COP27: Mitigation Work Programme to oversee emissions from key sectors in 'Critical Decade'

File picture: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

File picture: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

Published Dec 15, 2022


The final outcomes of the COP27 conference reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to keep the 1.5-degree temperature target alive during what the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls the “Critical Decade”, including providing a clear programme to advance the mitigation agenda from now to 2026.

The Mitigation Work Programme will cover the IPCC 2006 key emissions sectors and the IPCC WGIII report. There will be an annual decision by the Conference of the Parties to the Paris Agreement for the four years.

This agreement on a four-year work programme consists of at least two global dialogues and a review at the end of the four years on whether to continue the programme after 2026.

According to a statement released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries (Deff), the agreed text in the COP27 cover document frames the climate crisis and its solutions in terms of the sustainable development goals and Just Transitions, leaving no one left behind, and the need for broader financial sector reform to achieve these.

The key milestone agreed to at the conference was on financial arrangements to address loss and damage due to climate change with parties eventually agreeing to set up a global fund for loss and damage.

It established a Transitional Committee to work on the modalities of this fund with a view to taking a decision at COP28 in 2023.

The Deff said that “while we must acknowledge that from our national perspective, we did not see the advancement on actually operationalising the Global Goal on Adaptation, which we had been hoping for”.

In particular, South Africa had called for a target to increase the resilience of the global population by 50% in 2030.

According to the Deff, the conference provided the momentum to reform the multilateral development banks and international financial institutions and it is expected that shareholders of these institutions will take decisive action to scale up climate finance in 2023 and make their institutions fit for purpose.

COP27 also marked the fifth South African Pavilion (a partnership between the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and National Business Initiative), which showcased the collaboration between government and business in the fight against climate change.

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