Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomeCOP27 InsightsThe day just before COP27: setting the stage

The day just before COP27: setting the stage

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted at the UN General Assembly that the world is teeming with turmoil. The first half of 2022 was ripe with weather extremes: countries around the world saw devastating heatwaves and a third of Pakistan was submerged by floods. Russia’s war against Ukraine unfolded a massive geopolitical crisis and led to rippling effects such as the upheaval in energy markets and dramatic food and commodity price increases. It is against this tense background that Parties to the UNFCCC will come together in Egypt, which already sets the stage for moving forward with the discussions.

But the physical setting of the stage is also in progress. The preparations for COP27 have begun for a long time by the Egyptian hosts but they have not finished totally yet. Some parts of the venue are still inaccessible and look like construction sites, although, impressive progress and fine-tuning can also be seen in several pavilions. By tomorrow all will be set as is always the case.

But setting the stage also means agreeing on the agenda items to discuss. Parties have a number of important issues to address at this meeting. Five, largely concurring negotiating streams will be held here: one relating to the Convention, two to its Subsidiary Body on Implementation and its Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice, one related to the Kyoto Protocol and one to the Paris Agreement.

On top of the regular agenda items of these negotiating streams, there are several agenda items that country coalitions suggest for inclusion. It is the COP Presidency that has the obligation not to delay the opening ceremony on Sunday by disagreement on finalising the agenda. So today’s tense discussions were around finding potential landing zones proposed by the Presidency for COP27 and CMA4 (Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement = group of the countries who have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement). As no one objected to the proposal of the G77/China negotiating group on doubling adaptation finance, they included it as a subitem under matters related to finance. The Environmental Integrity Group (EIG) suggested limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees as a separate agenda item, which has been granted under the title: pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5degrees on the basis of equity, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respected capabilities in the light of different national circumstances and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. In this context, the EU would also like to see the Glasgow Climate Pact text on building on the best available science.

Although the EU and the EIG requested matters related to Art.2.1.(c) of the Paris Agreement (making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development) as a separate agenda item, the COP Presidency suggested that it should be an agenda item under the Standing Committee on Finance agenda point. However, the most contentious issue was the proposal of the G77/China negotiating group on having a separate agenda item on matters relating to funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage.

As a landing ground, the COP Presidency proposal was as follows: matters relating to funding arrangements responding to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including a focus on addressing loss and damage. This item and the outcome thereof are without prejudice to the consideration of similar issues in the future. At 5 o’clock one can see several huddle groups that are still trying to find a landing ground for a successful opening ceremony tomorrow. Stay with us till then.

Photos: Dr Barbara Botos.

Sign up for our newsletters

    Monthly newsletter – Delivering the most important energy stories of the month selected by our Editor-in-chief
    Weekly Oil&Gas roundup - All major news about the oil and gas industry, LNG developments, the upscaling of new gases and related EU regulations arriving in your mailbox every Monday.
    Weekly Renewables&Climate roundup - All major news about investments in renewable energy sources, environment protection, green hydrogen and new innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis arriving in your mailbox every Tuesday.

    Most Popular