COP 27
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.

Loss and damage

US President Joe Biden gave a speech to the summit, highlighting the carbon cutting reforms the US was making through his Inflation Reduction Act, as well as making fresh commitments on climate change adaptation.

  • Biden announced that the US would double its contribution to the Adaptation Fund, up to $100 million.  [US Government]
  • He also raised the G7’s new Global Insurance Initiative, known as Global Shield, which will protect vulnerable countries from climate-related losses.  [UN]

More commitments

G20 countries continued to make commitments to help support other nations’ transition to low carbon economies, while also making declarations on their own emissions from fossil fuels.

  • The UK joined other G20 countries in the new Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which will provide £17 billion over the next five years to accelerate the transition to net zero.  [UK Government]
  • The UK joined others, including the US and EU, by signing up to the joint declaration from energy importers and exporters, on reducing emissions from fossil fuels. Those signed up have committed to ‘immediate action’ on fossil fuel consumption.  [UK Government]

Water Day

On ‘Water Day’, delegates considered the impact that the climate crisis is having on the global water supply, as well the risks posed by the increasing frequency of heavy rainfall events.

  • The COP27 Presidency and World Meteorological Organisation launched Action on Water Adaptation or Resilience (AWARe), an initiative to encourage cooperation on water-related challenges. It will promote the decoupling of economic growth from fresh water use and sustainable waste-water management.  [COP27]

In the news

Biden joins the conference

Joe Biden’s address to delegates, stating that the world could ‘no longer plead ignorance’ to climate change and urging world leaders to ‘put down significant markers of progress’, was widely reported. The speech included pledges to tighten rules regarding methane emissions from US gas and oil. The Guardian called the promise to reduce methane a ‘standout pledge’ whilst the Independent said the speech was full of ‘empty words and promises’.

  • ‘Biden says leaders ‘can no longer plead ignorance’ over climate crisis’ [The Guardian]
  • ‘COP27 protesters howl at Biden as he apologizes for America pulling out of the Paris Agreement, says he wants to avoid ‘climate hell’ by transitioning away from fossil fuels and promises billions to help poor countries’ [Daily Mail]
  • ‘Frustrations over ‘empty promises’ as activists say Cop27 is slow to deliver action’ [Independent]

Questions surrounding 1.5°C target

There is increasing speculation in media that the COP26 commitment to keep global emissions rises to 1.5 degrees might give way. Comments from Alok Sharma on Monday were indicative of these concerns. US Special Climate Envoy, John Kerry, also highlighted the issue of countries frustrating the promise that was agreed at COP26.

  • ‘Some countries have resisted 1.5°C goal in COP27 text, US says’ [Reuters]
  • ‘Historic pledge to limit global warming to 1.5°C could be dropped ENTIRELY from COP27 treaty amid pressure from China, insiders claim’ [Daily Mail]
  • ‘Fears of compromise on key 1.5C global temperature issue’ [BBC News]
  • ‘‘This could be the Cop where we lose 1.5C’ warns Alok Sharma’ [The Guardian]

Reparations row continues

The conversation around climate reparations to poorer nations continued. A group of 78 countries, known as the ‘G77 + China’, called for largescale ‘climate loss and damage facility finance’. The Guardian published a column by Ugandan climate activist Ndileka Mandela calling for the voices of civil society and faith leaders to be heard, and the Telegraph sought to rebuff the idea of climate reparations in an interview with Gabon’s environment minister.

  • ‘If COP27 becomes a forum for anti-western racketeering, it deserves to die’ [Telegraph]
  • ‘COP27 is full of politicians and policymakers – but the global south doesn’t work that way’ [The Guardian]
  • ‘Don’t blame Britain for historic climate damage, says Gabon environment minister’ [Telegraph]
  • ‘In final week of COP27 climate talks, success hinges on loss and damage’ [Reuters]

Other voices

Al Gore decries World Bank’s role in ‘fossil fuel colonialism’

Former US Vice-President Al Gore called for the World Bank to be ‘replenished,’ saying developing countries ‘need trillions not billions’ and giving a timeframe of ‘no longer than a year.’

  • ‘Al Gore calls for climate-focused reform of World Bank’  [The Guardian]

Young activists take up Greta Thunberg’s mantle

While Greta Thunberg skipped COP27, claiming it was a forum for ‘greenwashing,’ young activists are convening at the Children and Youth Pavilion – the first time there has been a dedicated space like this.

  • ‘‘Young people are definitely shaping outcomes here at COP27’ says youngest advisor to the UN Secretary General on climate’ [BBC News]
  • ‘Greta Thunberg skips COP27 conference as an ‘extremely limited’ space for civil society’ [The Guardian]

Clothing retailers plan to use forest friendly fibres

33 fashion businesses – including H&M, Kering, and Inditex – have come together to announce they will purchase half a million tonnes of low-carbon fibres and packaging.

  • ‘33 fashion retailers, printers, and producers announce purchasing of low-carbon alternatives’ [Reuters]

Report says Australia not performing well in addressing climate crisis

A joint report by Germanwatch, the New Climate Institute, and the Climate Action network places Australia 55 on a list of 63 countries in addressing climate change, behind China and the USA.

  • ‘Australia a ‘very low performing country’ in addressing climate change’  [The Guardian]
  • ‘Denmark, Sweden, and Chile top the Climate Change Performance Index’ [DW News]

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