Spotlight on Financing & Climate Change Adaptation. The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) is being held in Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022.
COP27 - Overview
The past year has seen unquestionable signs of climate change, with catastrophic floods, heat waves, droughts, and storms on a global level. In addition, a recently released UN report showed that while GHG emissions must be cut by 45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels to achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, they are instead on track to rise by 10.6% by that time.
This is despite the pledge from last year's climate conference (COP26 held in Glasgow), where nations promised to revise climate plans, or NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), by the end of this year to align with the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement. Recent geopolitical instability has affected the availability and affordability of energy, food, and water, a situation that has led many nations to reverse/halt climate policies in a bid to stall consumer energy prices.
This year's annual UN climate conference, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, will see world leaders gather to take action aimed at achieving the global climate goals of the Paris Agreement. In the present context, three key areas will be the main focus of the conference.
At the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, richer nations, which have had a greater impact on climate change, agreed to jointly contribute US$100 billion annually to help vulnerable nations mitigate the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and severe droughts. However, the goal has not yet been achieved, as the provided aid reached just US$80 billion in 2019. It was therefore agreed upon at the climate conference in Paris in 2015 to extend the goal until 2025. At COP27, negotiations will focus on how this goal should be designed post-2025. Despite not having succeeded in meeting the current target, discussions are expected to turn this issue of support into a key priority.
The failure of richer nations to deliver on the US$100 billion annual climate aid has led developing nations to push the issue of compensation for climate-related losses and damage, in the form of funds for reconstruction projects, to be part of the conference's agenda. This is the first time the subject has been placed on the agenda, as high-income nations (including the EU and the United States) have previously blocked proposals for financing.
So far, about a quarter of the richer nations' climate aid has been directed to projects aiming to adapt societies to warmer climates. Impacted nations want to see that share doubled by 2025, which would still not be enough, as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates that adaptation costs will reach US$300 billion by 2030.
Adaptation Agenda and Action Plan
Discussions in the first week were, to a great extent, focused on climate change adaptation, with actions including the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda and UN Early Warnings for All Action Plan.
Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda
The Agenda is the first comprehensive global plan to unite governments and non-state actors in efforts to protect more than four billion people vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It outlines actions to be taken across the five "impact systems": food and agriculture, water and nature, coastal and oceans, human settlements, and infrastructure, by 2030.
UN Early Warnings for All Action Plan
The Action Plan was launched with the aim of ensuring that early warning systems cover all populations as part of climate change adaptation strategies. It calls for governments to invest US$3.1 billion in the systems between 2023 and 2027, or 50c per person/per year.
Other pledges and commitments include:
- No net-zero greenwashing commitment
- Sri Lanka's 2050 target to achieve carbon neutrality
- Climate TRACE - GHG emissions inventory
- Declaration on climate-related migration
One Week to Go
NUS will be monitoring updates and outcomes of COP27's second week - keep an eye out for our upcoming articles.
More: Energy Market Commentary, COP27, Greenhouse Gas (GHG), Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, UN Early Warnings for All Action Plan