Negotiations on COP27 outcomes in full swing; 8 donors pledge US$106 million in new funding for GEF

On the Tuesday of the second week of COP27, the UN Conference of the Parties (COP), countries made commitments, both financial and political, to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). While the day was relatively quiet, participants and onlookers are becoming increasingly concerned about the outcomes of the conference. 

Key Statements & Discussions 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released the 2022 Nationally Determined Contributions Synthesis Report, outlining that current commitments will result in warming of 2.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century at this year’s COP. Current Party commitments will increase emissions by 11% by 2030 compared to 2010, an improvement over last year’s assessment which estimated 14%, but nonetheless concerning. In response to the pre-2030 high-level meeting held yesterday, ministers at the meeting collectively called to ramp up climate ambition, citing 1.5 degrees as a “red line” that cannot be crossed. Global leaders, like COP26 President Alok Sharma, are increasingly concerned that this COP27 will result in a compromise on the 1.5-degree target.   

Despite growing concerns, US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping sent positive signals at the coterminous G20 meeting in Bali, in which they agreed to bilateral formal talks on climate action after a three-month hiatus following US Senator Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.  

Discussions on loss and damage continued to preoccupy negotiators. A negotiating proposal submitted to the UNFCCC by the G77 and China highlights the perspective of low- and middle-income countries and calls for the establishment of a new fund by the end of 2024 to supplement financing facilities for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Observers noted that another proposal is circulating that focuses on using two years of technical work to explore whether funding for loss and damage can be solved through existing financing institutions rather than by expanding the development finance architecture. 

In line with today’s ‘Energy’ theme, the International Energy Agency (IEA) called on countries to move away from coal, while emphasizing that solar and wind power alone are not enough to meet climate goals. Many initiatives focused on unlocking finance for African countries through national energy transition, African carbon markets, and securing adequate finance for critical energy infrastructure. Several African ministers called on the high-income countries to finance energy infrastructure for economic and social development. The call for just energy transition was supported by today’s launch of the ‘Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership,’ announced during the G20 summit. 

Key financial commitments

Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and a Belgian region pledged US$106 million in new funding for the GEF. The funds will target climate adaptation needs in vulnerable countries. US$71 million will go to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and US$35 million to the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) within the GEF. Additional countries, including Belgium, Canada, France, and the US, provided political support for GEF and indicated possible future contributions.  

Germany will contribute €9 million EUR (US$9 million) in 2022 to the LDCF and €10 million (US$10 million) in 2023 to the SCCF; Sweden pledged SEK180 million (US$17 million) to the LDCF for 2022, an increase of SEK50 million (US$5 million) from funding in 2021.  

Tomorrow’s agenda

‘Biodiversity’ is on the docket tomorrow, and meetings will deal with nature-based and ecosystem-based solutions; advocates hope to mobilize support for the prevention of biodiversity loss. Discussions will also include topics like oceans, endangered species, coral reefs, plastic waste in aquatic ecosystems and linkages with climate mitigation and adaptation. In addition to ‘Biodiversity’, ‘Transport’ will also be a key theme in the afternoon.  

GEF – Press release 

GEF – Joint statement  

UNFCCC – Report  

UNFCCC – News article  

The Guardian – News article  

NewScientist – News article