China Tesla rival Nio and Tencent partner to work on self-driving tech

Nio is trying to stand out from a wave of Chinese electric vehicle competitors through its technology. The company is hoping its partnership with Tencent can help it boost its tech prowess in areas from mapping to autonomous driving.

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Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio and tech giant Tencent agreed to work together on areas including autonomous driving and high-definition mapping.

Tencent — a gaming, social media and cloud computing titan — has signed a cooperation agreement with Nio, one of Tesla’s rivals in China, as the firms look to cash in on Beijing’s focus on so-called new energy cars.

The partnership could allow Tencent to do this, while also giving Nio the technology backing of one of China’s biggest firms. Tencent is already a major investor in Nio, which is striving to differentiate itself from a sea of electric car start-ups.

It comes after e-commerce firm Alibaba and Nio rival Xpeng in August opened a computing center to train software for driverless cars.

Nio and Tencent said on Monday they will work together on high-precision mapping systems for drivers. Nio will also be using Tencent’s cloud computing infrastructure for data storage and training for autonomous driving. Driverless cars require huge amounts of real-time data to be processed in order to train algorithms.

Tencent’s partnership with Nio gives the company another opportunity to push into new business areas as its core video gaming business, which has been battered by strict domestic regulation, continues to face headwinds.

Nio meanwhile is facing its own challenges, including widening losses and pressure on margins from higher material costs and supply chain issues.

Still, the company delivered 31,607 vehicles in the third quarter, marking a quarterly delivery record for the start-up.

However, China’s once high-flying EV start-ups have seen their share prices hammered this year as investors turned away from growth stocks and China’s economy faced a slew of problems.

What it takes to earn $70K as a water operator in California

The promise of job security and work-life balance drew Fernando Gonzalez to become a water operator. Now that he’s worked as one for a few years, he sees his job as much more than fining people for using too much water.

On a given day, he’s patrolling neighborhoods spanning from farmland to Malibu mansions, looking for evidence that residents are wasting water. He hands out notices of leaky sprinklers or when residents run sprinklers right after a rainstorm, sure, but the most rewarding part of his job is interacting with customers about how they can save water, and why it’s so important.

“We’re more of a teaching tool than we are a kind of enforcement,” Gonzalez, 43, tells CNBC Make It. “We’d rather spend more time with customers and actually give them pointers on how they can conserve, rather than just hand out blank fines and collect the money and run.”

The stakes have never been higher as Southern California and the rest of the southwestern U.S. continues its 20-plus years in a megadrought. It’s the driest period for the region in over 1,200 years, according to Nature Climate Change.

“Climate change has made a big difference to to how our hydrological cycle is being affected,” Gonzalez says. “You see the lakes running low. You see the the wildlife being affected. You can see that animals are coming down out of the mountains into urban areas to eat because their food sources are being affected up where they normally live.”

Fernando Gonzalez, 43, makes $70,000 a year as a water operator based in Calabasas, Calif.

Tristan Pelletier | CNBC Make It

Gonzalez sees the direct line between the work he does and affecting behavior change that can help conserve California’s precious water resources, even though talking to residents and news teams about climate change isn’t what he signed up for at all: “I never thought I’d be using my voice as a tool,” he says. But this is the reality of what we have to do in order to conserve water.”

Here’s how Gonzalez earns $70,000 a year, or nearly $100,000 with overtime, as a water operator in Calabasas, Calif.

Getting the job

Gonzalez was born and raised in California and helped run his dad’s pool cleaning business until age 25. During that time, he learned a lot about water chemistry and that he loved working outdoors. In his 20s, he changed careers to work as a plant manager in industrial sales and distribution, but realized he didn’t like working a desk job and wanted something different.

When Gonzalez noticed his clients who worked for a water agency were always in a good mood, could spend a lot of time with their families and even had energy for hobbies, he wanted in.

In 2017, Gonzalez enrolled in community college, took six courses and got certified by the California State Water Resource Control Board to work as a water operator.

Fernando Gonzalez is on the frontlines of combatting the historic “megadrought” in the southwestern U.S., and works with customers across parts of Los Angeles County to conserve water in the desert.

