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‘Climate Frustration’ Contests ‘Hopes of Agreement’ at COP27 Negotiations

‘Climate Frustration’ Contests ‘Hopes of Agreement’ at COP27 Negotiations

Tuesday, 15 November, 2022 - 10:15
COP27 President Sameh Shoukry giving his opening speech at the beginning of the week of negotiations (Egyptian Foreign Ministry)

Main points of contention in climate negotiations at the COP27 began to surface clearly. COP27 President Sameh Shoukry had kicked off a hard work week of climate talks with a stimulating speech on Monday.

During an informal update, Shoukry said that while negotiators have concluded work on some issues “there is still a lot of work ahead”.

“If we are to achieve meaningful and tangible outcomes of which we can be proud of, we must now shift gears and complement the technical discussions with more political high-level engagement”, he told the plenary.

Shoukry expressed his hope that almost all outstanding issues would be resolved by Wednesday, November 16, so that an agreement could be reached in time for the last day of COP27.

“The door of the presidency, and my door in particular, remains open to all parties, in order to achieve the success we seek,” affirmed Shoukry.

“Our common goal is to adopt consensus decisions on Friday that constitute comprehensive, ambitious and balanced outcomes of COP27,” he added.

COP27 is currently being held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Before the beginning of the summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, there were two trends that dominated climate action discourse.

Some believed that the extreme climatic events that the world witnessed this year would force the negotiators to reach a conclusion. Meanwhile, others saw that “geopolitical” tensions in the world currently do not bode well for the possibility of any progress in climate files.

Many hoped for the more optimistic trend to prevail, especially after the decision to include “loss and damage” funding to the conference’s agenda for the first time.

Optimists, however, continued to stress that without achieving a tangible result, the inclusion of “loss and damage” on the agenda remains “just a worthless piece of paper.”

As the second and final week of COP27 began, Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, reminded negotiators that people and the planet are relying on the process to deliver.

“Let’s use our remaining time in Egypt to build the bridges needed to make progress on 1.5 [degrees Celsius], adaptation, finance and loss and damage,” he said.

A statement issued by Greenpeace on Monday reflected frustration regarding climate action, as the statement warned that “things are moving in the direction of placing the interests of polluters above any consideration of climate justice.”

Stiell’s statements also reflected this frustration whereby he noted that many issues remain unresolved and that the summit may fail in living up to the unfolding climate crisis.

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