Climate Change

COP27: Sameh Shoukry urges countries to reinforce UNFCCC credibility as talks drag on

EU links loss and damage with mitigation goal; said no agreement is better than a poor agreement  

By Jayanta Basu
Published: Saturday 19 November 2022

Photo: @COP27P / Twitter
The Presidency of the 27th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) urged parties November 19, 2022 to be more responsible and make sure that the multilateral climate deliberation process of UNFCCC remained credible.

COP president Samir Shoukry pointed out that the negotiation had continued overnight, even after the formal conclusion of the event. However, he pointed out that he could not force any negotiating group to agree to any particular decision.

He assured that the sentiment to stick to the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal was still very much alive, countering a view that the same was being compromised in the current negotiation process.

“Deliberations did not result in a clear direction towards consensus … (we) have worked all of yesterday and through the night. We need to find a path to reconfirm our dedication to the UNFCCC process,” Shoukry said.

“It is really up to the parties to find consensus to reinforce credibility of the UNFCCC process,” he noted.

“After hearing various perspectives, I, as president, developed text on all three issues that is balanced and I believe constitutes a basis on moving forward. I further consulted with groups, gave them opportunities to comment and introduce minor amendments,” said Shoukry.

The official claimed that though all interests of all parties may not be reflected in the draft text now, the vast majority think the text is balanced and can lead to consensus, subject to further negotiation.

“It rests now with the parties to find consensus and move forward; I will also consult with the UN secretary general,” he further said.

“The world is watching. Time is not on our side. We must rise to the occasion. Everybody needs to do what they can. Everybody is dissatisfied somehow, but we need to find consensus … There is never a perfect solution but I have made an effort to provide a basis to move forward,” claimed the COP president.

Meanwhile, EU negotiator Frans Timmerman announced that it was better to not find a solution rather than having a poor one.

He added that the EU still wanted a consensus outcome of the ongoing COP and indicated that compromising with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal was on the discussion table, which the EU was resisting.

“It is strange to see the EU rooting so strongly for the 1.5 degrees Celsius target while the Paris Agreement talked about the range of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. It is also bizarre to see how they are linking the loss and damage outcome with the mitigation goal,” stated an observer.

“Loss and damage and fossil fuel phase out or phase down has come up to be the major point of conflict as of now; and it is felt that if those are sorted out, the rest may be worked out soon,” a senior climate negotiation tracker said.

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