Tristan Pelletier | CNBC Make It

The biggest surprise during his studies was learning about the legal regulation of how water moves throughout the state of California to Los Angeles County. “It really brought to light the scarcity of the water here in Southern California,” he says. “I found out the water comes from Northern California, and we don’t actually store any water here in the south. So that made it real on the water conservation effort.”

Learning about the chemistry of water treatment — how acid, chlorine and different chemicals affect water — was a challenge, but Gonzalez learned to like it. “If you have a passion for something, you always find a way,” he says. “And I found that I had a passion for this, and it really did hit home for me.”

Water operators are required to hold either a water distribution license or a treatment license. Gonzalez currently holds both. He was hired at Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which serves about 75,000 residents in western Los Angeles County, in January 2020.

A day on the job

Fernando Gonzalez says job security, work-life balance and the ability to work outdoors drew him to becoming a water operator. He also enjoys interacting with customers and teaching them how to conserve water.

Tristan Pelletier | CNBC Make It

The typical neighborhoods he works in can range from traditional single-family lots to farms with horses, as well as celebrity mansions owned by the likes of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Hart — many of whom have been issued notices of excess water usage.

Fines range from $50 to $100, which are often “not enough of a deterrent for people who have the means and the money to just pay their way out of it,” he says.

And violations can bring up uncomfortable conversations with homeowners who worry that if they don’t water their lawns, their plants will die, and their property value could drop.

But Gonzalez reminds them that if the California drought gets worse, water use could be restricted to only human consumption. The consequences could be much worse than dull lawns. “It’s unfortunate, but there is going to be a casualty to the drought, and we prefer the casualty be the lawn over the people,” he says.

If a customer exceeds their water budget too many times, the district installs a flow restrictor — a washer with a 1/16-inch hole in the center that allows just under two gallons of water per minute to go to the house.

Properties that go over their water allotment too many times have a flow restrictor installed, which is a washer with a 1/16-inch hole in the center that allows just under two gallons of water to flow per minute.

Tristan Pelletier | CNBC Make It

The restrictors make customers re-prioritize their water use: “You’ll have to actually start making kind of decisions on what’s more important — watering your lawn or taking a shower — because you can’t do both at the same time with the restrictor in,” Gonzalez says.

Gonzalez approaches his work with empathy: People aren’t wasting water to be malicious. Usually, customers just pay their water bill and don’t think twice about it. It isn’t until someone like him visits their property, finds a leak and works with them to get it repaired that they realize they’re wasting water.

“It’s a win for everybody,” Gonzalez says. “Conservation-wise, it’s less wasted water, and the customer wins because their water bill will go down.”

Overall, “one of the biggest rewards for me is still the customer service aspect of it, of helping the community with what I do,” he says.

The future of water

Gonzalez also works on the Pure Water Project, an initiative that uses emerging technologies to treat recycled water for irrigation. The ultimate goal is to bring the treated water up to safe drinking standards one day.

In the mornings, Gonzalez will work in a lab to monitor the facility’s three-step filtration process, make adjustments to the system, and measure the impact of how pure the water comes out.

“Climate change has made a big difference to to how our hydrological cycle is being affected,” says Fernando Gonzalez. “You can see that animals are coming down out of the mountains into urban areas to eat because their food sources are being affected up where they normally live.”

Tristan Pelletier | CNBC Make It

Bringing in $144,000 a year as a female truck driver

After years as nuclear powerhouse, France makes play in offshore wind

This image, from Sept. 2022, shows French President Emmanuel Macron speaking with workers on board a boat during a visit to the Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm.

Stephane Mahe | AFP | Getty Images

A facility described as “France’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project” is fully operational, multinational utility EDF said this week.

The news represents a significant step forward for the country’s offshore wind sector, with more projects set to come online in the years ahead.

In a statement Wednesday, EDF said the 480-megawatt Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm would help to “support the French State’s energy transition goals, which include targets to generate 32% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.” EDF’s majority shareholder is the French state.

Located in waters off the south west coast of France, the Saint-Nazaire project consists of 80 turbines. Its first electricity was generated in June 2022.

Looking ahead, EDF said the wind farm would “supply the equivalent of the consumption of 700,000 people with electricity every year.”

