Draft Cop27 Accord Does not Demand that All Fossil Fuels be 'Phased Down'

Published on: 17 November 2022
by KnowESG
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The UN Climate Agency put out a first draft of what could be the main agreement that comes out of the Cop27 climate meeting in Egypt. However, much of the content is likely to be changed in the coming days.

Some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are angry, and a Greenpeace representative said it opened the door to "climate hell."

The document is called a "non-paper," which means it is not yet the final version. It repeats the goal from last year's Glasgow Climate Pact, which was to "accelerate measures toward the phase-down of unabated coal power and phase out and rationalise inefficient fossil fuel subsidies."

Last year was the first time that fossil fuels and coal were even mentioned in a decision about climate change that everyone agreed on.

But it does not call for a phase-down of all fossil fuels, as India and the EU had requested. The text doesn't say how to start a fund for loss and damage, which is a key demand from countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, like island nations. Instead, it "welcomes" the fact that for the first time, parties have agreed to put on the summit's agenda "matters related to funding arrangements responding to loss and damage."

It does not specify a timeframe for deciding whether a separate fund should be established or what it should look like, giving negotiators more time to deliberate on the contentious issue.

The document "emphasises the importance of exerting all efforts at all levels to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels."

The document is based on what delegates from almost 200 countries wanted to see in the final agreement. It will be used as a starting point for negotiations over the next few days, which are likely to change and add to the text in a big way.

Greenpeace International’s Cop27 head of delegation, Yeb Saño, reflected the general frustration, saying: “The Cop27 presidency pushes the pedal to the metal on the highway to climate hell.

"After not even mentioning fossil fuels at first, the draft text is an abdication of responsibility to capture the urgency expressed by many countries to see all oil and gas added to coal for at least a phase down. It is time to stop denying the problem; the fossil fuel age must end quickly."

Joseph Sikulu of the Pacific Climate Warriors and 350.org, said: “The cover text released this morning does not represent the call from both the negotiation rooms as well as the civil society for a just, equitable, and managed phase-out of all fossil fuels. Anything less than what we achieved in Glasgow will see Cop27 branded a failure by the world.”

Tzeporah Berman of Stand.earth was also disappointed, arguing that the draft text “ignores the science of 1.5C”. She added: “Phase down ‘unabated coal’ is still in but ‘unabated’ is a loophole big enough to drive a drill rig through.”

Dr. Simon Evans of Carbon Brief, on the other hand, tweeted about Climate Home's "wise words": "This is not a text that has been discussed by countries, but elements reflecting what Egypt has gathered from consultations... Formal negotiations on the text have yet to begin."

Source: The Guardian

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