On November 11, 2022, US President Joe Biden attended COP27, the UN Conference of the Parties (COP), in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, as the conference entered its thematic ‘Decarbonization’ Day.
Key Statements & Discussions
While Biden’s announcement of updates to the Global Methane pledge fell in line with the day’s theme of ‘Decarbonization,’ international commitment to the topic seems uncertain. For instance, Sweden’s expected announcement of a 10% increase in its carbon emissions casts doubt on the buy-in from other donor countries. Similarly, a 'Global Carbon Budget’ presented by researchers during the event forecasted that global warming will surpass the 1.5 degree Celsius goal by 2030. While the finding may not be shocking, the framing of emissions within a time-dependent ‘carbon budget’ presents an innovative step toward more accurate, holistic, and transparent tracking of emissions impacts on climate change.
However, the day produced some actionable steps, with world leaders unveiling ‘The Breakthrough Agenda,’ a 12-year plan which included agreements for participants to scale up production of green energy sources, such as hydrogen, coordinate the phase-out of combustion-engine automobiles, and provide funding to build up markets for green and sustainable products.
Biden’s address came at a pivotal moment in the summit, as discussions surrounding loss and damages appeared to be gaining momentum among a small, but increasingly vocal, group of high-income countries. However, in a White House fact sheet detailing US commitments and initiatives to be announced during the conference, loss and damage finance was not mentioned.
While Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and New Zealand all announced pledges for loss and damage at or prior to COP27, both the EU and the US have resisted endorsing the initiative amid fears that funding would be framed as reparations. Monica Medina, the US Assistant Secretary of State for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs, suggested that leaders’ energy would be better spent finding ways to shore up existing finance mechanisms.
Though the US announced a flurry of modest pledges to reduce emissions and finance adaptation measures, the absence of groundbreaking commitments to adaptation at COP27 poses a challenge to the necessary and rapid expansion of climate development finance more broadly.
Key Financial Commitments
During Biden’s brief visit at COP27, and throughout the conference, the US announced commitments in several sectors. Building on the US pledge at COP26, President Biden announced the US would double its multi-year donation to the Adaptation Fund to US$100 million.
Biden also pledged more than US$150 million to support the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), including funding for early warning systems, the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program, the Africa Adaptation Initiative, innovations in climate finance architecture and food security initiatives in Africa, though specific partner states were not mentioned.
New funding pledges from the US also included US$20 million for storm monitoring systems in Pacific Island states and US$5 million to the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund for climate-impacted migrants. USAID pledged US$6 million in funding for a new ‘Climate Gender Equity Fund’ in collaboration with Amazon, a US$23 million dollar commitment to a nine-year program to build climate leadership capacity of Egyptian women, and announced US$2 million for the launch of the ‘Indigenous Peoples Finance Access Facility,’ which will run for three years.
Other pledges included:
- Irish Minister for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D. announced funding of €5 million (US$5 million) for adaptation efforts through the ‘Special Climate Change Fund,’ ‘Least Developed Countries Fund,’ and African Development Bank (AfDB) on November 11, 2022;
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) called for financing of over US$200 million from 2021-2025 for water sanitation resilience, and received pledges of US$30 million from the Netherlands and US$10 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, alongside the Bank’s own commitment of US$120 million in grants from 2023-2025; and
- The EU, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and the French Development Agency (AFD) launched the ‘Advancing Climate Adaptation in the Southern Mediterranean’ program (ACA-MED), a regional adaptation initiative worth €17 million (US$17 million) with a planned timeline of three years.
Heading into the weekend, the COP27 agenda moves on to ‘Adaptation and Agriculture’ Day, with key sessions on food security, adaptation technologies, and private sector tools for decreasing risk in the agricultural sector.
Donor Tracker daily coverage of COP27 will resume on Monday, November 14, 2022, which holds the dual themes of ‘Gender‘ and ‘Water.’ Stay tuned also for the Donor Tracker’s ‘COP27 Midway Commentary,’ which will be housed on our Insights page.
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