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While the Saint-Nazaire project represents a significant shot in the arm for France’s nascent offshore wind sector, the country has for decades been something of a powerhouse when it comes to nuclear.

According to the World Nuclear Association, France is home to 56 operable reactors. “France derives about 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy,” it adds.

In wind power, the country has an established onshore sector. Its offshore industry is by contrast miniscule, with a cumulative capacity of just 2 MW in 2021, according to figures from industry body WindEurope.

This is set to change in the coming years. “Offshore installations are finally set to take off as of 2022, and we expect 3.3 GW of offshore wind installations from now until 2026,” WindEurope’s Wind Energy in Europe report, which was published in Feb. 2022, said.

In a statement, EDF Renewables’ CEO Bruno Bensasson expressed pride in commissioning what he called “France’s first industrial offshore wind farm.”

“Over the past 10 years, this project has contributed to the construction of the offshore wind power industry in France and has mobilized a significant number of jobs during construction and now in the operating phase,” he later added.

Europe fails to thrash out details on gas price cap

EU energy ministers fail to agree on a cap for natural gas prices. New emergency meeting due in mid-December.

Kenzo Tribouillard | Afp | Getty Images

BRUSSELS — European energy ministers failed to reach a compromise over a cap on natural gas prices after “heated,” “ugly” and “tough” discussions.

The 27 EU leaders agreed in late October to give their political support to a limit on natural gas prices after months and months of discussions on how to best tackle the current energy crisis.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, and the bloc’s energy ministers were then tasked to solve the more specific, and practical, differences on the measure.

However, the divergences are so acute in Brussels that energy ministers have not managed to find a compromise and instead have convened a new emergency meeting for mid-December.

“The tension was touchable,” one EU official, who followed the discussions but preferred to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the talks, told CNBC via telephone. The same official said the conversations were “very tough” because of a “fake price cap.”

In an attempt to bring everyone on board, the European Commission proposed a cap at 275 euros per megawatt hour. The cap would also only kick in when prices are 58 euros ($60.46) higher than a global LNG (liquefied natural gas) reference price for 10 consecutive trading days within a two-week period.

Greek energy minister: EU gas price cap at 275 euros/MWh is 'not a price cap'

Countries eager to implement the cap, most notably Poland, Spain and Greece, say this proposal is not realistic as it is so high that it is unlikely to ever be triggered.

“The gas price cap which is in the document currently doesn’t satisfy any single country. It’s a kind of joke for us,” Anna Moskwa, Poland’s minister for climate, said in Brussels Thursday.

Other EU officials, speaking to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, mentioned how the conversations were “heated.” One of them went as far as saying that “at one point, it got really ugly.”

This reflects how poorer and more indebted EU nations feel about the energy crisis that’s impacted the region since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back in February. With less fiscal room to support domestic consumers, these countries need EU-wide measures to contain energy costs at home.

“I hope we get there next week,” another official following the meeting told CNBC under the condition of anonymity.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Jozef Sikela, the Czech minister for industry and trade, also said: “We’re not opening the Champagne yet, but putting the bottle in the fridge.”

We do not have several months, Malta energy minister says on gas price cap

Energy ministers are expected to meet again on Dec. 13, just before the heads of state meet in Brussels for their final EU summit of the year. Until then, the commission’s proposal is likely to suffer alterations in the hope of bringing everyone on board.

Prices on the front-month Title Transfer Facility (TTF) European benchmark closed at around 129 euros per megawatt hour on Thursday. They had reached a historic peak back in August at almost 350 euros per megawatt hour.

Renault plans to harness geothermal energy and help heat plant

A Renault logo photographed in Bavaria, Germany. The French automotive giant says it’s targeting carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040 and globally by 2050.

Igor Golovniov/Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

The Renault Group is working with French utility Engie on the development of a geothermal energy project at the automaker’s Douai facility, with the collaboration set to last 15 years.

In a statement, Renault said Thursday a subsidiary of Engie would start drilling work at Douai — which was established in 1970 and focuses on bodywork assembly — in late 2023.

The plan centers around taking hot water from a depth of 4,000 meters, or more than 13,100 feet.

According to Renault, this water will be used to help meet the Douai site’s “industrial and heating process needs from 2025.” The temperature of the water will be between 130 and 140 degrees Celsius.

