Friday, December 2, 2022

Failure hangs over COP27 if ambition on mitigation is not increased

The Conference of the Parties organized by the United Nations to deal with issues on climate change (COP27) runs the risk of failure if the final text does not reflect an increase in ambition regarding the proposal to mitigate climate change -reduce gas emissions greenhouse effect – agreed at the last climate summit and with the debate on loss and damage, for affected developing countries, stuck.

Sources from the European Union told a group of journalists that in the text that the different negotiating blocs have been able to see up to now -in an unusual procedure compared to other summits, in which they were barely able to read the documents for 20 minutes before transferring their comments – could take the fight against climate change to a state before that of the Glasgow summits, and even that of Paris.

The EU insists that it will continue to push to increase the ambition of the text and that the climate summit in Sharm el Sheikh does not result in failure for international climate cooperation.

At this point, the European negotiators fear that the objective of maintaining the temperature limit of one and a half degrees as a warming limit, which should not be exceeded by the end of the century, if the world still wants to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis, will fall out of the agreement. , as recommended by the scientific community.

European sources criticize, for example, the wide sleeve that emerges from the proposed language on mitigation, which would leave room for each government to implement the measures or objectives agreed multilaterally according to the circumstances and national commitments, among other concessions.

Regarding losses and damages, the issue that has kept the different blocs divided throughout COP27 -in which the countries most affected by the climate crisis ask to create a new fund to help them pay for the impacts-, the main debate now It is not about whether to create a fund or not, after the EU gave in to unblock the discussions and presented its own fund proposal; if not in what criteria is used to decide who gives and who receives.

While the presidency is positioned on the side of the countries that want to base themselves on a 1992 classification, which would include China, Kuwait and Qatar as “developing countries”, the European bloc insists that an updated classification is needed, that is based on the current economic situation and not that of 30 years ago.

The EU – and, as they allege, the position of the United States is aligned with this proposal – insists that the range of donors to the loss and damage fund must be opened to economies with the financial capacity to contribute to said instrument, such as China, the largest current emitter of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming.

On the other hand, there is the question of who could qualify for the aid designed to pay for the consequences of global warming in countries especially affected by these phenomena, which are also those with the lowest historical emissions.

The word “vulnerability” is key in these negotiations, since the EU is committed to the fact that the fund only pays for climate reparations in the most vulnerable countries, a category that they would define based on two criteria: the country’s per capita GDP and the extent to which is affected by phenomena related to the climate crisis.

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

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