Climate Change

COP27 diary (November 8): Presidency unveils plan to build climate resilience for 4 billion by 2030

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

 
By Rohini Krishnamurthy, Avantika Goswami
Published: Wednesday 09 November 2022
A climate activist from Uganda at COP27. Photo: UN News.__

The 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, began November 7, 2022. Countries finally agreed to discuss providing financial support to address loss and damage caused by climate change at the conference. Here’s a look at what happened on the second day of COP27.

COP27 took off on a high note November 8, 2022 — from new launches to discussions on mitigation, loss, damage and other climate issues.


Read more: Loss and damage funding officially included in COP27 agenda


The conference launched the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda in response to the devastating impacts of climate change, affecting vulnerable people across the world.

The agenda outlined 30 adaptation outcomes to enhance resilience for four billion people living in the most climate-vulnerable communities by 2030.

Targets that make up the agenda outcomes include five impact systems — food and agriculture, water and nature, coasts and oceans, human settlements and infrastructure and solutions for planning and finance.

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Negotiations on the Mitigation Work Programme commenced here. The programme should uphold the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCC) principles of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and equity, developing countries reiterated.

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Major emitters (alluding to countries like India and China) and other large developing economies should also consider increasing their targets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, developed countries like Switzerland stated.

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Developed countries must take the lead, but we won’t be able to solve the issue if we don’t make this a global effort,” the European Union highlighted. EU stated this during a discussion on the New Collective Quantified Goal on climate finance (NCQG). NCQG aims to address financing loss and damage alongside mitigation and adaptation.

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The timeline to decide on NCQG is 2024 and attempts to advance that might hinder ambition, noted Switzerland, speaking on behalf of Environmental Integrity Group (EIG). EIG is a negotiation group consisting of six parties to the UNFCCC.

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Developed countries should “get out of your bubble, come to the table with your cheques, grants and a commitment to meet this goal,” said South Africa, representing the African Group.

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Island countries emphasised the need to establish a finance facility by 2024 in the first informal consultations on the newly added agenda of loss and damage finance.

Finance for loss and damage must provide predictable funds that can be rapidly disbursed within 24 to 48 hours. Historical emissions and CBDR should be the benchmark of funding, India stated.

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Africa launched Africa Carbon Markets Initiative to dramatically expand the continent’s participation in the voluntary carbon market.

Voluntary carbon markets permit carbon emitters to offset their inevitable emissions by buying carbon credits. These credits are used to assist projects that remove or reduce greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.


Read more: COP27: Global loss and damage assessment needs a major overhaul; here is why


The initiative aims to create 300 million carbon credits annually by 2030 and 1.5 billion credits annually by 2050.

It can unlock nearly $6 billion by 2030 and over $120 billion by 2050. It can support 30 million jobs by 2030 and over 110 million by 2050.

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First Movers Coalition (FMC) — a cluster of companies — will commit $12 billion to decarbonise the cement and concrete industry, announced John Kerry, the United States special presidential envoy for climate and the World Economic Forum.

FMC is a group of large private-sector firms aiming to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries. FMC comprises 65 companies with a collective market value of approximately $8 trillion.

Cement is the second most consumed product globally after potable water. The signal that top companies have set today for near-zero concrete will drive critical investment in next-generation technologies, said Kerry.

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New Zealand announced $20 million for loss and damage finance. Developed countries should “step up and provide support to minimise and address loss and damage from climate change,” said James Shaw, the country’s minister for climate change.

Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland announced five million pounds for the same.

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The World Bank hosted a discussion on methane emissions. 

“Of the 1.1 degrees Celsius global warming, 0.5°C comes from methane, not from carbon dioxide,” said John Podesta, senior advisor to the president for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, the United States.

But only two per cent of investment in mitigation is going to methane reduction, Podesta added.

“It’s a global problem and international financial institutions must step up their game. We need to track and report methane,” he said.

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China’s special envoy for climate change highlighted two major focus areas that could assist in reducing emissions — technology and finance.

World Bank’s President David R Malpass highlighted the importance of adequate project preparedness to arrest emissions. Many mines were abandoned when South Africa taxed coal mining, Malpass added.

“That leaves methane unabated in these fields. Taking that into account, project preparations become very important,” he said.

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Updates on progress made since COP26, Glasgow, were also unveiled here.

Some 25 countries have submitted an update on their Nationally determined contributions (NDC) this year, according to Climate Action Tracker, a research group.

Four of them were strong and five countries did not increase their ambition. India, Egypt, and Brazil belonged to the latter group, according to Climate Action Tracker’s analysis.

Climate mitigation finance from developed countries was insufficient or worse, the analysis stated. Nearly all major gas exporters are set to increase production. This gold rush for gas will endanger the target of limiting warming by 1.5°C.

Major gas exporters such as — the US, Canada, Egypt, Qatar, Australia, Norway and Senegal are set to increase production.

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The day ended with nine new countries joining the Global Offshore Wind Alliance. The alliance was to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind power.

These countries — Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the US — promised to rapidly accelerate offshore wind to tackle climate and energy security crises.

The alliance aims to fetch at least 380 Giga Watt installed capacity by the end of 2030.

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