- November 18, 2022
- Posted by: l p
- Categories: insight, news
Held in Sharm El-Sheikh between 6 – 18 November, the UN Climate Change Conference is setting the political, media and business agenda. Follow proceedings with Luther Pendragon’s report series.
As the final negotiations began, the COP27 President published the draft agreement on Thursday, showing where there remained some substantial differences between negotiators.
- Significantly, the draft agreement provided no detail on any provision of a ‘loss and damage’ fund for smaller countries, but instead welcomed parties agreeing to discuss the issue. It also did not make any mention of a phasing down of fossil fuels. [UN]
Loss and damage
Loss and damage remains the key talking point in negotiations, but also one with little consensus. UN Secretary-General António Guterres returned to COP from the G20 summit, in an attempt add some momentum to negotiations.
- In his speech, Guterres said that an ‘ambitious and credible’ loss and damage agreement was the easiest way to ‘rebuild trust’. He repeated his call for a ‘Climate Solidarity Pact’ with developed countries mobilising financial and technical support for a global transition. [UN]
- In a statement, the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said that negotiations on loss and damage had gone ‘too far’ to fail. He accused developed countries of ‘furiously trying to stall progress’. [AOSIS]
The US announced that a number of countries had endorsed its proposals for ocean conservation, while a many, such as Sweden and the Netherlands, had also made commitments regarding electric vehicles.
- The US Ocean Conservation Pledge requires that countries conserve or protect at least 30% of their ocean waters by 2030. Australia, Canada and France were among the nations to sign up. [US Government]
- The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Declaration, initially announced at COP26, was accelerated with a support package for emerging markets and developing economies. The Declaration commits countries to all ZEV sales by 2040. [UK Government]
- Sweden and the Netherlands joined the US’s Zero-Emission Government Fleet Declaration, promising to transition their government owned and operated vehicles to zero emissions by 2035. [US Government]
In the news
President-elect Lula addresses delegates
President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met with climate envoys from the US and China on his first foreign trip since being elected as Brazilian president. Lula, stated that ‘Brazil is back’ in the fight against climate change and in his speech he stated that ‘there is no climate security without a protected Amazon’. However, Lula’s chosen mode of transport for COP27 certainly raised eyebrows.
- ‘Brazil is back’ at COP27 as Lula meets US, Chinese climate envoys’ [Reuters] [Daily Mail] [Financial Times] [BBC News]
- ‘Lula faces backlash after flying to Cop27 on millionaire’s private jet’ [The Guardian]
- ‘Lula offers to host UN climate talks in Brazil’s Amazon’ [Reuters]
Talks of a ‘loss and damage fund’ continue to dominate
The proposed ‘loss and damage fund’ to provide finance to countries affected by climate disasters continues to stir debate in the media. The issue saw interventions from the German foreign minister and the German climate envoy, who expressed support for the concept of a ‘Global Shield against Climate Risks’, intended to be a mechanism to provide vulnerable people with ‘substantially more and better pre-arranged finance against disasters’. In the early hours of Friday, the European Union launched its own proposal to establish a ‘loss and damage fund’, in a ‘dramatic intervention’, according to The Guardian.
- ‘COP27: The loss and damage debate is intensifying’ [Financial Times]
- ‘Germany should help poor countries bear climate change costs – minister’ [Reuters]
- ‘Vulnerable countries demand progress on climate change loss and damage fund’ [Independent]
- ‘Developing countries, China seek ‘loss and damage’ fund – draft proposal’ [Reuters]
- ‘Cop27: EU agrees to loss and damage fund to help poor countries amid climate disasters’ [The Guardian]
Australians accused of hypocrisy
Australia has drawn criticism from media outlets as climate change minister, Chris Bowen, used a major speech at the conference to criticise the World Bank for failing to do enough to aid developing countries drive a transition to clean energy. However, Bowen had failed to sign the ‘Statement on International Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition Partnership’, a multi-country agreement to direct exports away from fossil fuels in favour of clean energy.
- ‘Australia criticised for resisting Cop27 push to end international fossil fuel subsidies’ [The Guardian]
- ‘Chris Bowen takes leadership role in Cop27 talks as John Kerry praises Australia’s climate U-turn’ [The Guardian]
Head of Commonwealth says banks have failed poorest
Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, has said that international multi-lateral banks have ‘demonstrably failed’ in assisting poorer nations when climate disasters hit, meaning ‘we have to think again’ about the structure of finance institutions.
- ‘Multi-lateral lenders have failed poorest over climate – Commonwealth head’ [Reuters]
Protestors disrupt Russian event
Five protestors disrupted Russia’s panel discussion on the country’s climate plans, shouting ‘you are war criminals’ and calling the Russian delegates ‘despicable.’
- ‘Protesters disrupt Russian event at COP27 climate conference’ [Reuters]
- Video: ‘Anti-war protesters interrupt event hosted by Russia at COP27 climate summit’ [Sky News]
BBC analysis finds too few women at COP27
The BBC has found that women make up less than 34% of country negotiating teams at the UN summit, despite evidence showing that climate change disproportionately affects females.
- ‘Lack of women at negotiations raises concern’ [BBC News]
49% of Britons support paying for poorer countries climate action
A poll conducted by Omnisis for The Guardian has found that a plurality of people believe the UK has a responsibility to provide climate finance to poorer nations – with similar results for Conservative, Labour, and Lib Dem voters.
- ‘Majority of Britons say UK should pay for climate action in poor countries’ [The Guardian]
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