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Climate Change: What are key outcomes of Cop27 summit?

Climate Change: What are key outcomes of Cop27 summit?

The COP27 climate summit has had many Chiaroscuro, where the word implementation has been repeated key, and the fight against climate change does not seem to have found the correct way out of the “highway to hell” in which, according to the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, we are on the right track.

In Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) there have been presences, but also absences of leaders, such as those of Russia and China. However, the image that has remained is that of the creation of a fund for the most vulnerable countries affected by climate change, although climate ambition has been left aside.

For this reason, the talks on the key points to fight climate change will travel by plane to Dubai, the venue for COP28, which is scheduled for the end of November 2023.

These are the keys that have been experienced at COP27:

Loss and damage

The financing of losses and damages has been central during the negotiations: the Egyptian presidency included on the agenda, for the first time in the history of a climate summit, the point of how financial compensation to the most vulnerable countries due to the effects of change climate change by developed countries, considered historically responsible for emissions.

This pillar has been the biggest headache for the parties to the United Nations convention. A new fund or making use of existing institutions, “mosaics” of measures, who should contribute and who should benefit were the issues in dispute. In the end, the EU proposal has been chosen, with the call to development banks and other institutions, which opens the door for countries like China or Saudi Arabia, so that they too can contribute money to the new fund.

Technology

A new five-year work program to promote climate technology solutions in developing countries was launched at COP27.

Mitigation

COP27 made significant progress on mitigation work. A work program on mitigation has been launched in Sharm el Sheikh, aimed at urgently increasing the ambition and implementation of mitigation. The work program will start immediately after COP27 and continue until 2030, with at least two global dialogues held each year.

Governments were also asked to review and strengthen the 2030 targets in their national climate plans by the end of 2023, as well as accelerate efforts to phase out unused coal power and remove subsidies for inefficient fossil fuels.

The decision text acknowledges that the unprecedented global energy crisis underscores the urgency of rapidly transforming energy systems to make them more secure, reliable and resilient, accelerating clean and just transitions to renewable energy during this vital decade of action.

1.5C

The 2015 Paris agreement contained two temperature targets: keep the rise “well below 2°C” above pre-industrial levels and “pursue efforts” to keep the rise to 1.5°C. Since then, science has clearly shown that 2C is not safe, so at Cop26 in Glasgow last year, countries agreed to focus on a 1.5C limit.

As their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were too weak to stay within the 1.5°C limits, they also agreed to come back each year to strengthen them, a process known as ratcheting. At Cop27, some countries tried to miss the 1.5C target and abolish the ratchet. They failed, but a resolution was made to make emissions peak by 2025, much to the dismay of many.

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Abandoning ‘fossil’ energies

The European Union, the United Kingdom, Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC) and India -yes, also India, very dependent on coal- seemed to be getting talk of a “gradual transition” away from fossil fuels such as oil or gas. But both have come out alive as a result of this COP27, which has bowed to the interests of OPEC.

In China, there have been no movements in this direction, despite the fact that President Xi has initiated the so-called ‘Green Revolution. In 2021 he decided to stop building coal plants abroad. But for now, they continue to burn coal at home, although less.

Gas

The final text of Cop27 contained a provision to promote “low emission energy”. That could mean anything from wind and solar farms to nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants equipped with carbon capture and storage. It could also be interpreted to mean gas, which has fewer emissions than coal, but is still an important fossil fuel. Many countries at Cop27, particularly those in Africa with large reserves to exploit, came to Sharm el-Sheikh hoping to strike lucrative gas deals.

world stock market

Delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) concluded the second technical dialogue on the First World Balance, an important target-setting mechanism under the Paris Agreement. The United Nations secretary-general will convene a “climate ambition summit” in 2023 before the balance concludes at COP28 next year.

The loss of trust between North and South

Trust between the two sides has cracked, he refers to “developed and emerging economies,” as the latter have required more action and responsibility from the rich to pay for the consequences of climate change.

Human Rights

 “Without human rights, there is no climate justice”, he repeated to himself at the summit, with a special memory of the Egyptian-British pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdelfatah. COP27 has come under harsh criticism for “greenwashing” as it is being held in Egypt where tens of thousands of people, according to NGOs, are imprisoned for expressing their political opinions.

World bank reform

A growing number of developed and developing countries are calling for urgent change from the World Bank and other publicly funded financial institutions, which they say have failed to provide the funds needed to help poor countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis.

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