The developing world’s first COP since Marrakesh in 2016 must implement the ‘Paris Rulebook’
The presidency of the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reiterated November 6, 2022 that this year’s meet must be remembered as the ‘Implementation COP’.
In other words, the developing world’s first COP since Marrakesh in 2016 must implement the ‘Paris Rulebook’. The Rulebook is the guidelines that countries will use to plan, implement and finance climate actions under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“COP27 must be remembered as the ‘Implementation COP’ — the one where we restore the grand bargain that is at the centre of the Paris Agreement,” Sameh Shoukry, the minister of foreign affairs of Egypt, who was elected as the President of COP27 on the first day of the event, said.
COP27 is being held in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh from November 6-18.
All countries under the UNFCCC gather once every year to deliberate and decide on the actions required to bring down greenhouse gas emissions known as ‘mitigation’, make adjustments to economic, social and ecological systems to weather the impacts of climate change known as ‘adaptation’ and reparations for impacts that are difficult to adapt to for vulnerable countries known as ‘loss and damage’.
Loss and damage, one of the most pressing issues of COP 27, was officially accepted as an agenda item for the biggest annual climate change congregation. This is the first time that loss and damage is on the official agenda of a UNFCCC COP.
“The outcomes of this agenda item are based on cooperation and facilitation and do not involve liability or compensation,” the Loss and Damage Collaboration, a global group of activists wrote on microblogging site, Twitter.
The loss and damage agenda item was being pushed by developing country negotiators, especially from small island states, for the past year since COP 26 in Glasgow.
COP27 got underway in a year that has witnessed multiple climate-induced extreme weather events. These events, many of which have been partly attributed to global warming, affected both developing and developed countries.
Developed countries are decently well-equipped to deal with the consequences. But developing countries need financing, technology and support from developed countries for mitigation, adaptation and addressing loss and damage.
The required climate finance has been woefully inadequate until now, with a shortage of around $17 billion, according to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD report released in July 2022.
“At the same time, millions of people throughout the world are confronting the impacts of simultaneous crises in energy, food, water and cost of living, aggravated by severe geopolitical conflicts and tensions. In this adverse context, some countries have begun to stall or reverse climate policies and doubled down on fossil fuel use,” a UNFCCC press release said on the opening plenary.
“With the Paris Rulebook essentially concluded thanks to COP26 in Glasgow last year, the litmus test of this and every future COP is how far deliberations are accompanied by action. Everybody, every single day, everywhere in the world, needs to do everything they possibly can to avert the climate crisis,” Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change executive secretary, said.
“COP27 sets out a new direction for a new era of implementation: where outcomes from the formal and informal process truly begin to come together to drive greater climate progress — and accountability for that progress,” Stiell added.
Stiell also asked governments to focus on three critical areas at COP27. The first was pushing for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement and using negotiations to move towards climate actions.
The second was moving forward on the agenda items on mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage, including enhanced work on ensuring climate finance for developing countries.
“The third was enhancing the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability throughout the UN Climate Change process,” the press release said.
“COP27 creates a unique opportunity in 2022 for the world to unite, to make multilateralism work by restoring trust and coming together at the highest levels to increase our ambition and action in fighting climate change,” Shoukry said.
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