Climate Change

COP27 diary (November 11): Rich countries seek to delay and prolong discussions on loss and damage

A round-up of what went on at the Sharm El-Sheikh summit

 
By Akshit Sangomla, Avantika Goswami, Parth Kumar
Published: Saturday 12 November 2022
US climate envoy John Kerry at the COP27 Climate Summit. Photo by Avantika Goswami / CSE
US climate envoy John Kerry at the COP27 Climate Summit. Photo by Avantika Goswami / CSE US climate envoy John Kerry at the COP27 Climate Summit. Photo by Avantika Goswami / CSE

The 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, began November 7, 2022. While rich countries tried to delay loss and damage talks again, day five of the COP27 climate talks belonged to decarbonisation. Here’s a look at what happened.

At the loss and damage negotiations, developed countries have formally acknowledged the funding gap in “addressing” loss and damage, but are now requesting more information on the needs, gaps and possible funding sources — a possible delaying tactic to prolong the discussions further.

The United States suggested establishing a work programme on loss and damage to conclude in 2024.

The EU stated that the process to be developed can feed back findings on various proposals such as the Global Shield, or the IMF’s fundings sources. The UK suggested establishing a process at COP27 to map out how funding arrangements can be made in the future, and review and report at COP28.

The G77 responded by pointing to the lack of urgency in the discussions, and that organising more workshops would replicate conversations that have already been had.

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In the mitigation work programme (MWP), efforts continued to agree on and conclude the draft text since the Subsidiary Bodies meetings are due to close on November 12.

Zimbabwe on behalf of the African Group pointed out that the text must not impose new targets and not undermine the nationally determined nature of the NDCs. The US and Alliance of Small Island States stated that the text is missing the urgency needed to scale up mitigation efforts.

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The negotiations on the technical dialogue regarding the Global Stocktake have concluded at COP27. A high-level event will formally close the talks and would summarise the discussions related to lack of international funding for climate action in the most vulnerable countries, sustainable and localised renewable energy solutions, direct carbon capture, involvement of civil society and international cooperation.

In the technical dialogues that happened over many roundtable sessions the issues of equity, transparency and language barrier were raised by many countries. Some countries mentioned that the discussions were going around in circles without arriving at an outcome.

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The Global Carbon Budget report for 2022 was launched at a UNFCCC side event at COP27 on November 11. The report showed that if global CO2 emissions remain at current levels, the world’s carbon budget would be exhausted in nine years.

It also found that emissions from fossil fuel sources and cement have increased by one per cent in 2022. The report highlighted that the increase in emissions has been mostly because of increase in oil consumption, especially in aviation, some increase in emissions from coal and gas though they were also highest on record. Worldwide increase in emissions were driven by increase in emissions from India, Rest of the World and the US.

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The Ministry of Steel of the Government of India organised a side event at the India Pavillion at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Sanjay Singh, secretary, Ministry of Steel gave the opening remarks. He highlighted the various initiatives being taken by the Indian government to make the Indian steel industry move towards decarbonisation.

Post the Secretary’s address, various Indian steel companies presented their initiatives towards decarbonisation. Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), carbon circularity, carbon avoidance, need for advanced furnaces, scrap usage, energy efficiency, use of plastics as fuel in the steel industry were some of the initiatives which were highlighted by different steel companies.

This was followed by panel discussions. Centre for Science and Environment also participated in a panel discussion focussing on decarbonisation of the steel sector.

CSE’s Parth Kumar highlighted the role of steel scrap and CCUS in the way ahead for 2030 and also the enabling environment, policy framework and the financial support required to scale up CCUS in the Indian steel industry.

He also pointed out “the need for an effective implementation of the vehicle scrappage policy to be able to extract the maximum scrap generation potential India has”.

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The United Nations Environment Programme announced its Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) at COP27 November 11.

It is a new global system of detecting sources of methane emissions through satellite monitoring around the world to help governments and companies to take action against them.

This would accelerate the progress towards meeting the Global Methane Pledge that was announced at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. Under this pledge, global methane emissions have to be brought down by 30 per cent by 2030 to keep the under 1.5 degrees Paris Agreement target within reach.

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United States President Joe Biden made a special statement at the COP27 on November 11. He announced a $500 million package to finance and facilitate Egypt’s clean energy transition.

The package includes the deployment of 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 and capturing four billion tonnes of natural gas that Egypt currently emits from its oil and gas operations.

These steps would help reduce Egypt’s GHG emissions by 10 per cent. Apart from this, he also announced a Global Green Shipping Challenge, alongside the European Union and Germany.

The COP presidency, along with the US government, also announced $150 million to aid adaptation measures in Africa. This was distributed across projects on global weather and climate observing systems, early warning systems, increasing access to adaptation finance and food security.

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