February 1, 2023
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Climate summit lacked ambition — gov’t officials

FOSSIL FUEL producers benefited from sympathetic therapy in Egypt on the COP27 local weather talks, authorities officials stated, bringing their affect to bear in rushed remaining negotiations and irritating those that hoped for a extra bold end result.

Officials stated the host Egypt, a pure fuel exporter and frequent recipient of funds from Gulf oil producers, was partly accountable, though the battle in Ukraine and the next European power disaster additionally had an affect.

Egyptian officials have stated their precedence was to supply a conducive environment for negotiations and act as a impartial mediator. The presidency denied that fossil gasoline producers had been given sympathetic therapy.

“The end decision at COP27 was a compilation of inputs reached by consensus of all the UNFCCC parties who were all consulted,” it stated in an announcement, referring to just about 200 nations participating within the summit beneath the U.N. Framework Conference on Climate Change.

Calls for from environmental teams and scientists that governments and corporations ought to go away oil and fuel within the floor have had much less traction this yr, since European nations have scrambled to exchange Russian fuel.

The COP27 assembly yielded blended outcomes, with a hard-fought settlement on a fund for nations most harmed by local weather change being welcomed by weak nations, however a canopy textual content that some officials stated lacked ambition as a result of affect of fossil gasoline producers. The quilt textual content summarizes key outcomes of the summit.

“The cover decision and the mitigation work program does not fully reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and did indeed cater too much to the more fossil and backward-looking forces,” stated Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s minister of local weather and surroundings.

A few of the nations that had pushed hardest for the brand new fund for loss and injury concurrently tried to weaken language round phasing down fossil fuels, he added.

The COP27 agreements are in keeping with what got here out of the Glasgow assembly final yr, to speed up “efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies,” reasonably than being strengthened to phasing down fossil fuels as some nations had pushed for. 

It additionally included a brand new reference to “low emission and renewable energy”. The Egyptian presidency stated the language mirrored a part of the “just transition” adopted by all events, which incorporates the usage of hydrogen and nuclear power to cut back emissions.

Egypt’s COP27 President Sameh Shoukry acknowledged there had been “disappointment in certain quarters” however advised reporters after the deal that “a single party cannot achieve all their ambition, and this does not take away from the value of what was reached”.

For some, the Egyptian presidency had delivered a passable deal by forging the settlement to arrange a loss and injury fund. The concept had been resisted for years by a number of the largest emitters, similar to the US and Europe, who have been fearful concerning the extent of liabilities.

Loss and injury have been “the one thing we wanted a lot for ages, and that being solved at a COP being hosted by a developing country, that in itself is a great win because it shows their diplomatic strength,” stated Selamawit Wubet, an adviser to a gaggle of nations extremely weak to local weather change.

However local weather activists and a few delegates stated little progress had been made on most different points, contending that the tone had been set by fossil gasoline producers who performed a extra public and distinguished position in Sharm el-Sheikh than at earlier summits.

“It has now become quite clear that the transition away from fossil fuels is going to be a difficult one,” stated Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram, citing the affect of the battle in Ukraine.

Within the remaining 24 hours, the COP presidency held a gathering the place calls from negotiators from nations and teams together with Switzerland, the US, Latin America and small island states, for Egypt to incorporate language initially proposed by India to section down all fossil fuels have been unheeded, officials stated. No less than 80 nations supported such language, they stated.

Some negotiators expressed concern that Egypt had superior its proposal with out thorough session, as main emitters and producers took a stand towards extra bold targets on limiting fossil gasoline use.

The Egyptian presidency advised Reuters the method was “praised by all parties for being focused and streamlined”.

“The issue of phasing down all fossil fuels was not agreed upon by many countries,” it stated.

Forward of the ultimate plenary assembly the place a deal was struck simply after 5:30 a.m. native time, a Reuters reporter noticed some delegates caught off guard by the presidency’s last-minute announcement of the session. Guards needed to get up some delegates sleeping on couches and chairs exterior the plenary corridor after 3 a.m., instructing them to go inside.

“It was very rushed towards the end,” stated Shauna Aminath, Maldives surroundings minister. “The normal procedure is that there would be more consultation and open dialogue on these things,” she stated.

The European Union, which had threatened to stroll out, fell reluctantly in line to protect the deal on loss and injury.

Egypt will maintain the COP presidency till it fingers over to the United Arab Emirates, an ally and a significant hydrocarbons producer, in slightly below a yr.

“Holding COPs in petro-states may seem counterproductive but actually we can’t ignore these countries. They need to be engaged in the process and putting pressure on them as a COP host may provide bigger gains,” stated Mohamed Adow, founding father of suppose tank Energy Shift Africa. — Reuters

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