EU: the COP27 agreement "not enough" for the planet - DW - 20/11/2022

EU: the COP27 agreement “not enough” for the planet – DW – 20/11/2022

Climate talks in Egypt ended on Sunday with a deal that would see many wealthy countries set up a global “loss and damage” fund to help developing countries hit by climate disaster.

However, critics say the UN COP27 summit did not go far enough in reducing global warming emissions that cause climate change.

“What we have in front of us is not a big enough step forward for people and the planet,” said European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

He said the EU was “disappointed”, adding that more than 80 countries had backed a stronger emissions pledge.

“We should have done a lot more,” Timmermans said.

“We all ran out of action”

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Germany says mix of COP27 deals ‘frustrating’

This is a sentiment shared by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

“It is beyond frustrating to see lagging steps on mitigation and fossil fuel phase-out blocked by a number of large emitters and oil producers,” she said.

German climate secretary Jennifer Morgan, who was visibly upset at the end of the summit, said the only reason there was agreement at the summit was “because we want to stand with the most vulnerable”.

The loss and damage agreement will be geared towards developing countries “which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change”, language which had been requested by the EU.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the COP27 closing ceremony
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has expressed frustration with the outcome of COP27Image: picture alliance/dpa

The Europeans wanted to broaden the donor base to include wealthier developing countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, but accepted voluntary contributions from them.

A transition committee will work out much of the details of the deal and report back to next year’s climate meeting in Dubai.

Small island nations facing a climate-related increase celebrated the deal but lamented the lack of ambition to cut emissions.

“I recognize the progress we made at COP27” in terms of setting up the fund, said Maldivian climate minister Aminath Shauna, but added “we failed on mitigation… We have to ensure that we increase the ambition to peak emissions by 2025. We need to phase out fossil fuels.

The commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 C is not taken into account

The final declaration of COP27 maintains the commitment to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

But instead of calling for a phase out of all polluting fossil fuels, the deal merely reiterates language from last year’s pact in Glasgow calling for “a phase-out of coal-fired power and a phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.

Even if all the promises made so far are kept, it is still on track for an average rise of 2.7°C this century, according to a UN report. This would lead to widespread drought, water scarcity, hunger and coastal flooding.

Britain’s Alok Sharma, who chaired COP26 in Glasgow last year, said a passage on energy had been “weakened, in the last few minutes”.

“We have joined many parties in proposing a number of measures that would have contributed to this peak in emissions before 2025, as science tells us is needed. Not in this text,” Sharma said.

“Clear tracking of coal phase-out. Not in this text. Clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels. Not in this text,” he added.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said the talks had ‘taken an important step towards justice’ with the loss and damage fund, but failed to push for urgently needed carbon cuts to fight against global warming.

“Our planet is still in the emergency room,” said António Guterres. “We need to drastically reduce emissions now and that’s an issue this COP hasn’t addressed.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, President of COP27, said: “I believe I managed to prevent one side from backing down.”

lo/jcg(AFP, AP, Reuters)

#COP27 #agreement #planet

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