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Saturday, November 26, 2022

As COP27 drags into 11th hour, worrying divergences remain on key issues

“While it was pitched as an implementation COP, COP27 is turning into a ‘repetition’ COP. The situation is serious with a deadlock on an agreement for a Loss and Damage finance facility.” said Yeb Saño, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director. 

Climate Action Network
Mohamed Adow, Power Shift Africa Director (right), with Harjeet Singh of Climate Action Network

Saño was speaking at a press briefing by Climate Action Network in Egypt, on Friday, November 18, 2022, the official last day of COP27.

As talks drag on, it appears that the divergences on key elements of the decision cover text such as language on phasing out all fossil fuels and establishing a Loss and Damage fund are getting tricky to resolve as the clock ticks towards the official close of the climate summit.

“​​Putting Loss and Damage on the Agenda is an important recognition of climate reality and the profound impacts on many communities around the world, but that recognition needs to be backed by action. This is on a knife edge with many countries now shifting behind establishing the fund this year targeted to vulnerable countries.

“Against the overall backdrop of climate carnage being wrought against the least responsible around the world this COP was never set up to succeed, but if it ends without agreeing a loss and damage fund it will be a resounding moral failure leaving the most vulnerable even more exposed. That failure will be laid at the feet of a handful of blocking countries,” added Saño.

Speaking on the same panel Catherine Abreu, Founder, Destination Zero, said: “We hear some Parties say that fossil fuels are needed to bring development and prosperity. But if they would really do so, they would have done so already. We need a just transition of energy and we need all countries to work together on this. The success or failure of this COP27 depends on the equitable phase-out of all fossil fuels.

“If we are to see an acknowledgment to science at 1.5C degree we must phase out of coal, fossil fuels and gas as it is the only way to keep the 1.5C goal alive. Luckily, a group of countries are following that line: major producers, importers and those affected by climate change all committed to move away from fossil fuels dependance. If fossil fuels would have provided energy supplies for everybody, they would have done so already. We need the UN to tell countries how to cooperate and transfer wealth where it is needed. We want a decent outcome for COP27.”

Mohamed Adow, Power Shift Africa Director, said: “It’s good to see the EU make a concrete offer to respond to the crisis of the vulnerables in ensuring a Loss and Damage response fund is established in Sharm El-Sheikh. But truth be told, the fund shouldn’t be used as a poison pill to fix old divisions around expanding the donor base. As much as that might be needed. Trying to tie the fund to other important issues that this COP needs to resolve won’t help with the politics of actually establishing the fund here.

“We don’t need a fund in name only. A fund that doesn’t specify the requirement for historic polluters to deliver finance and shifts the burden to undefined ‘other sources’ won’t meet the needs of vulnerable countries facing the adverse impacts of climate change.”

Chiara Martinelli, Director, CAN Europe, said: “We should acknowledge that in the past year the EU has moved significantly and is now supporting a loss and damage fund at COP27, including a new proposal to finance it by taxing polluters and fossil fuels. To gain support, at this final stage of the negotiations, the EU needs to strengthen the inclusion of equity and recognise the historical responsibility of big emitters, bringing new and additional funds.”

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