COP27 enters second week; Germany, G7 unveil ‘Global Shield’ initiative

COP27, the UN Conference of the Parties (COP), moved into its second week on November 14, 2022. While the day marked Germany’s announcement as the President of the G7of the ‘Global Shield’ climate insurance initiative, the mood surrounding the conference appeared somewhat downcast. 

Key Statements & Discussions 

Over the weekend of November 12, 2022, climate activists protested outside the Sharm el-Sheikh venue for COP27 venue, demanding that world leaders commit to reparations for loss and damage and maintaining the 1.5-degree Celsius target for adaptation efforts.  

The future of the 1.5-degree Celsius target appeared uncertain on Monday, as negotiators debated replacing the target with older language that would limit warming to ‘well below 2 degrees Celsius.’ In light of recent research illustrating the inadequacy of current initiatives to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, attempts to walk back the stricter target appeared troubling.  

Likewise, on the point of reparations, onlookers remained skeptical as the EU and US remained lukewarm on the subject of loss and damages. European Commission Vice President Franz Timmerman’s attendance at meetings on November 14, 2022, indicated the EU’s hesitance rush into funding for reparations. Timmerman emphasized that discussions on such measures would be finalized at the next COP, in Abu Dhabi, and argued that countries like China and Russia should also contribute to loss and damage funds. This stance has been voiced also by US climate envoy John Kerry ahead of the conference. 

The sentiment that wealthy countries actions are not enough overshadowed Germany and the G7’s announcement of the ‘Global Shield’ initiative on November 14, 2022, a program intended to improve insurance for countries that face damages from climate disasters. Germany announced seed funding of €170 million ($172 million) on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, and several other countries pledged a total of €40 million (US$41 million) to the initiative, including Canada, Ireland, and Denmark. However, the plan had a mixed reception as a step forward on loss and damage, to which some ‘Global Shield' funds will be allocated. However critics expressed concern regarding the plan’s feasibility. Some argued that tries especially vulnerable to climate change would pose a challenge for an insurance scheme, while others questioned the vagueness of the initiative’s design. 

In line with the day's theme of 'Water' the COP Egyptian Presidency released action plans for the Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience Initiative (AWARe) and recommendations for non-state entities to mobilize finance for loss and damages related to climate change. The day also had an additional theme of 'Gender;' however, the Presidency did not publish additional action plans or press releases on the topic.

Tomorrow’s Agenda  

November 14, 2022, was a quiet day for financial commitments, but finance architecture and restructuring are expected to feature during proceedings on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. After keeping a low profile through the start of COP27, the Australian delegation, Climate Minister Chris Bowen in particular, is expected to criticize the World Bank’s crisis response to the climate crisis and call for an overhaul of development finance infrastructure. 

Specifically, the minister is expected to call for increased spending on climate, sustainable financing to avoid increasing the debt of partner countries, and cooperation to reduce emissions globally. 

Looking ahead , the Egyptian Presidency’s themes for the day are ‘Civil Society’ and ‘Energy.’ Key sessions include a presentation on CSOs’s impact on water, energy, and food security initiatives, Just Energy Transition, and a closing session on financing energy transition, which is expected to result in commitments and actionable pledges from donor countries. 

News article – Reuters 

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Tweet – Simon Evans 

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News article – The Guardian 

News article – Deutsche Welle 

News article – The Guardian