Photo credit: UNFCCC 2022
COP27 was due to end today (Friday 18th November 22) but with negotiators clashing on several difficult issues, the Presidency has extended the Conference for a further day. A plenary discussion has been agreed for midnight tonight, with a formal announcement of any final text expected on Sunday. Extensions are not unusual at COP events, with 20 out of 26 events overrunning in some form so far.
This was agreed upon following a week of little progress on some key aspects of UN’s overarching climate plans, including both the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact. In fact, at the time of writing, there are serious concerns about whether the final agreement will be strong enough to keep the 1.5C aim alive.
Loss and damage remains a key stumbling block in negotiations, although there is still some hope that an agreement will be in place by the end of the Conference. That hope comes after the European Commission launched a proposal on behalf of the European Union that would see it agree to establishing a loss and damage fund. That fund would only be created if “clear conditions” could be established. One condition the EU would like to see is that the fund should only be available to support “vulnerable countries”. This has put pressure on other developed nations but any full agreement is unlikely unless clarity is given on funding types, liability risks and other key details.
The current draft agreement only goes as far as acknowledging loss and damage as an important item for discussion although it does go as far as requiring international financial institutions to make clear recommendations on how to contribute to loss and damage (deadline of June 2023).
Another key issue has been climate finance with nations so far failing to meet the $100bn per year mandate of the 2009 COP15 agreement. Negotiations continue with the list of “climate donors” potentially being expanded to include “high income” nations such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar for example. China, the world’s largest emitter, would also be added to the list.
It is likely that an agreement will be made but if it isn’t, a further negotiation event would be scheduled. This is what happened at COP6 in the Hague.
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