The latest news and insights from the UN Climate Conference COP27 in Egypt taking place between 7 – 18 November 2022
Alison Campbell, Deputy Lead Negotiator from COP26 talked about the importance of keeping conversations and research alive in between COP events. She is hoping that COP27 will show that energy transformation is accelerated and that there is good support provided for the most vulnerable nations. She wants to see advancement for the Glasgow Climate pact and that there are funding agreements to address loss and damage. She also looked towards COP28 and the global stocktake and is excited to see that a female Lead Negotiator has been appointed.
In the meantime, COP27 president, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has commented that the second week of the conference will include continued technical negotiations that will emerge into political agreements, continued Presidency consultations and Ministerial consultations that address key outstanding political issues.
Nov 14, 13:38
Women and girls are key to effective climate action
Highlighting the importance of an integrated approach to tackling gender equality and climate change. Hana Brixi, Global Director, Gender, World Bank, emphasised that to accelerate climate action we must advance women’s leadership and ensure that climate policies and investments are informed by gender analysis. She also explained that climate transition is an opportunity to overcome inequality and we must learn from the voices of women from local indigenous communities and unleash women’s human capital.
Four steps to what is needed:
- Boost resilience and adaptive capacity in gender sensitive ways
- Support women to thrive in greener economies
- Empower and involve women in decision making
- Integrate gender into climate investments and expand gender sensitive climate finance
Chris Antonopoulos, CEO, Lekela Power, “Women represent only one third in the renewable workforce – in power it’s only 22%” He expressed that if we are to meet targets, we cannot do it without women and that businesses MUST embed a better recruitment strategy with mentoring to get women into the jobs with equal pay. Additionally, early intervention is essential; help young women into stem education through funding.
Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director, Friendship NGO. We must deeply understand what women can bring to the table is the first step to equality and understand climate injustice before justice.
Grace Balawag, Deputy Coordinator at Tebtebba there must be women at all levels, and Mandy Rambharos – Commissioner, Presidential Climate Commission, South Africa said that inclusivity should not a tick box exercise.
Nov 14, 16:53
Carbon Dioxide Removal
Experts discussed Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) at today’s COP. Currently, we are removing less than 1 gigaton of CO2 per year, with an estimated investment of $10 billion. In order to reach Paris Agreement targets, we need to scale this up to a capital investment of $100 billion per year by 2030, with the IPCC estimating that we’ll need to remove up to 6 billion tonnes of CO2 every year by 2050 and beyond. This is roughly equivalent to reforesting the entire area of Sweden each year.
To achieve the scale of CDR removal required to reach the 1.5 degree goal, we need a broad spectrum of different carbon dioxide removal solutions as no single CDR solution is large enough on its own.
Nov 15, 15:44
Net Zero Progress Tracker update
At today’s COP27, Net Zero Progress Tracker gave some clear statics on how countries, cities and companies are doing with the fight against climate change and in making their own net zero commitments.
One of the panelists, John Lang said that out of the 1200 cities they track only 241 currently have a net zero target. Out of the 2000 companies, 800 have a net zero target.
John said, “A pledge is not a plan. A net zero target is only as good as the plan underpinning it.”
In regards to the recommendations that the Net Zero Tracker has made to countries and companies, one of the most important ones was for government and regulators to set our clear regulations and ground rules for net zero targets to be set and plans to be made.
In regards to companies, they stressed the importance of organisation’s net zero targets to cover Scopes 1,2 and 3 of their value chain. The panelists stated that the ten top public companies have a net zero target in place but none of the top ten private sector companies do.
This data and the current work being done by the Net Zero Progress Tracker suggests it is more important than ever for regulation to be put into place.
Nov 15, 17:21
Brazil’s President-elect Lula Da Silva at COP27
At today’s COP27, the Brazilian President-elect, Lula Da Silva started his speech by talking about the impacts climate change has had on the Amazon rainforest. He promises to return environmental policies which will result in the deforestation of the Amazon to drop.
He went on to say, “The planet warns us at every moment that we need each other to survive. Alone we are vulnerable to the climate tragedy. Nevertheless we ignored these warnings.”
“These are hard times. But it was always in difficult times that humanity overcame challenges. We need more confidence.” He goes on to state Brazil is back and that they will resume ties with the world.
In his speech, he discusses the way climate change affects people, stating nobody is safe from extreme weather or the impacts it can have on global health.
The President-elect goes on to explain what his Government will for deforestation, saying that he will put fighting climate change at the top of the agenda. He also announces a Ministry for Indigenous people, so that they can have their own voice.
Lula went on to announce some welcome news, that Germany and Norway will be restarting the Amazon fund. Going on to say he wanted Brazil to host COP30 in 2025 and that the event should be held in the Amazon region.
He ends his speech by saying; “If there’s one thing we need to change on global governance, it’s climate change. Otherwise time goes by, we die and things do not change. It’s with this objective that I came back to unite us. I didn’t come back to do what I did already. I came back to do more. I want to make a fairer world and a more effective humanity. Thank you very much.”
Nov 16, 17:13
Accelerating Urban Climate Action
On the agenda for the first time at COP2, a ministerial meeting on urbanisation and climate change.
Sharon Dijksma, Mayor of Utrecht, who is aiming for Utrecht to be carbon neutral by 2030, sees cities as a crucial component of climate action, she celebrates the involvement of urbanisation and climate change on the agenda and hopes the topic takes a formal and permanent place on the agenda for future COPs.
Rob Jetten, Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, Netherlands, went on to agree that cities are at the forefront of climate change, introducing the SURGe initiative.
The Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next Generation (SURGe) Initiative was developed `by the COP Presidency in collaboration with UN-Habitat, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, and the facilitation of ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability. This initiative seeks to achieve sustainable and resilient urban systems by strengthening the implementation of the climate agenda in and with cities; unlocking urban climate finance; capacity-building and ensuring equity. It aims to promote multilevel climate governance and focus on five tracks: buildings and housing; urban energy; urban waste/consumption; urban mobility and urban water.
Cities are home to 55% of the global population. This percentage is expected to grow by 2.5 billion people to 68% by 2050. 70% of cities worldwide are already dealing with the effects of climate change. However, though cities are a big driver of planet-warming emissions, accounting for approximately three quarters of energy related CO2 emissions, they are also engines of climate action and at the forefront of delivering solutions.
Contributing to building sustainable, inclusive and resilient urban systems, the work of the SURGe Initiative is guided by ten overarching principles:
- Low-carbon: reducing emissions and benefiting from cost savings from decreased energy use and improved energy and resource efficiency.
- Resilient: strengthening the capacity of city systems and their inhabitants to maintain continuity through shocks and stresses and recover faster, while positively adapting and transforming towards urban sustainability, taking into account the management of internal and international migration into cities.
- Nature-positive: Harnessing the potential of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) to improve cities’ socio-ecological resilience and wellbeing.
- Fair, equitable, and inclusive: needs to reach the most vulnerable communities to climate change impacts by establishing social dialogue and participatory processes for co-design and prioritized implementation.
- Multi-level climate governance and climate planning: recognizing the importance of collaboration between local, regional, and national governments and harnessing the cross-scale and cross-discipline relationships necessary for climate action to raise the ambitions of the NDCs.
- Integrated: Leveraging co-benefits of investment in adaptation and mitigation measures while building on existing support, initiatives, and partnerships to leverage their impact and lessons learned.
- Locally-led and culture-positive: Customise approaches depending on local contexts of new, rapidly developing cities, while recognizing that culture and heritage represent both an asset to be protected from climate impacts and a resource to strengthen the ability of communities to pursue transformative change.
- Circular: promoting a circular value chain in buildings and constructions, but also in supply and disposal infrastructure systems, that aims at reducing both emissions and waste drastically while promoting innovation, affordability, ensuring food security, energy efficiency, and local development.
- Financing-enabling: centred on capacity building, technology transfer, enabling frameworks and delivering solutions to support and enhance existing and innovating finance channels and mobilizing finance at scale while accelerating access for local and regional governments.
- Health-promoting: recognising the importance of health and wellbeing as an input to resilience, the power of health arguments to motivate change, and the significant economic and social co-benefits available from health-aware climate action.
Nov 17, 11:16
COP27 Stakeout with Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General and Sameh Shoukry, COP27 President
With 24 hours to go at COP27, Sameh Shoukry commented that adaptation is being held back by procedural matters, saying that “extra efforts need to be exerted by all parties”, urging them to go the extra mile because “the world is waiting”.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said that it was crunch time for negotiations and it seemed like parties are divided and that there is a breakdown of trust, saying “there is no time for finger pointing” and that we must “stand and deliver”.
We have the tools to get it done but we need to agree on three main things:
- Agree on loss and damage; this is a moment for climate solidarity
- Close the emissions gap; need to keep to the 1.5 goal “fossil fuels are hijacking humanity” and that renewables are “the exit ramp” from the climate crisis highway.
- Deliver on finance, to build climate resilience.
Nov 17, 16:19
Global Climate Action High Level Event
The event starts with the acknowledgment that COP27 is an implementation COP. The bar is very high for initiatives on Adaptation and Loss and Damage to be set and secured from richer nations.
The High Level Climate Champions make it very clear that we are currently heading to a 2.4 degrees world, even if the nations that have committed their National Determined Contributions meet them, this is according to the Climate Action Tracker. Nothing has changed so far and 2.4 degrees is not a livable world.
Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson goes on to to have discussions with the panel which includes; Activist Helena Gualinga, Mayor of Lusaka, Zambia, Chilando Chitangala and CEO of the Caribbean Climate Accelerator, Raquel Moses. All of these women discuss their own vision for the future and their hopes on how nations, cities and the private sector will collaborate and push forward to achieve Climate Action.
Raquel Moses says, “We need to focus on the future we want to create and not the future we want to avoid.
The UK’s High Level Climate Champion, Nigel Topping, gave his final speech during the event. Saying he is focusing on three things; the importance of truth, the source of hope and the power of radical collaboration.
He discusses the change that his happening and how transformation it is, how the momentum in Africa is continuing and the hope and inspiration the youth at COP27 have been to him.
He ends his speech by saying “We need to ensure we do everything we can to save everyone and everything we hold dear and ensure our best times are still ahead of us.”
Nov 17, 17:12
EU agrees to Loss and Damage Fund
As COP27 comes to a close and negotiations continue, the EU has announced that it has agreed to a Loss and Damage Fund.
This finance will help poor and vulnerable nations cope with the impacts of climate related disasters, provided there is progress in other areas including efforts to stay within the 1.5°C limit and aligning financial flows and investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
This latest announcement out of the conference will put more pressure on nations such as the US and China who have previously been against the fund.
Nov 18, 10:32
Negotiations continue at COP
As the final hours of COP27 draw in, and negotiations between nations continue, its expected the conference will be extended for an extra day due to unresolved issues.
However, Joe Goodman, a journalist at Carbon Brief, only 6 COPs have ever finished on the day they were suppose to.
Nov 18, 16:07