COP27 draft decision indicates progress, conflict on climate action priorities

COP27, the UN Conference of the Parties (COP), completed its last thematic day on November 17, 2022, focusing on ‘solutions.’ As the conference entered the penultimate day of negotiations, the release of a draft agreement emphasized both progress to date and the enormity of the task ahead. 

Key Statements & Discussions 

Keeping with the day’s theme of actionable commitments to decarbonization and reducing global warming, Australia’s bid to host COP31 was met with mixed reception from world leaders. While many applauded the new government’s renewed commitment to climate change, they also suggested that the government would need to stop investing in fossil fuels before a bid would be approved. 

As COP27 negotiations neared their scheduled end, a group of representatives from Canada, the EU, and the UK emphasized the need for concrete conference outcomes to the Egyptian Presidency. Delegates stressed that COP27 negotiations would need to produce coherent, actionable outcomes to be perceived as successful, and highlighted a variety of flaws and conflicts remaining in the current draft. 

The draft decision in question was 20 pages long as of Thursday, containing many placeholders as negotiations on key issues continued. Tracking from Carbon Brief indicated that the length of the document, as well as the number of remaining issues, would lead to negotiations continuing beyond COP27’s scheduled end on November 18, 2022. While the G20’s support for the 1.5 degree Celsius target somewhat preempted negotiations on the topic at COP, there has been no resolution on major points such as funding for loss and damage and reforming climate finance architecture. 

Key financial commitments 

Pledges on ‘Solutions’ day primarily focused on sustainable transportation. The UK COP26 Presidency announced several new initiatives aimed at increasing the production and use of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV), including a ‘Global Commitment,’ backed by the US, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, and the UK, which will provide finance for ZEV transitions in low- and middle-income countries. Specific details on funding flows and amounts were not provided. 

Several other pledges from earlier in COP27 were also highlighted, including: 

  • €1 billion (US$1 billion) from the EU, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark to support initiatives led by the African Union (AU) focusing on climate risk data, early warning systems, mobilizing finance, and disaster risk finance on November 16, 2022; 
  • €60 million (US$62 million) from the EU to support loss and damages on November 16, 2022; 
  • €40 million (US$41 million) from Germany to support the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Climate Action Window on November 16, 2022; 
  • US$20 million for the World Food Program (WFP) through the World Bank from Germany and the UK on November 16, 2022; and 
  • NOK 100 million (US$10 million) from Norway to support the  UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), on November 9, 2022. 

Agenda 

COP27 is scheduled to conclude on Friday, November 18, 2022, but negotiations may extend into the following week.  

News article – The Guardian 

News article – Reuters 

News article – The Guardian 

Press release – GOV.UK 

Transcript – European Commission 

News article – African Development Bank Group 

News article – Reliefweb 

News article – Reliefweb