Elements to watch in the context of COP27


Seven years after the signing of the Paris Agreement, the states that will meet for two weeks in Egypt for the United Nations climate conference (COP27) will have to try to make progress on crucial issues. Overview of a few things to watch out for.

Review greenhouse gas reduction targets

The report published last week by the UN is unequivocal: all the commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions made so far by the 193 parties to the Paris Agreement are clearly insufficient for we hope to avoid the worst. Assuming that all countries respect their objectives (taken on a voluntary basis), global warming could reach nearly 3°C, while the international agreement signed in Paris in 2015 was to limit it to a maximum of 1, 5°C. This objective is more « fragile than ever », recognized the president of COP27, the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry.

However, nothing suggests a burst of ambition in Sharm el-Sheikh. Only 24 parties have submitted an update of their reduction target to the UN since the Glasgow Climate Conference (COP26) in 2021. “The fact that only
24 new or updated climate plans have been submitted since COP26 is disappointing. Decisions and actions by governments must reflect the level of urgency, the seriousness of the threats we face and the short time we have left to avoid the devastating consequences of runaway climate change,” the week warned. latest Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate.

Increase financial support to developing countries

COP after COP, the issue of funding promised by developed countries to developing countries is coming back to plague the negotiations. It should be noted that as early as 2009, during COP15, which took place in Copenhagen, the parties had agreed on the payment of 100 billion US dollars per year, starting in 2020. This sum was to help developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change and initiate the energy transition to a low-carbon economy. It should contribute to the reduction of tensions between countries, since several States which emit relatively few greenhouse gases are already suffering the impacts of the climate crisis. This is particularly the case for island countries threatened by rising sea levels.

According to estimates by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, climate finance provided and mobilized by developed countries reached $83.3 billion in 2020. is still not guaranteed for after 2025. Thus, not only will the financing have to be there, but several voices are raised to emphasize that the sum will have to be much higher.

Recognition of loss and damage

According to an analysis by the British organization Carbon Brief, which specializes in climate information, a handful of countries, including Canada, have a great historical responsibility for the climate crisis. On the other hand, several countries that have emitted few greenhouse gases, compared to the global balance, are already suffering the effects. In this context, the Group of 77 (which essentially includes all developing countries) demands that rich nations compensate for their « loss and damage », so that these countries can cope with the consequences of climate change, which go beyond what they can adapt to.

Developed countries have always refused to commit to this, but the subject should be put back on the table in Egypt. « It’s time for the big countries, the main emitters, to speak up and say: we have to do something, we have to make a contribution to these vulnerable countries », says the UN special rapporteur on human rights and climate, Ian Fry.

Exit from fossil fuels

The end of the Glasgow climate conference showed how difficult it is to extricate ourselves from our deep dependence on fossil fuels. While everyone was expecting the adoption of the final declaration, the countries had to accept a last-minute concession on the wording of the article on fossil fuels. At the request of India and China, the text has been modified to refer to the need to continue efforts to « reduce » the use of coal without a system to capture and store greenhouse gas emissions , instead of betting on « elimination ». Moreover, the reference to the end of “fossil fuel subsidies” had previously been modified, in the second version of the draft declaration, so as to specify that it is only a question of so-called “inefficient” subsidies. Environmental groups are sure to point out this year that the omnipresence of fossil fuels in the global landscape poses a more serious threat than ever. Data released recently by the International Energy Agency indicates that emissions from their combustion will increase by 300 million tonnes in 2022, to reach 33.8 billion tonnes.

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