COP27 fails to deliver on plan to reduce global emissions

Closing session of the COP27

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri heads the closing session of the COP27 climate conference at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre yesterday. 

Photo credit: Courtesy | AFP

COP27 has failed to deliver a plan to ‘drastically reduce emissions’ even as it welcomed ‘loss and damage’ agenda while calling for a ‘roadmap’ to double adaptation finance to $40 billion by 2025.

This is despite parties for the first time after 30 years agreeing to establish ‘a loss and damage’ fund that will help developing countries deal with the devastating impacts of the climate crisis.

According to the cover text which was released three days ago on the United Nation’s official website , the global climate meet, which ended yesterday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, had only welcomed ‘loss and damage’ agenda.

This is why global south negotiators in unison took a stand to fight on for a better deal.

The COP cover text is a document developed and agreed by countries at the annual UN climate summit that sets out the core political goals and targets from the meeting.

For example, at COP26 in 2021, countries agreed to the Glasgow Pact, which set out common targets such as limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, phasing out fossil fuels and increasing climate finance. In 2019 at COP25, countries agreed to the Chile Madrid time for Action, a far less ambitious text.

This year’s cover text was released overnight and was down from 20 to 10 pages, with nothing new.

It welcomes the reaffirmation of the 1.5 degrees Celsius target , calls for deep rapid emission cuts, a call to accelerate clean energy transitions , a call for no backsliding, as well as a call to phase down coal power.

“Emphasizes the urgent need for immediate, deep, rapid and sustained reductions in global green house emissions by parties across all sectors, in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and highlights the importance of ensuring and enabling a just transition for developing countries,” the draft noted.

It also recognises that the impacts of climate change will be much lower at the temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to 2 degrees Celsius.

The text also calls for deployment and dissemination of technologies and the adoption of policies to transition towards low emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures .

There is a call to rationalise inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which experts say is ‘ odd language’ .

A total fossil fuel phase out as suggested by India is not captured in the text.

The text also highlighted what it described as a ‘ grave concern’ over $100 billion goal promised in Glasgow .

“Expresses grave concern that the goal of developed country parties to mobilise jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 has not yet been met and urges developed country parties to meet the goal and address the shortfall to $100 billion since 2020.”