The second week of COP 27 began with a recognition of the significant volume of work ahead. At the close of the first week, thirteen issues remained outstanding from the Subsidiary Bodies alone. Usually, the second week is dominated by high-level speeches and meetings and continued discussions on finance, which is discussed directly under the three governing bodies’ agendas. But this year it’s clear there will still be a range of topics for negotiators to address and, perhaps, for ministers to guide.
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In their first day on site, ministers were already at work, focused on mitigation and finance—two areas where political input is often needed. The roundtable on pre-2030 ambition aimed to leverage high-level engagement to ramp up mitigation ambition. Current efforts are not on track to stay below the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals. As outlined by the Secretariat, the implementation of current pledges would increase emissions by 10.6% by 2030, and put the world on track for a 2.5°C warmer world by the end of the century. A few ministers from climate-vulnerable countries called the report “heartbreaking.” Alok Sharma, COP 26 President, lamented that “this could be the COP where we leave 1.5 behind.”
In the afternoon, ministers switched their attention to finance, where several found the track record similarly wanting. They discussed the progress toward developed countries’ target of USD 100 billion per year by 2020, with many calling for stepped up delivery of existing pledges, as well as promises for new climate finance.
As ministers reflected on the past, they also recognized ongoing discussions for a new collective quantified finance goal. Germany and Canada, which spearheaded a progress report on the delivery of the USD 100 billion target, committed to undertake a “lessons learned” exercise to help ensure the future goal is met. Several ministers also wondered why private climate finance flows have been lower than they expected.
It remains to be seen what issues the ministers will be tasked with in the days ahead. They will be needed, as soon as Wednesday, to help broker a successful outcome.
Technical work continued on several of the issues left unfinished from the first week. While work proceeded relatively smoothly on Article 6, despite its massive workload, other discussions remained contentious.
The discussions on the Global Goal on Adaptation left off with the Co-Facilitators seeking the guidance of the COP Presidency. There are calls for a strong outcome at this COP, to mark the Glasgow–Sharm El-Sheikh Work Programme’s halfway mark.
Discussions on loss and damage also proved difficult. As in previous years, agreement on the governance of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) eluded. A few countries argue that the Paris Agreement has sole authority of the body, but many countries prefer joint authority, under the Paris Agreement and the Convention.
An initial text emerged on loss and damage finance. It was welcomed by some who noted it was needed to "show our ministers something," but many said this first step still didn’t represent all countries’ views. It seems that substantial additional efforts, including to come to a shared understanding of the mandate for this item, will be required. Meanwhile, work on other topics, such as the Green Climate Fund and response measures, continued to move glacially, if at all.
The COP Presidency expects draft texts for these outstanding issues tomorrow, or Wednesday at the very latest. Other items, especially finance, will loom large in the days ahead as negotiators try to find the solutions that their ministers are banking on.
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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