Deliver Climate Finance

Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference - November 2022

6–20 November 2022 | Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC

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For the first time, countries agreed to recognize the need for finance to respond to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, and quickly established a fund and the necessary funding arrangements, with the details to be worked out over the coming year.

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As UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently noted at the UN General Assembly, the world is teeming with turmoil. The first half of 2022 was ripe with weather extremes: countries around the world saw devastating heatwaves and a third of Pakistan was submerged by floods. Russia’s war against Ukraine unfolded a massive geopolitical crisis and led to rippling effects such as upheaval in energy markets and dramatic food and commodity price increases.

It is against this tense background that parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will come together in November for another round of climate negotiations, which many expect to be quite challenging.

Parties have a number of important issues to address at this meeting. This is not only the case because the meeting will effectively hold five, largely concurrent negotiations streams—relating to the Convention, its Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), its Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA), as well as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement—but also because the lists of issues under each of these bodies are long

There are several types of items on the agenda of the respective bodies: standing and regularly recurring items; issues carrying over from previous meetings due to lack of agreement; relatively new issues that are in their prime negotiation time; and items that country coalitions suggested for inclusion on top of this existing list. Several of carry-over issues are related to the Paris Agreement, with a prominent example being the modalities for the cooperative approaches foreseen under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Key among the newer issues are the work programme for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation and the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation.

The most contentious issue is finance for loss and damage (climate change impacts that go beyond what can be adapted to). Developing countries are adamant about the need to address this at COP 27 and they enjoy broad support from civil society organizations. Secretary-General Guterres, too, is urging progress and suggested developed economies tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies and redirect those funds to countries suffering loss and damage and to people struggling with rising food and energy prices. Whether finance for loss and damage ultimately makes it on the agenda remains to be seen—that is something parties will decide on at the opening of the meeting—but it is already dominating discussions in the run up to COP 27.

Some countries proposed another tricky finance issue for inclusion on the agenda: making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development (Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement). The idea here is that the work of all financial actors—including finance ministries, commercial banks, pension funds, and multilateral development banks—be aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which is far from being the case today.

Other finance issues will also dominate the meeting: there is the persistent question over whether developed countries are at last living up to their commitment to mobilize USD 100 billion in climate finance per year—a figure they were supposed to reach in 2020—and whether they are coming true on the goal of doubling adaptation finance. These discussions will, in turn, inform negotiations on the definition of a post-2025 collective climate finance goal.

Another broader question is how COP 27 will fare in addressing the concerns of its host continent, be it in terms of the proposed consideration of the special needs and circumstances of Africa, substantive issues such as adaptation, or possible participation constraints due to the hotel prices in the conference’s host city.

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the Sharm El-Sheik Climate Change Conference, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

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