Negotiations over the text of the final Declaration appear to have not progressed significantly since yesterday. The issues holding up progress now are the same issues that had been identified at the outset as key: loss and damage; mitigation gaps (weak NDCs); the $100 billion in climate finance promised to developing countries from 2020; and the doubling of the proportion of the $100 billion going to adaptation projects. The dual Egyptian Foreign Minister and COP President called on delegates to find solutions—though normally the responsibility for moving text forward lies with the host country.
Carbon Brief have produced this chart which gives an indication of why the negotiations are dragging, with only two of the 31 agenda items agreed upon.
The initial draft text of the COP 27 Cover Decision is 20 pages long, compared to Glasgow’s text which was only seven. Far from being a text that can be edited into shape, the current draft merely offers options on some of the elements that could be in a finalized text. On the positive side, the draft text has rejected India’s push for “phase down [of] fossil fuels” and reverted to the original COP 26 “phase down of coal.” Food now gets an important mention as well. However, the phrase “placeholder for relevant outcomes from ongoing negotiations” appears at least 14 times in the current text. Considering tomorrow is supposed to be the final day of COP 27, it would appear likely that negotiations will continue well into the night if the deadline is to be met.
The UN Secretary General flew directly from the G20 meeting in Bali to Sharm to try and give impetus to the talks, signaling his frustration at their pace and stating, “There is clearly a breakdown in trust between North and South, and between developed and emerging economies.” As if to prove his point, the Guardian quoted a G77 negotiator, saying: “I’ve never seen us so united on an issue as loss and damage . . . The U.S. . . . won’t accept a decision that establishes a fund on loss and damage. That’s where the impasse is. The G77 is saying that’s unacceptable. We are saying we need a decision now and a process to negotiate the terms of reference.” One thing is clear and that is the once radical notion of “loss and damage” is now very firmly front and center of the climate change agenda.
With the Met Office in the UK releasing a report today which concludes that with current mitigation pledges, there is no credible pathway to 1.5 degrees C, the gloominess of the global climate change outlook appears reflected in the rancor now enveloping Sharm. Without any basis for it, let us hope that the next 36 hours prove that pessimism wrong.
- The UK Environment Secretary confirmed that the ban on onshore solar power remained effective.
- In more positive news, Egypt designated 2,000 km of Red Sea coral reefs as a new Marine Protected Area.
- France and Spain joined 212 other countries and corporations in a pledge to stop sales of gasoline-driven vehicles by 2035, five years earlier than previously planned.
- The EU and four of its member states (France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark) pledged more than €1 billion for climate adaptation in Africa.