Written by Gregor Erbach and Sara Catharina Svensson.
The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) will take place in Sharm el‑Sheikh, Egypt on 6-18 November 2022. Implementation, climate finance for developing countries, and options to address ‘loss and damage’ are expected to be some of the focus points of the conference this year.
While per capita emissions are increasing in most developing countries, including China, India, and Egypt, they are falling in richer regions such as the US, UK and the EU. However, per capita emissions in lower-income countries including India, Egypt and Brazil are still far below the world and EU average. The latest UNEP emissions gap report emphasises that current efforts to curb emissions will not be enough to keep the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Egypt has made this year’s conference the ‘Implementation COP’, to ensure that countries turn objectives into action.
The African Group, Egypt, China, India and several other countries want to see financial support for ‘loss and damage‘ brought to the table at COP. At COP26, last year, developing countries’ demands for a loss and damage response fund almost jeopardised the Glasgow Climate Pact. As a compromise, the conference launched the Glasgow Dialogue to discuss funding for ‘loss and damage’.
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on COP27, welcoming the Glasgow Dialogue and calling for new sources of public finance prioritising grants to address the loss and damage associated with climate change. However, the Glasgow Dialogue received some criticism last year and may cause fresh tensions at COP27.
Another big issue will be the delivery of finance pledges. At COP 15, high-income nations committed to mobilise US$100 billion a year in new and additional climate funding for climate mitigation and adaptation in developing nations by 2020. Although the EU has raised its climate finance steadily since 2013, the developed countries still do not reach their collective target. High inflationary pressure and energy prices, causing developed countries to struggle with their own economies, may undermine the high levels of foreign aid that will be needed to provide for both the pledged finance and the potential loss and damage funds. However, many developing countries are also suffering from high energy prices and recessions, as well as climate impacts. This may increase the pressure on the US, the EU and the other developed countries to step up.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the current energy crisis have highlighted the interplay between climate change and international security. For example, the RePowerEU plan is intended to accelerate the rollout of renewable energy and reduce energy consumption, to put an end to the EU’s dependence on Russian gas.
The European Parliament has highlighted that the EU could reduce its GHG emissions by more than 55 % by 2030 if the EU adopts the ‘fit for 55‘ package and the RePowerEU plan. A trilogue agreement on the proposal to sell only zero-emission cars and vans by 2035 has recently been reached, signalling that the EU is serious about taking action to reach its climate targets. Parliament also supports policies and contributions to international climate finance and has urged the developed countries to make sure the promised US$100 billion is spent each year.
- COP26 outcomes
- Climate change and international security
- New partnership with Africa
- Climate action in the EU
- Fit for 55
- Loss and Damage: L&D