“Once implemented, this geothermal technology would provide a power of nearly 40 MW continuously,” the company said.

“In summer, when the need for heat is lower, geothermal energy could be used to produce carbon-free electricity,” it added.

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The Renault Group’s CEO, Luca de Meo, described the program planned for Douai as “one of the most ambitious decarbonisation projects on a European industrial site.”

According to the International Energy Agency, geothermal energy refers to “energy available as heat contained in or discharged from the earth’s crust” which can be utilized to produce electricity and provide direct heat.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Energy says geothermal energy “supplies renewable power around the clock and emits little or no greenhouse gases.”

News about Renault’s geothermal project with Engie was accompanied by details of other projects centered around decarbonizing operations at a number of the automotive giant’s industrial facilities.

Looking at the bigger picture, Renault says it’s targeting carbon neutrality in Europe by the year 2040 and globally by 2050.

Despite these aims, a top executive at the firm recently told CNBC that the firm saw the internal combustion engine as continuing to play a crucial role in its business over the coming years.

Earlier this month, it was announced the Renault Group and Chinese firm Geely had signed a non-binding framework agreement to establish a company focused on the development, production and supply of “hybrid powertrains and highly efficient ICE [internal combustion engine] powertrains.”

Speaking to CNBC’s Charlotte Reed, Renault Chief Financial Officer Thierry Pieton sought to explain some of the reasoning behind the planned partnership with Geely.

“In our view, and according to all the studies that we’ve got, there is no scenario where ICE and hybrid engines represent less than 40% of the market with a horizon of 2040,” he said. “So it’s actually … a market that’s going to continue to grow.”

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Renault’s continued focus on the internal combustion engine comes at a time when some big economies are looking to move away from vehicles that use fossil fuels.

The U.K., for example, wants to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030. It will require, from 2035, all new cars and vans to have zero tailpipe emissions.

The European Union, which the U.K. left on Jan. 31, 2020, is pursuing similar targets. Over in the United States, California is banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035.

How much a gallon of gas costs in every U.S. state

Travelers get a bit of break over the Thanksgiving holiday, since gas prices dropped by 16 cents in the past week, bringing the average price of a gallon in the U.S. to $3.61.  

That’s well below the summer peak of over $5 for a regular gallon of gas, although as of Wednesday, prices are still 21 cents higher than a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

It’s also the highest national average during Thanksgiving since 2000, when AAA first started tracking average gas prices in the U.S. 

“Thanksgiving [gas prices] will be about a dollar more per gallon than in pre-pandemic 2019. However, we can be thankful that gas prices are moving in the right direction for now,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. 

Here’s a look at the average price for a regular gallon of gas in every U.S. state.

Gas prices are highest in western states, where they largely sit above $4 per gallon. At $5.16 per gallon, California has the second-highest average in the country, after Hawaii, where a gallon costs $5.20.

Prices are cheapest in the South, where a gallon of gas is closer to $3. In Texas, a gallon costs $2.95, which makes it the cheapest state to pump gas. It’s also the only state where gas is below $3.

Gas prices tend to vary by region due to differences in state and local taxes, distance from supply and retail competition.

Why gas prices are going down

Inside a 95-square-foot NYC apartment renting for $1,100/month

Offshore floating desalination plant aims to produce drinking water from the ocean

Ocean Oasis’ Gaia system has been designed to use wave power to desalinate water.

Ocean Oasis

Plans to use marine energy to desalinate water received a further boost this week, after a Norwegian firm presented a system that will be put through its paces in waters off Gran Canaria.

In a statement Monday, Oslo-headquartered Ocean Oasis said its wave-powered prototype device, which it described as being an “offshore floating desalination plant,” was called Gaia.

The plant — which has a height of 10 meters, a diameter of 7 meters and weighs roughly 100 tons — was put together in Las Palmas and will undergo testing at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands.

Ocean Oasis said its technology would enable “the production of fresh water from ocean waters by harnessing the energy of the waves to carry out a desalination process and pump potable water to coastal users.”

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The company said the development of its prototype had received financial backing from a range of organizations including Innovation Norway and the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society.

The main investor in Ocean Oasis is Grieg Maritime Group, which is headquartered in Bergen, Norway.

