The end of the first week of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference is nearing. Co-facilitators across many negotiation rooms reminded delegates of the need to conclude consideration of the items set to be forwarded to the closing plenaries of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), scheduled for Saturday, 12 November.
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On a few issues, draft conclusions are ready for consideration by the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) which will, in the relevant cases, forward draft decisions for adoption by the governing bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement at the end of the second conference week. Among the concluded issues are several agenda items related to reporting and review under the Convention and under the Paris Agreement.
In most cases however, delegates did not manage to “clean up” their negotiating texts in the allotted number of negotiation slots. In some instances, this was because even when there is general agreement on what parties want to express, it takes time to agree on precise language that adequately conveys parties’ consensus. On most issues however, the disagreements run deeper and require even more discussions and creative solutions to iron them out. To make space for such discussions, co-facilitators across a number of issues resorted to asking parties to convene in “huddles” to prepare bridging proposals and were frantically on the hunt for additional meeting slots. The negotiations schedule ballooned accordingly, with several late-night consultations: for instance, the informal consultations on national adaptation plans were scheduled until 11:00 pm.
The major attraction beyond the negotiations was the strong presence of the United States. US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was seen around the venue throughout the day. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise appearance, together with a cohort of other members of Congress. Even President Joe Biden came to Egypt to hold a press conference to underscore his administration’s resolve towards climate action.
On Sunday, 13 November 2022, join our Dr. Jennifer Allan for the one-hour COP 27 Halfway Point Webinar. As well as providing reviewing progress (or regress) in week one and sharing expectations for week two, Dr. Allan will take audience questions for 30 minutes. Register to join live or receive the recording link.
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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis