COP27 : Are We There Yet??
Updated: Apr 4
Written By: Miranda Cuevas Morales
Edited By: Ada Collins
It has been an eventful week in the world of energy due to the insightful conversation at the 27th annual Conference of the Parties (COP27) currently taking place in Egypt. This climate summit, established by the United Nations, aims to help nations build solidarity and confidence to reach climate goals and set track toward the landmarks established in the crucial Paris Agreement.
COP27 has delivered new pledges and agreements between nations from all over the globe that contribute to each country’s responsibility to limit their national emissions. Distinguished commitments are debriefed below.
The long-awaited topic of compensation from developed to developing nations is finally on the table. At the conference, two options to compensate for climate damage were discussed. One is the creation of a loss and damage fund by 2024 from the developed world whose amount will be used for climate aftermath remediation in developing nations. The second option is to continue monitoring the topic for two more years while coming up with other arrangements for climate compensation. The latter is evidently the preferred option for countries from the industrialized world, who are still skeptical about offering compensation (1). Austria has confirmed providing €50 million in compensation, followed by Germany, Belgium, Denmark, and Scotland who will also be contributing with other (lower) amounts (5).
On a similar note, the US, Japan, and a few other countries will jointly contribute to a deal of minimum $15 billion and up to $20 billion USD to help Indonesia rule out fossil fuels and shift to a renewable power grid. The cooperation is called the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and will be further elaborated in the Group of 20 (G20) meeting happening in Bali next week (3).
On the Latin American side of the globe, another optimistic commitment was made by the Mexican Foreign Secretary who announced that Mexico will be boosting climate pledges from the ones made at the Paris Agreement. The pledge is to cut 35% of emissions by 2030 and provide 40 additional gigawatts of clean energy. This will be achieved in part by expanding solar energy generation capacity in the Sonoran Desert and reducing methane emissions from the Mexican petroleum company Petroleos Mexicanos (2).
At COP27, there were discussions on the importance of including the African Union (AU) for the first time ever in the G20 and having them participate in meetings and forums. The AU could be joining G20 as soon as this month, finally giving countries in Africa the opportunity to take part in important climate discussions and advocate for compensation from developed nations to remediate climate damage. The official accession of the AU to the G20 will hopefully be approved at the G20 summit in Bali in the upcoming weeks (4).
Finally, a controversial situation at COP27 has been the presence of many delegates that are attending as fossil fuel lobbyists. This number rose compared to the previous year's COP conferences because COP28 will take place in the United Arab Emirates next year, one of the world’s top producers and exporters of gas and oil. These lobbyists have shifted the conversation from the urgency to transition away from fossil fuels to maintaining dependence on fossil fuels for energy security, a tempting topic for European governments as winter arrives in the Northern Hemisphere and the Russian-Ukraine situation has destabilized everyone’s energy reliance. Displeased climate activists say the presence of these lobbyists is out of place and has turned COP27 into a fossil fuel festival. Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate emphasizes this argument by saying: “If you’re going to discuss about malaria, don’t invite the mosquitoes (6).”
1. Zabasajja, Jennifer, et al. “COP27 President Pushes for Deal on Divisive Loss and Damage.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 15 Nov. 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-15/cop27-president-pushes-for-deal- on-divisive-loss-and-damage?srnd=green&leadSource=uverify+wall.
2. Dlouhy, Jennifer A. “Mexico Pledges Tougher 35% Emissions Cutting Target for 2030.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 12 Nov. 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-12/mexico-pledges-tougher-35- emissions-cutting-target-for-2030.
3. Dlouhy, Jennifer A, and Yudith Ho. “US, Japan-Led Climate Pact Set to Offer Indonesia $15 Billion.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 11 Nov. 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-11/us-japan-led-climate-pact-set-to- offer-indonesia-15-billion.
4. Ibukun, Yinka. “G20 Seat to Help Africa Push Rich on Climate Pledges, Sall Says.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 10 Nov. 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-10/african-g20-seat-to-help-push-rich- nations-on-climate-pledges?srnd=green-united-nations-climate-summit.
5. “COP27: Austria Pledges €50m for Loss and Damage from Climate Change.” Euronews, 8 Nov. 2022, https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/11/08/cop27-austria-pledges-50m-of- funding-for-loss-and-damage-from-climate-change#:~:text=in%20the%20City- ,COP27:%20Austria%20pledges%20%E2%82%AC50m%20of%20funding%20for,and%2 0damage%20from%20climate%20change&text=Austria%20will%20provide%20%E2%82 %AC50,country's%20climate%20ministry%20told%20Reuters.
6. Lombrana, Laura Millan. “Middle East Oil Giants Assert Themselves in Climate Politics.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 16 Nov. 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-16/middle-east-oil-giants-assert- themselves-in-climate-politics.