Desalination

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With the above in mind, projects looking to desalinate water in a more sustainable way will become increasingly important in the years ahead.

The idea of using waves to power desalination is not unique to the project being undertaken in the Canaries. In April, for example, the U.S. Department of Energy revealed the winners of the last stage of a competition focused on wave-powered desalination.

Back on the Canary Islands, Ocean Oasis said it would be looking to construct a second installation after testing at the PLOCAN facility had taken place. “In this phase, the prototype will be scaled with the capacity to produce water for consumption,” the company said.

While there is excitement about the potential of marine energy, the footprint of wave and tidal stream projects remains very small compared to other renewables.

In data released in March 2022, Ocean Energy Europe said 2.2 megawatts of tidal stream capacity was installed in Europe last year, compared to just 260 kilowatts in 2020.

For wave energy, 681 kW was installed, which OEE said was a threefold increase. Globally, 1.38 MW of wave energy came online in 2021, while 3.12 MW of tidal stream capacity was installed.

By way of comparison, Europe installed 17.4 gigawatts of wind power capacity in 2021, according to figures from industry body WindEurope.

Europe’s gas price cap leaves some nations dismayed

Commissioner for energy Kadri Simson is talking to media. EU countries are debating new steps to deal with the energy crisis.

Thierry Monasse | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Several EU member states are not happy with the bloc’s proposed cap on natural gas prices — at 275 euros per megawatt hour — which aims to prevent sky-high costs for consumers.

Introducing a cap on gas prices has been one of the more controversial measures for Europe amid an acute energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 27 EU leaders gave political backing to the idea in late October, after several months of discussions. But, a handful of nations are demanding concrete safeguards before greenlighting the proposal, while others say the cap is too high.

“A price cap at the levels that the commission is proposing is not in fact a price cap,” Kostas Skrekas, Greece’s environment and energy minister, told CNBC’s Julianna Tatelbaum Tuesday, hours after the proposed level was set by the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU.

“So [a] price cap at 275 euro is not a price cap, nobody can, can stand buying gas at this expensive price for a long time. We surely believe that the price cap below 200 euro, between 150 and 200 euro would be more realistic,” he added.

EU energy ministers are due to meet Thursday to debate the price cap proposal.

Poland, Greece, Belgium and Spain are among the nations supporting the cap. The Netherlands and Germany have been more skeptical about the benefits of the measure. Presenting a cap that looks tough to implement, in practice, could be a way for the European Commission to bring all the 27 nations together on the issue.

Greek energy minister: EU gas price cap at 275 euros/MWh is 'not a price cap'

“It will be a meeting with grumpy people,” an EU official, working for one of the member states and who preferred to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the discussions, told CNBC regarding the upcoming meeting.

The same official said the commission needs to present further guarantees on how the measure will not distort markets.

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Kadri Simson, the European commissioner for energy, said the proposal is “balanced” and it will help the bloc avoid excessively high prices.

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A group of energy exchanges in Europe, Europex, also said earlier this week it was “deeply concerned” about a market correction mechanism, given it could impact financial stability — but also security of supply.

Simson said the proposal, known as the Market Correction Mechanism or MCM, has taken this into consideration and “the risks are minimal” for supply.

The commission proposed the introduction of a cap when prices on the front-month Title Transfer Facility [TTF] — Europe’s main benchmark for natural gas prices — reaches 275 euros per megawatt hour and when prices are 58 euros ($59.53) higher than the LNG reference price for 10 consecutive trading days within the two weeks. Both conditions need to be met for the cap to be triggered.

Dutch TTF prices reached a historic high of 349.9 euros per megawatt hour in August. Under the proposal, the price cap would have not been triggered as it was only a brief spike.

“This is not a silver bullet,” Simson said at a press conference Tuesday. She added, however, the measure provides “a powerful tool that we can use when we need it.”

“Everybody is aware of the possible risks but there is a clear expectation. We will send signals that despite the difficult situation, we will not pay at whatever the market platform will bring to market participants — like it happened in August,” she said.

European natural gas prices closed at 124.5 euros per megawatt hour on Tuesday evening.

China played a great game on lithium and we’ve been slow to react: CEO

This image, from March 2021, shows a worker with car batteries at a facility in China.

