As curtain comes down on COP27, nations must walk the talk

A view of a logo of the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo: Reuters

A view of a logo of the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo: Reuters

Published Nov 18, 2022


As the curtain comes down on the COP27 today, environmental activists have called for parties to intensify their efforts to deliver breakthrough agreements on key issues that are far from agreement and have seen little progress so far this week.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said yesterday that the summit was failing to deliver on the ‘implementation’ theme prioritised by the Egyptian presidency.

The WWF urged negotiators to agree to a finance facility to deal with the pivotal issue of loss and damage.

It said that after a year of devastating climate-related weather impacts around the world, including devastating flooding in Pakistan and droughts in eastern Africa, it was vital that a facility was established with concrete money on the table.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF global climate and energy lead and COP20 president, said talks must rapidly intensify and culminate in new agreements and a powerful cover decision that sets the tone for the year ahead.

“We cannot afford to have so many negotiation areas go unresolved until the next COP. We don’t have time for more delays and excuses,” Pulgar-Vidal said.

“This was intended to be a COP for implementation, where governments could showcase their progress and commit to significant new climate finance, action and targets, but that is not what we have seen. But yet again, we have also seen talks stall, with parties and groups at odds on a range of issues, and some looking to delay key decisions.

“However, from loss and damage financing to mitigation, adaptation, and the Koronivia agriculture and food talks, there remains hope that COP27 can still achieve a strong outcome.

“Negotiators must seize this moment and do everything possible to secure a positive legacy. Every moment matters now. We are in a race against time to prevent the climate crisis spiralling out of control.”

This comes as Germany committed €40 million (R720m) to African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Climate Action Window initiative for fragile African states.

The Climate Action Window is an initiative of the African Development Fund, the AfDB Group’s concessional lending window to low-income African states.

It will be mobilising up to $13 billion (R225bn) for climate adaptation for some 37 low-income and fragile states, the worst hit by climate change.

German State Secretary for Economic Co-operation and Development Jochen Flasbarth said the contribution by Germany was part of its efforts to balance parity in funding between climate mitigation and adaptation, despite current global economic challenges.

“All our countries have challenges to get the right balance between adaptation and mitigation, but we want to do that,” Flasbarth said.

“We want to look at the quality of adaptation finance, and we must look at the accessibility to climate finance, specifically for developing countries’ nationally determined contributions.”

Meanwhile, a new report published yesterday warned that gas-exporting African countries with stranded assets as European countries speed up their transition to clean energies,

The report by Think Research and Advisory, a Saudi-based research and advisory firm providing independent strategic advisory services on the Middle East and North Africa region, examines the relationship between successful energy transition in Africa and the risks posed by the short-term European demand for African gas imports, triggered by the need to compensate for lost gas supply in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The report said Africa was faced with a choice: provide gas for Europe now – with short-term economic gain – or focus funding on the development of renewable energy sources, with long-term energy security, economic growth and stability, and global climate goals in mind.