COP27 kick-off to reawaken the fight for climate

About 200 countries are meeting from Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to try to breathe new life into the fight against global warming and its effects that are spreading across a divided world and worried about other crises. .

The historic floods in Pakistan, repeated heatwaves in Europe, hurricanes, fires, droughts… The fight for climate is a “question of life and death, for our security today and for our safety tomorrow” , UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently asserted.

So the 27th UN Climate Conference (COP27), which begins this Sunday in two weeks, “must lay the foundation for faster and bolder climate action, now and in this decade that will decide whether the fight for the climate is win or lose,” he warned.

Greenhouse gas emissions must actually drop by 45% by 2030 to have a chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era, the most ambitious goal of the Paris agreement.

But current commitments by signatory States, if ultimately honored, would lead to an increase of 5 to 10%, putting the world on a trajectory to at best 2.4°C by the end of the century. Far from respecting the main goal of the Paris agreement of less than 2°C compared to the time when people started burning fossil fuels (coal, oil or gas) responsible for global warming on a large scale.

– “Dangerous” –

At current rules, a catastrophic +2.8°C is looming. “It is a pity that the task is not up to the task”, Antonio Guterres apologized, regretting that the climate was brought back to the background of the Covid epidemic, the war in Ukraine, the economic, energy and food crises.

“There have been dangerous times,” such as the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris accord under President Donald Trump, said Alden Meyer of the E3G think tank. But “I’ve never seen anything like it,” added the longtime observer of climate negotiations, describing a “perfect storm.”

In this context, despite the commitments made at COP26, only about twenty countries have raised their targets, and the UN sees “no credible means” to reach the 1.5°C target.

After the formal opening of COP27 on Sunday, more than 120 heads of state and government are expected on Monday and Tuesday for a summit that should give momentum to these two weeks of negotiations.

Without Chinese President Xi Jinping or American Joe Biden, who will quickly move to the COP on November 11. Although cooperation between the two main global emitters of greenhouse gases with difficult relations is very important, however they can meet in Bali next week on the sidelines of the G20.

A G20 responsible for 80% of global emissions but the richest members have been accused of not taking up their responsibilities in terms of ambition and aid to developing countries.

The resentment of the poorest countries, which are not responsible for global warming but are on the front lines of its effects, will also be at the heart of COP27.

– Greenwashing –

The pledge by the countries of the North to increase to 100 billion dollars per year from 2020 their aid to the countries of the South to reduce their emissions and prepare for the impacts has still not been fulfilled. And the South is now calling for additional funding dedicated to the “loss and damage” already suffered.

But the developed countries are very reluctant, and last year only agreed to create a “dialogue” on the question, which is planned until 2024. However, they must accept that the topic is officially on the agenda of the day in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“Everyone agrees that we need a way to fix it. The difficulty is in the details,” said Wael Aboulmagd, special representative of the Egyptian presidency of COP27.

COP27 kick-off to reawaken the fight for climate

“The success or failure of COP27 will be judged on an agreement on this loss and damage financing facility,” warned Munir Akram, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN and chairman of the G77 + China, which represents more than 130 emerging and poor countries. that country.

Agreement or not on a special mechanism to finance “loss and damage” or on a new goal to take from 100 billion from 2025, the financing needs are counted in “billions”, launching AFP Michai Robertson , negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis), judging that this would be impossible without the private sector.

The commitments of the private sector will also be in the spotlight in the publication of the report of the UN group of experts responsible for developing standards to assess the carbon neutrality goals of companies, cities, regions or investors.

Because “our world can no longer afford greenwashing, pretense and latecomers”, emphasized Antonio Guterres.

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