary amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and are making more and more each year.

The fact that all this could happened in the space of two weeks is unprecedented for these events.

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, piled on the pressure from day one. He told the delegates in his opening address that Loss and Damage would now be the litmus test for the success or otherwise of COP27.

However, it was the EU COP27 delegation, led by Commission Vice President and Commissioner for Climate Action Frans Timmermans, that made it all happen.

Halfway through the second week of negotiations the EU took a major leap, formally tabling a proposal for the Loss and Damage Response Fund.

This was a diplomatic move of the utmost seriousness and the rich countries were obliged to respond. They simply could not look away.

Frans Timmermans speaks to reporters in Egypt

The rich world, or the developed countries, or the so-called Global North (take your pick) has been responsible for putting the vast majority of the greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution and have become wealthy as a result.

Yet it is the poorest and most vulnerable, the developing countries, the so-called Global South who bear the brunt of the consequences, and will continue to suffer the worst effects of climate change into the future.

People in small Pacific island states, like the Marshall Island and many others, will lose their homes, their culture, their stories, their identities, and their livelihoods as their island paradise is washed away by rising sea levels.

It will be the same for people in places far away from the sea, on higher ground increasingly exposed to extreme heat, or persistent drought.

In so many parts of the world it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are the main victims of atmospheric pollution to which they have contributed the least.

The world has watched in horror this year as the most torrential rain imaginable flooded at least one third of Pakistan and displaced millions of people. The same type of event occurred in Nigeria where historic flooding from extreme rainfall washed away all before it.

And what about the millions of people in the Horn of Africa where the rains have failed for five years in a row, and the weather predictions suggest a sixth year of rain failure ahead.

Drought has put thousands of children at risk of starvation in Somalia

It gets worse by the year. Nobody can pretend they don’t see it, or know about it. It’s all over our TV screens, our newspapers and the internet.

Against that background how could the rich world look away when the European Union put forward the formal proposal to help these unfortunate victims of climate chaos deal with the catastrophic losses and damages they have and will continue to suffer.

The EU formal proposal to go for this fund at COP27 was unexpected. It was a brave move, a well-timed move, and a humanitarian act that will help restore some of the trust that has been so lacking between the North and the South, between developed and emerging economies.

Against all odds COP27 has turned out to be a huge success. No doubt the Egyptian COP27 presidency will claim some credit. But it was the European Union and the way it went about delivering its Loss and Damage Response Fund proposal that is the main reason for this success.