STR | AFP | Getty Images

China is leading the way when it comes to lithium — and the rest of the world has not been quick enough to respond to its dominance, according to the CEO of American Lithium.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” Monday, Simon Clarke discussed how China had secured its position of strength within the industry.

“I just think the Chinese have — I mean you have to take your hat off, they’ve played a great game,” he said.

“For decades, they’ve been locking up some of the best assets across the world and quietly going about their business and developing knowledge on building lithium-ion technology, soup to nuts,” he added. “And we’ve been very slow to react to that.”

He added that the U.S.’ Inflation Reduction Act, and a number of other measures, meant people were “starting to wake up to it.”

Alongside its use in cell phones, computers, tablets and a host of other gadgets synonymous with modern life, lithium — which some have dubbed “white gold” — is crucial to the batteries that power electric vehicles.

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China is certainly a dominant force within the sector.

In its World Energy Outlook 2022 report, the International Energy Agency said the country accounted for roughly 60% of the world’s lithium chemical supply. China also produces three-quarters of all lithium-ion batteries, according to the IEA.

With demand for lithium rising, major economies are attempting to shore up their own supplies and reduce dependency on other parts of the world, including China.  

The stakes are high. In a translation of her State of the Union speech, delivered in September, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “lithium and rare earths will soon be more important than oil and gas.”

As well as addressing security of supply, von der Leyen also stressed the importance of processing.

“Today, China controls the global processing industry,” she said. “Almost 90% … of rare earth[s] and 60% of lithium are processed in China.”

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With the above in mind, a number of companies in Europe are looking to develop projects centered around securing supply.

Paris-headquartered minerals giant Imerys, for example, plans to develop a lithium extraction project in the center of France, while a facility described as the U.K.’s first large-scale lithium refinery is set to be located in the north of England.

Looking ahead, American Lithium’s Clarke forecast continued geopolitical competition within the sector.

“There’s a real initiative to wrest back some of the supply chain from … China,” he said.

“I think China is in such a dominant position, it’s going to be very hard to do that. But … I think you’re starting to see that approach happening.”

New global climate deal struck at conference in Egypt

Climate reparations, or “loss and damage” funding, is a highly divisive and emotive issue that is seen as a fundamental question of climate justice.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Government ministers and negotiators from nearly 200 countries finally secured an agreement Sunday aimed at keeping a critically important global heating target alive.

The new political deal reaffirms efforts to limit global temperature rise to the crucial temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and the creation of a new “loss and damage” fund that would compensate poor nations that are victims of extreme weather worsened by climate change.

The two-week-long COP27 climate summit took place in Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh against a backdrop of increasing extreme weather events, geopolitical conflicts and a deepening energy crisis.

Delegates struggled to build consensus on an array of issues, even as a flurry of U.N. reports published ahead of the conference made clear just how close the planet is to irreversible climate breakdown.

The scale of division between climate envoys saw talks run beyond Friday’s deadline, with campaigners accusing the U.S. of playing a “deeply obstructive” role by blocking the demands of developing countries. The final agreement was reached in the early hours of Sunday morning following tense negotiations throughout the night, with many delegates exhausted by the time the deal was announced.

Some of the major sticking points included battles over whether all fossil fuels or just coal should be named in the decision text and whether to set up a “loss and damage” fund for countries hit by climate-fueled disasters.

The highly divisive and emotive issue of loss and damage dominated the U.N.-brokered talks and many felt the success of the conference hinged on getting wealthy countries to agree to establish a new fund.

The summit made history as the first to see the topic of loss and damage funding formally make it onto the COP27 agenda. The issue was first raised by climate-vulnerable countries 30 years ago.

Lifting hopes of a breakthrough on loss and damage thereafter, the European Union said late Thursday that it would be prepared to back the demand of the G-77 group of 134 developing nations to create a new reparations fund.

The proposal was welcomed by some countries in the Global South, although campaigners decried the offer as a “poison pill” given the bloc said it was only willing to provide aid to “the most vulnerable countries.”

Rich countries have long opposed the creation of a fund to address loss and damage and many policymakers fear that accepting liability could trigger a wave of lawsuits by countries on the frontlines of the climate emergency.