In Sharm el-Sheikh, the negotiations are entering the home stretch. Ten days after its launch, the COP27 in Egypt suffers from many divisions, particularly between northern and southern states. From now on, the ministers of the 196 countries are on the scene to try to put together the most ambitious final communiqué possible for the climate. The summit is scheduled to end on Friday, but leaders often choose to extend it. Blockades, glimmers of hope and meager progress: this is what awaits you.
Goals still too few
Before the summit opened, the UN had calculated that states’ commitments would cause the planet to rise in temperature by 2.6C… if met. Current policy was more geared towards +2.8°C, far from the goals of the Paris Agreement to curb global warming “well below 2°C” and to do everything possible not to exceed 1.5°C.
The COP27 should not turn the tide. For a year, only about thirty countries have revised their contributions upwards (see below), with one major absentee: China, the largest emitter of CO2.
Financing not up to par
Same sense of stagnation on the issue of funding. Developing and/or vulnerable countries are demanding that rich countries deliver on their pledge to increase aid to mitigate and adapt to global warming to $100 billion a year.
Only $83.3 billion was disbursed in 2021, according to the OECD. And again, 70% was loans. This Wednesday, the European Union and four member states pledged more than 1 billion euros for adaptation in Africa.
Also read – Climate: Why the COP27 is so important for African countries
But countries of the South will need at least $2 trillion a year to fund their climate action by 2030, according to a report commissioned by the COP presidency, and nearly half will have to come from outside sources. Discussions were also started about continuing this funding beyond 2025, again without any prospect of success this year.
Loss and Damage Sections
For the first time, a central demand from vulnerable countries was put on the agenda: “Loss and Damage”, i.e. compensation for the inevitable damage associated with climate change. Several proposals have been formulated, but the positions are very clear. On the one hand, China and the G77, the group of developing countries, want the COP27 “decides to set up a fund”with something “Working Principles and Methods” determined at the latest at the next COP. On the other hand, the countries of the North, including the United States and the EU, are open to discussion but refuse to provide concrete background information.
The “facilitators” appointed on this subject propose: a “process” Discussions that could end in 2024 and mention options such as setting up a fund, debt relief or donations. The draft final text mentions only the “need for financial provision”.
A dozen countries, including France, have now pledged tens of millions of euros. The German G7 presidency and around sixty countries at risk also started on Monday “Global Climate Risk Shield” which consists of mobilization insurance and is currently endowed with 200 million euros. “Loss and damage funding announcements are in the millions while needs are in the billions,” regrets the Climate Action Network.
The G20 reaffirms the target of 1.5°C
Nevertheless, there are some positive signal reasons. Or at least reasons to hope for a final text without the feared setbacks, especially with the 1.5°C. The first draft, published Monday night, contains the principle “the urgency to act to keep the target of +1.5°C within the realm of possibility”. But observers say China and Saudi Arabia have said they don’t want the target mentioned in the final statement. The other states see this as a step backwards.
The course of the G20 in Bali is calming. The leaders of these countries, which account for 80% of global CO2 emissions, have pledged to continue their efforts not to exceed +1.5°C. And despite rising tensions between Beijing and Washington, Chinese and US Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden have pledged to resume cooperation on climate.
… and about the release of the fossils
At the G20, the heads of state and government also called for subsidies to be cut “ineffective” to fossil fuels. Reason enough to hope that the move away from fossil fuels – and not just coal as in Glasgow last year – will be advocated in the final text. To The world India is pushing in this direction, but the Gulf States are holding back.
The other reason for hope, even if these are only words, came from Lula, the new Brazilian President. “Brazil is back” and “will be a positive force in addressing global challenges”, he tweeted Tuesday night. He indicated that he wants to organize the COP30 in 2035 in the Amazon and will fight for it “Zero Deforestation” in this rainforest. And this with or without the resumption of international aid, which had been suspended in the face of the anti-environmental policies of his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro.
The (shy) progress
The EU wants to do more, Mexico too
On Tuesday, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said the EU will reduce its carbon emissions“at least 57%” by 2030. The target by then was at least 55%, although some NGOs still consider it insufficient.
Also read – COP27: Where is the Great Green Wall project mentioned by Emmanuel Macron?
Other countries have raised their targets, like Mexico, which wanted to reduce its emissions by 22% by 2030 and is now targeting 35%. An increase made possible by the signing of a $48 billion investment program with the United States and Canada that envisages doubling clean energy production. Vietnam and Turkey have also announced more ambitious targets.
Announcements against methane
Several announcements have been made to tackle methane, a greenhouse gas that scientists say is responsible for a quarter of global warming.
- The UN has unveiled a program to use satellites to detect methane leaks and immediately alert states and companies.
- The United States, the world’s largest gas producer, has unveiled a plan to set tougher standards.
- A group of countries that import and produce fossil fuels (US, Canada, Japan, Norway, EU, UK and Singapore) have issued a joint – non-binding – statement to, among others “minimize” Flaring (release of gas at industrial sites by burning).
Partnerships for the energy transition
In addition to one-time commitments, especially the “Partnership for a just energy transition” signed with South Africa, the 13th largest CO2 emitter in the world. On Monday the South African President outlined his investment plan of $98 billion over 5 years to start his coal phase-out. Of this sum, the United States, the United Kingdom, the EU, Germany and France pledge to contribute $8.5 billion.
A similar deal was struck with Indonesia on Tuesday, with several wealthy countries pledging $20 billion over the next three to five years to help Jakarta phase out coal and advance its goal of carbon neutrality. This type of partnership should be repeated with India, Senegal and Vietnam.