After long and difficult negotiations that went beyond the planned schedule, COP27 ended early this Sunday after adopting a highly controversial text on helping poor countries affected by climate change, but without new ambitions to reduce greenhouse gases.
After more than two weeks, the UN’s main climate conference wrapped up on schedule by just over a day, making it one of the longest COPs in history.“It’s not easy” But “We have finally accomplished our mission”Sameh Shukri, the Egyptian president of the conference, underlined.
A final declaration was finally adopted as a result of several compromises, calling for reductions “quickly” emissions but without new ambition compared to the last COP in Glasgow in 2021.
“We need to drastically reduce emissions now — that’s a question this COP doesn’t answer.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed regret at the end of the climate conference. In the process, the EU told itself “disappointment” Through an emission contract.
A fund to compensate poor countries for climate impacts
However, this edition was marked by the adoption of a symbolic resolution described by its promoters as historic, by compensating poor countries for the damage already caused by climate change. This file “Loss and Damage” The situation in poor countries nearly derailed the conference, subject to a last-minute compromise text that left many questions unanswered but agreed on the principle of creating a specific financial fund.
“While some developed countries have decided to ignore our suffering, the loss and damage in vulnerable countries can no longer be ignored.” A young Ugandan activist, Vanessa Nagate praised.
The text on emissions reductions was also hotly contested, with many countries denouncing what they saw as a step back from the ambitions defined at previous conferences.
Especially in the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement, which ultimately reaffirmed global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Current commitments by signatories to the treaty cannot meet this objective, nor is it possible to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times. For global warming.
These commitments, assuming they are fully met, would put the world at best at +2.4°C by the end of the century, and at current emission rates, a catastrophic +2.8°C. However, with warming currently approaching 1.2°C, the dramatic impacts of climate change are already mounting.
A case in point is the year 2022, its procession of droughts, mega-fires and devastating floods, affecting crops and infrastructure.
The costs of these extreme events are also mounting: the World Bank estimates the cost of the floods at $30 billion, which left a third of Pakistan under water for weeks and killed millions.
Poor countries, often the most exposed but generally least responsible for global warming, have for years sought funding for the “losses and damages” they suffer.
“The Usual Suspects”
The war will not end with the adoption of the Sharm el-Sheikh resolution, as it remains deliberately vague on certain points of contention.
Operational details must be defined for adoption at the next COP, which promises new conflicts in the UAE by the end of 2023. Especially on the issue of contributors, developed countries insist on being part of China.
Another thing that has rocked the COP: emissions reduction ambitions. Many countries consider the texts proposed by the Egyptian president to be a step behind commitments to continue raising the level made in Glasgow.
“This COP has weakened obligations for countries to put forward new and more ambitious commitments”, Lawrence Dubiana, the architect of the 2015 Paris Agreements, expressed regret.
Not to mention the question of reducing the use of fossil fuels, a cause of global warming but not mentioned in most climate texts.
Coal was quoted in 2021 after heavy exchanges, but in Sharm el-Sheikh “The Usual Suspects”, In the words of one representative, he opposed it again for oil and gas. The most commonly used country names are Saudi Arabia, Iran or Russia.
However, the growth of renewables is marked by unprecedented energy “Low Emission”, The expression is usually applied to nuclear energy.
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