© Reuters. Ministers make a statement during the closing session of the COP27 climate conference at the Red Sea Resort in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, November 20, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
(Fixing a typo in paragraph 10)
By Valerie Volcovici, Dominic Evans and William James
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) – Countries closed this year’s U.N. summit on Sunday with a deal to create a fund to help poorer countries facing climate disasters, even as many complained that it lacked a plan to tackle the climate crisis. the output that makes them.
The deal was widely hailed as a breakthrough in responding to the damage already caused by global warming in vulnerable countries. But many countries have said they are under pressure to abandon hard-line commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order for the necessary deal on climate change to continue.
Delegates – tired of the big, one-night negotiations – did not resist when the Egyptian President of COP27 Sameh Shoukry discussed the final issues and reached an agreement.
Although we did not have an agreement to commit to the 1.5 C goal established in the Paris agreement of 2015, “we went with what the agreement was because we want to have people who are at high risk,” the German climate secretary Jennifer Morgan, shaking, said. Reuters.
When asked by Reuters if the goal of tackling climate change has been undermined in the deal, Mexican climate negotiator Camila Zepeda summed up the sentiment among those weary.
“Maybe. You win when you can.”
LOSS AND DAMAGE
The agreement on losses and damages showed the diplomatic seizure of small islands and other vulnerable countries in winning over the 27 countries of the European Union and the United States, who for a long time opposed their proposals for fear that such a fund would open them legally. liability for emissions.
These concerns were tempered by language in the agreement that called for the money to come from a variety of sources, including financial institutions, rather than relying on rich countries to pay for it.
The Marshall Islands’ climate ambassador said he was “exhausted” but happy with the fund’s approval. “A lot of people this week have told us we’re not going to get it,” Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner said. “I’m glad he was wrong.”
But it may be several years before the fund comes to fruition, with the agreement merely providing a way to resolve outstanding questions including who will manage the fund, how the money will go – and to whom.
US special climate envoy John Kerry, who was absent from the talks over the weekend after testing positive for COVID-19, on Sunday welcomed the agreement to “develop solutions to climate change for vulnerable people around the world.”
In a statement, he said he would continue to pressure major emitters like China to “significantly increase their ambition” to keep the 1.5 C target alive.
FOSSIL FUEL FIZZLE
The cost of the agreement on the loss and damage fund was most evident in the language around reducing emissions and reducing the use of fossil fuels – known in the parlance of the UN climate talks as “reduction.”
Last year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, focused on the topic of keeping the 1.5C target alive – with scientists warning that warming beyond that limit could make climate change worse.
Countries have been asked to update their global climate targets ahead of this year’s summit in Egypt. Only a few of the nearly 200 parties did so.
While praising the loss and damage, many countries criticized the failure of COP27 to advance the reduction and said some countries are trying to backtrack on their commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact.
“We had to fight relentlessly to hold the Glasgow line,” a visibly frustrated Alok Sharma, the architect of the Glasgow union, told the conference.
He wrote about a number of incentives that failed in the negotiation of the last COP27 agreement in Egypt: “Emissions that reached the peak before 2025 as the science tells us is necessary? Not in these words. of coal? Not in these words. A clear commitment to eliminate all fossil fuels Oilers? Not in these words.
On fossil fuels, the COP27 document echoes the statement from Glasgow, calling on parties to advance “efforts to make coal energy sustainable and the elimination of inefficient fossil fuels.”
Efforts to combine commitments to eliminate, or at least lower, all fossil fuels have failed.
The special “reduction plan” agreement, which was re-approved on Sunday, contained a number of clauses that some parties, including the European Union, felt undermined commitments to reduce emissions.
Critics pointed to a clause they said undermined Glasgow’s commitment to regularly update its emissions targets – with language saying the work program “will not set new targets or targets”. Another part of the COP27 agreement abandoned the idea of renewing the annual target instead of returning to the longer five-year period established in the Paris Agreement.
“It is very disappointing to see the reduction and removal of old fossil fuels being built by big rocks and oil producers,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
The deal also included a “low-emission energy policy,” which raised concerns among some that it opened the door to more fossil fuels that lead to greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide and methane.
“It’s not breaking with Glasgow completely, but it’s not increasing demand at all,” Norwegian Climate Minister Espen Barth Eide told reporters.
The Ministry of Climate in the Maldives, which faces future flooding from climate-driven sea level rise, lamented the lack of will to reduce emissions.
“I recognize the progress we made in COP27” and the lost and damaged money, Aminath Shauna told the conference. But “we have failed to reduce … We need to ensure that we increase our ambition to reduce emissions by 2025. We need to eliminate fossil fuels.”