It’s the official 'last day' of COP27, but it is now clear that it is also not. Last night, some UNFCCC Secretariat comms shared on Twitter stated that the shuttle bus schedule would be extended until Sunday. However, during the informal stocktaking plenary (which is there to inform the COP and all attendees about the state of things) early this afternoon, the Egyptian COP President Sameh Shoukry was still committed to wrap up by sometime on Saturday. He said “time is not on our side, we need to switch gears.”
COP President Shoukry also stated that there was “a shared desire” to deliver on the promise of this “Implementation COP.” Multiple times he mentioned the word 'responsibility', saying that the “collective responsibility [of Parties] today is to identify the highest common denominator now,” and that “the global community is looking at us to be bold and ambitious.” There is a responsibility to keep in mind that “what we do here impacts real people.” He then opened the floor for interventions from Parties.
From my experience last year in Glasgow, the later it is within a COP, the longer the informal stocktakings get (because of the number of interventions). This one, though, was fairly short, with only a handful of interventions (probably because of all the unfinished items). The second-to-last intervention from Ghana, however, was one that no person present in the plenary will soon forget. On behalf of Ghana and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), 10-year-old Nakeeyat Dramani, CVFs Thematic Ambassador for Youth, took the floor and delivered a very powerful, vivid and moving address to the Presidency and Parties. In her speech, during which she held up a sign from the 'Payment Overdue' campaign, she wondered, “if you were young people like me, wouldn’t you have already agreed to save the planet?” Altering to the urgency of the matter, she pleaded, “please be so kind to listen to our request” which was about keeping 1.5 alive and delivering a L&D fund. She said that young people needed the help of the generation in power now and asked delegates to “be our heroes here in Sharm el-Sheikh.” Her speech was followed by immense applause and standing ovations from everyone, including the presidency. There was not much to add following this intervention, and the plenary closed after the last addess from Norway.
Today, I also attended another 350.org press conference to get a sense of where we stood in terms of the negotiations. The Finance Minister of Tuvalu, Seve Paeniu, talked about two critical issues: fossil fuels, and loss and damage. Regarding the first point, he said that the current positions of countries were not enough to keep 1.5 alive and highlighted the need to include all fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) as well as stronger language on a ban on expansion of new fossil fuel extraction in the cover text. In the context of loss and damage, Minister Paeniu welcomed the newest EU proposal and position on a 'loss and damage response fund' for the most vulnerable. However, he said, the agreement by Europe and others to set up a response fund would come with “certain conditions,” i.e., 1) contributions to that fund will need to be donor-based, not only in terms of the large emitters but also to include other donors (like high-income countries?); 2) existing funding arrangements need to be assessed to align them with the new focus on loss and damage. This work would need to be done by COP28. What I personally find problematic about the EU’s proposal is the wording around 'most vulnerable' countries. But we will see if and what sticks.
Lorraine Chiponda, representing the African Climate Movement-of-Movements, talked about the unfulfilled promises of COP27 for the people of Africa. She said that “African leaders ignored the issues of their own people,” offering a lot of “false solutions” and greenwashing, especially given the high presence of fossil fuel lobbyists at the conference. She also pointed out that the cover text “lacks ambition” and drew attention to the issue of gas in Africa and the increase in investments in gas in Africa which has already caused displacement, land destruction and water pollution in many communities. Given the lack of consideration to phase out gas and oil, her conclusion was that COP27 has “failed and has failed Africa.”
These sentiments of disappointment were shared by some protestors again today who gathered at various sites in the venue to express their concerns and voice their demands once more.
So, where do we stand in terms of negotiations? As the discussions are definitely moving 'fast and furious' now, it is hard to summarize the state of progress without it being out of date the next minute. Therefore, I recommend keeping an eye on Twitter and any live feeds from news outlets to get a sense of the latest developments!
When will you hear from me again? Well, it all depends on the speed of negotiations. Keep an eye out for my final post-COP entry and/or follow me on Twitter (and new: Mastodon!) for more updates!