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Key Takeaways from the COP27 Climate Summit in Egypt

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

This year’s climate change summit, held in Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt, saw visits from world leaders and negotiations between nearly 200 nations, to broker solutions to combat climate change. The final deal has made some strides in combatting climate issues, but fails to address some pertinent issues and leaves the 1.5C reduction goal still unmet.

Fund for ‘Climate Justice’

Loss and damage was expected to be a priority for this year’s conference, and the host nation played a part in ensuring it was discussed. In resolution, richer nations for the first time agreed to establish a fund to support poorer nations to help them combat the effects of extreme weather events.

Creating a loss and damage fund is a contentious issue as poorer nations have often pointed out that they have not been responsible for most of the negative impact on the environment, but their economies leave them poorly equipped to deal with the outcome of climate change in the form of extreme weather events.

Fossil Fuel Flow

The final deal has drawn criticism for a failure to scale back climate damaging emissions. Nations did not come to an agreement to set ambitious national targets, nor agree to scale back comprehensively on use of fossil fuels.

Some nations have sought to transition out of, or at least reduce, the use of all fossil fuels, even though the treaty language called for steps to phase down usage of unabated coal power and phase out wasteful fossil fuel subsidies.

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (host of next year’s COP28 climate meeting) declared his nation would continue to supply oil and gas "for as long as the world is in need."

Brazil is Back

Brazil’s newly elected leader, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was greeted by roaring crowds as he announced “Brazil is back”. The left leaning leader re-committed the South American nation to the global fight against climate change and put pen to paper by launching a partnership with Indonesia and the DRC to cooperate on forest preservation. It is expected that pressure will be applied to richer nations to fund this trilateral agreement.

US and China Reunited

As COP27 moved into its final week, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Joe Biden in Indonesia, where the two nations agreed to restart cooperation on climate change after a period of break following the turmoil in Taiwan.

Private Financing to combat Climate Change

Up until now, private financing has been insufficient to adequately address the effects of climate change and fight global warming. Talks at COP27 indicate that change will be forthcoming, starting with an agreement from the World Bank to take more risks and lend more money. Private investors struck a deal with the US and Japan to help move Indonesia away from use of fossil fuels in the future.

Misalignment with 1.5C

The conclusion of last year’s conference saw a failure to provide realistic guidelines by which global heating could be limited to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. While there was an agreement on the goal, participating nations failed to provide planned emissions cuts through which it could be realistically achieved.

Developed nations fought hard to get commitment the 1.5C goal, but efforts may ultimately have been in vain - the cover text failed to include a reference to phasing out of fossil fuels, using the more flexible promise to phase down instead. There is a sense of solidarity between richer nations towards the 1.5C goal, and it is expected to feature prominently at COP28.

Climate Offsets at the Fore

In the second week of COP27 nations set out country-to-country trading, establishing aspects of how nations can authorise projects to sell credits abroad. In addition to this, progress was made on finalizing guidelines for how carbon credits under pre-existing trading systems can be brought in line with new regulations.

Chief Executive of the International Emissions Trading Association, Dirk Forrister, was quoted as saying "The texts provide key elements to implement high-integrity carbon markets that can help deliver net-zero ambitions for all countries." Further decisions are expected at COP28, to be held in the United Arab Emirates.

At Decarbonology, our mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to beyond net zero carbon emissions. We work closely with businesses to develop and deliver complete sustainability solutions to achieve their net zero targets. Contact our team
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