COP27 talks extended well into Sunday as negotiations hit a deadlock, prompting UN Secretary-General António Guterres to urge government leaders to “stand and deliver” on environmental promises.
And while this year’s climate summit achieved some major climate wins, like the newly established loss and damage fund, little progress was made on other critical topics such as the phasing out of fossil fuels.
Nations Establish Loss and Damage Fund
Vulnerable nations have been seeking financial support for loss and damage – a term referring to the disastrous effects of climate change – for almost 30 years. The historic Loss and Damage Fund announced on Nov. 20 marks a major milestone for developing countries that face climate disasters and sea-level rises due to global warming.
“This outcome moves us forward,” said Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary. “We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage – deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change.”
It is yet to be determined who will finance the fund.
No Progress on Phasing out all Fossil Fuels
India asked for a commitment to phase out all fossil fuels, a suggestion that was supported by the EU, the UK, and Colombia and met with resistance from nations like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina.
In the end – following intense debates Saturday night – the proposal failed and the final resolution only included a commitment to phase down coal, something already agreed upon in Glasgow last year.
“Despite support from over 80 countries, governments’ collective failure to deliver a clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels puts us on course to go beyond the already dangerous 1.5 Celsius global temperature rise,” Jeni Miller, executive director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance, told Montel.
First Movers Coalition Supports Low-Carbon Cement and Concrete Deal
The World Economic Forum First Movers Coalition, which was established by U.S. President Joe Biden at COP26, presented a progress report during this year’s UN climate summit. In a year, the coalition has grown from 25 to 65 members. The concrete and cement sector has also joined and announced initiatives to dramatically decrease CO2 in the industry.
Record Number of Fossil Fuel Delegates Promote Carbon Capture
COP27 saw a sharp rise in fossil fuel lobbyists, with over 600 people at the event linked to the industry.
Countries that produce oil and gas, like Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, pitched Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a decarbonization solution and pushed for the technology to be included in a UN Climate Change process to boost carbon reduction over this decade. Opponents claimed this is a distraction from the need to phase out oil and gas.
Canada Announces New Framework to Bring Down Methane Emissions
The government of Canada proposed a new regulatory framework to bring down methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by at least 75% by the end of the decade.
The framework includes requirements on monthly leak detection and repair on oil and gas sites, annual inspection of non-producing wells, limits on methane in engine exhaust, and performance-based requirements that would mean nearly continuous monitoring.
Governments Agree on Carbon Removal Launchpad
Mission Innovation, co-led by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Canada announced the Carbon Removal Launchpad, which aims to speed up the development of carbon removal technologies. The Launchpad members committed to building at least one carbon removal project with a capacity of 1,000+ metric tons of CO2 per year by 2025 and investing at least $100 million collectively by 2025 to support carbon removal pilots and demonstrations worldwide.
Calls To Reform Multilateral Lenders
For the first time, a COP meeting included a call to make changes to multilateral development banks so that they support climate goals more effectively. The proposal is to change the mandates of multilateral lenders and financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in a way that more financing goes toward energy-transition projects.