Earlier this month we asked, ‘Will COP27 reinvigorate the drive to net zero?’ and looked ahead to COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt which took place between the 6th and 18th of November 2022.
We promised that we would be back to reflect on its successes or shortcomings, so here we are:
Did it Deliver?
The big question: after the mixed reactions as to the success of last year’s COP26, has COP27 delivered on its promises and reinvigorated the drive to net zero? Yes and no.
The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan announced as part of COP27, broke new ground in supporting those impacted by climate change. The primary achievement of COP27 was the development of a new loss and damage fund to support the victims of those affected by extreme weather, flood and other events instigated by climate change. This will see developed nations commit to funding rescue and reconstruction efforts in less developed nations hit by climate-related disasters.
There was disappointment as the Implementation Plan shied away from the COP26 goal to ’phase down coal’ and, despite the Indian proposal that all fossil fuels should be phased out, no commitments were made from any country.
The Plan also did not include new targets or commitments, potentially endangering the Paris Agreement’s ambition of keeping global temperature increases to 1.5°C or below. Instead, there was a call for updated country commitments, often known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for COP28. But the efficacy of the NDCs is questionable.
Other announcements included:
- The launch of 25 new cooperative initiatives in the agriculture, steel, hydrogen, road transportation and electricity sectors.
- A USD $3.1 billion plan to develop early warning extreme weather event systems over the next five years.
- The release of a study that serves as a ‘how-to’ manual for ensuring credible, responsible net zero commitments by business, financial institutions, cities, and regions.
- The launch of the Global Shield against Climate Risks by the G7 and the V20 (also known as “the Vulnerable Twenty”).
- Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Walloon Region of Belgium announcing a total of USD $105.6 million in new funding, emphasising the need for even more support for the Global Environment Facility funds targeting the immediate needs of low-lying and low-income states for climate adaptation.
- The launch of the G20 Summit Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership which will raise USD $20 billion over the next three to five years to fast-track the energy transition.
- The launch of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, which aims to coordinate action by governments, corporations and community leaders to stop forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
The European Union President, Ursula von der Leyen has said in her statement on the outcome of COP27: “We have treated some of the symptoms but not cured the patient from its fever.”
The final answer and summation of COP27: some progress has been made especially regarding financing loss and damage and solidarity between nations, and the target of 1.5°C has also been preserved, but a lot more needs to be done.