Failure looms over COP27 without more ambition

By Marta Montojo

Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, Nov 19 (EFE).- The COP27 international climate summit is at risk of collapsing if the final statement does not reflect an increased ambition with respect to limiting climate change – reducing greenhouse gas emissions – that was agreed at the last summit, while the debate on loss and damage for developing countries looks to have stalled.

Delegates meeting at the summit in Sharm el Sheikh over the past two weeks have struggled to reach consensus on some of the most salient issues.

European Union sources told journalists that the draft document seen by the different negotiating blocs could see the stated goals in the fight against climate change dialed back to prior to the Glasgow summits, and even to that of Paris in 2015, when it was agreed to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The EU insists that it will continue to press for more ambitious targets to avoid the Sharm el-Sheikh climate summit resulting in failure for international climate cooperation.

At this point, European negotiators are afraid that the objective of maintaining the 1.5C temperature limit by the end of the century to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis – as recommended by the scientific community – will be dropped from the agreement.

European sources criticize, for example, the broad scope of the proposed language on mitigation, which would allow each government to implement multilaterally agreed measures or targets as appropriate to national circumstances and commitments, among other concessions.

The issue that has divided the different blocs throughout COP27 has been paying for the loss and damages related to the climate crisis, with the most affected nations – most of which are in the Global South – calling for the creation of a new fund.

The debate now is not on whether to create a fund or not, after the EU agreed and presented its own fund proposal, but on what criteria is used to decide which countries give and which ones receive.

But the EU wants an update to the 1992 classification of “developing countries”, which includes China, Kuwait and Qatar.

The European bloc – and the US, they claim – insists that the range of donors to the fund should be opened up to economies with the financial capacity to contribute to such an instrument, such as China, the largest current emitter of greenhouse gasses.

On the other hand, there is the question of who would be eligible to access the loss and damage funds to cover the cost of the consequences of global warming in countries particularly affected by extreme climate events, which are also those with the lowest historical emissions.

The word “vulnerability” is a key word in these negotiations; the EU is committed to the fund only paying climate reparations in the most vulnerable countries, a category defined on the basis of two criteria: the country’s per capita GDP and the extent to which it is affected by the climate crisis.

The opposite position – which is reflected in the drafts so far presented by the presidency, according to European sources – proposes all countries that are considered to be “developing” in Annex I of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which includes China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, among others, as recipient countries of climate compensation. EFE


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