COP27 round-up—20 November 2022
With permission from Lexis to publish.
The conclusion of COP27, which extended across 18–20 November 2022, saw a landmark agreement on loss and damage, the publication of the cover decision(Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan), which provides acknowledgments and calls for action on key areas, and the closing plenary. Colleen Theron, solicitor and founder of Ardea International, provides her commentary on the outcomes of COP27.
This analysis was first published on Lexis®PSL on 21 November 2022 and can be found here
Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan.
An agreement to provide loss and damage funding for vulnerable countries hit the hardest by climate disasters was reached for the first time during the final COP27 negotiations.
Following two days of negotiations, it has been included in the COP27 cover decision, known as the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan, which summarises the agreements reached during the conference. It highlights that, for loss and damage, governments have agreed to provide new funding arrangements and a dedicated fund, as well as a transitional
committee to present recommendations on how to manage the operation at COP28, and
support for the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage which catalyses technical assistance to help avert, minimise and address loss and damage at all levels in developing countries.
The Plan also highlights that to transform to a low-carbon economy, an investment of US$4-6trn a year will be required, alongside changes to the financial system and its structures and processes, engaging varied stakeholders such as governments, commercial banks and institutional investors. However, the Plan noted that it was a ‘serious concern’ that the aim of developed countries to mobilise US$100bn annually by 2020 for climate finance has still not been met, and that global climate finance flows remain small compared to the overall needs
of developing countries.
Theron said: ‘The decision highlights the need to provide developing countries with more
support, particularly to enable them to address climate change, as well as the need to accelerate financial support to enable them to implement mitigation and adaptation, but it isnot apparent where the funding will come from.’
COP26 President, Alok Sharma, spoke at the closing plenary of COP27, beginning by recognising the breakthrough achievement of the loss and damage agreement. However, Sharma noted that the ‘this is not a moment of unqualified celebration’ as the goal of 1.5°C
remains ‘on life support’, while achieving goals will require contributions from the ‘widest
range of sources’, including those states who are large emitters but were not in attendance.
The European Commissioner for Climate Action, Frans Timmerman, also delivered a speech at the closing plenary, highlighting the lack of efforts from ‘major emitters to increase and accelerate their emissions cuts’ and how ‘not enough’ has been done on mitigation.
Timmerman pointed to the work of the EU in being able to update its Nationally Determined Contributions, as well as the ‘intention to phase out unabated fossil fuels’, and signing significant partnerships in the past two weeks.
Theron added: ‘There are still real concerns that COP27 did not reach any substantial conclusions with lack of agreement on phasing out fossil fuels as one example.
Written by Elana Kaymer
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