Photo credit: UNFCCC 2022
Today was Solutions Day at COP27. Solutions Day brings together government representatives, businesses and innovators to share their experiences and ideas with aim of spreading awareness and building alliances to tackle climate change. This was also the penultimate day for negotiations, with key issues such as climate finance, loss and damage and the 1.5C target still needing to be agreed.
The key focus on solutions day was transport based solutions, a priority given that transport is responsible for approximately 25% of global emissions. The UK Government provided an update on the Zero Emissions Vehicles Declaration, one year after it launched at COP26. A total of 214 new signatories have signed the Declaration requiring them to develop plans to end the sale of light vehicles which are not zero-emission by 2035 in leading markets, and 2040 elsewhere. The COP27 Presidency released an initiative call Low Carbon Transport for Urban Sustainability (LOTUS) aimed at decarbonising the global urban mobility landscape. Transport experts will attempt to transform urban mobility systems to decrease reliance on internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) and decarbonise public transport. In further transport related news, The Collective for Clean Transport Finance was also launched with the aim of creating the tools to change risk profiles of investment in zero-emission transport. The Collective is launched by five leading organisations and the High-Level Climate Champions.
Green shipping corridors were also discussed.
Another major theme of the day was climate adaptation and mitigation in cities and other urban areas. The UN launched SURGe (Sustainable Urban Resilience for the Next Generation) to encourage cities to share targets and co-create a holistic programme for climate adaption in urban areas. The focus is on decarbonisation, climate adaption, reaching nature-positivity, preserving culture all while promoting human and biodiversity health.
Away from transport and city related solutions, a group which includes 14 of the world’s largest steel manufacturers formed a new coalition called the Global Steel Climate Council. The Council will create a ‘gold-standard for low-carbon steelmaking, among other things. They will also push national governments to adopt this standard for public procurement.
With COP27 scheduled to end today, there are serious concerns that nations remained divided on several significant issues including ‘loss and damage’. The UN Secretary-General lamented that. “there is clearly a breakdown in trust between North and South, and between developed and emerging economies. It is likely now that negotiations will need to continue into the weekend.
In other big news, the COP cover text draft was published although it will change significantly in the next few days. It was met with criticism for being too long and leaving too many gaps.