egypt climate summit
The countries agree to create an aid fund for vulnerable countries, the great success, but they postpone the debate on who will contribute and do not reinforce the fight against climate change
The world climate summit in Egypt, COP27, will mark a turning point in the history of international cooperation on climate change. For the first time, the almost 200 countries gathered to reach political agreements on this matter have done what has come to be called ‘climate justice’. That is, that the most powerful economies –and at the same time the most polluting– help poor countries that are already suffering the effects of climate change without contributing much to it, and that also lack sufficient resources to face its devastating effects. To this end, the creation of a new international financing fund has been agreed.
Thus, with the call for help from the vulnerable countries, the climate summit began in its 27th edition and with these same ones celebrating their triumph it closed during the early hours of Sunday, after tough negotiations that were not exempt from chaos, as denounced by some delegates. The apologies of the president of the Egyptian summit for some “false step” taken in his management spoke for themselves.
But the triumph that for many was the creation of this new fund to alleviate the ‘losses and damages’, for others it is not enough to sing victory. “We have taken a small step. We have treated the symptoms, but not the fever patient,” said the president of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen after learning the result of the summit.
He was referring to the lack of ambition in the fight against climate change that already causes many countries on the planet to lose lives and money. Commitments to cut emissions have not been increased. The end of the use of fossil fuels has not been promised and no concrete measures have been established to mitigate global warming to 1.5º. All in all, the feeling that remains is bittersweet.
Loss and damage: the new fund, with installment delivery
The one described as the historic pass of the summit is a success with delivery in installments. In other words, as stated in the final documents of the agreement, a transition committee will be in charge of drawing up the operation, the taxpayers, the sources of income and the coordination of the aid. Their work will be taken for “examination and adoption” at the 2023 summit, to be held in the United Arab Emirates, “with a view to making the financing agreements and arrangements operational.”
In this way, the main stumbling block, and for which the European Union threatened to abandon the negotiation without an agreement, was postponed. This is who contributes to that fund, if, for example, China will be a rich and polluting country, among others, or not. Funding sources are also unknown. “Wide variety of sources,” says the agreement verbatim. They can be public, private…
But it says nothing about proposals like the one made by the head of the United Nations to tax large energy companies or that of Europe, which advocates doing the same with highly polluting sectors such as aviation. Before February 15, the agreement suggests, the parties must send their opinions on this fund. The United Nations, the World Bank and the IMF also have duties on how to make aid more accessible and bring new approaches to financing.
CO2 and the greenhouse effect: the 1.5º is still alive but without cutting emissions
The COP27 agreement reaffirms the objectives of stopping the increase in temperature of the Paris Agreements, “well below 2º, and continuing efforts to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5º”. Regarding the measures, he speaks of “continuing to make an effort” in a very generic way and has a continuist approach with what was agreed in Glasgow on cutting emissions. 43% less than the 2019 level by 2030.
Fuels: neither oil nor gas are cited as sources to abandon
India proposed that the declaration talk about abandoning all fossil fuels and not just coal, as before. The EU supported it. But no country with more weight. Finally, no mention is made, something that was pointed out by the European leaders, among others, as one of the failures of the appointment.
Energy: mention of renewables and their deployment
In energy matters, the text speaks of the objective of achieving a decarbonized economy by 2050, but does not set deadlines or limit the burning of fuels. It only points out the need to invest 4 trillion dollars a year until 2030 to reach net emissions by mid-century. The International Energy Agency published a report in the middle of the summit in which it warned that without at least abandoning coal as an energy source, especially strong in Asian economies, renewable energies alone would not be able to slow down the change. climate in progress
The invoice: a reminder -and nothing more- to comply with the agreement
This section may be the one that most clearly reveals the validity of the commitments signed by the countries at these summits. COP27 has served to remind that the commitment to mobilize 100,000 million dollars in 2020 has not been fulfilled, for which reason it “urges” the states to comply with them. On the other hand, the document puts a figure on the needs of developing countries to face the context of climate change in which the planet finds itself: 5.6 trillion dollars of investment until 2030. Finally, they warn that world flows of climate finance “are small”. They only cover 30% of the necessary investment.
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