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The UN world climate conference, whose negotiations are slipping notably on financing issues for poor countries, will be extended until Saturday, its Egyptian president Sameh Choukri announced on Friday.
Impasse in the talks, deadlock on financing… The COP27 will play the extensions until Saturday, November 19, for final negotiations in order to break the impasse on the financing by the rich countries of the climate damage already suffered by poor countries, and on the reaffirmation of climate ambitions.
“I am still concerned about the number of unresolved issues, including on finance, mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, editor’s note), loss and damage”, damage already caused by climate change, has launched on Friday to the delegates gathered in plenary the Egyptian president of the conference on the climate, Sameh Choukri.
The Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs has therefore announced the extension of the COP, which was to end on Friday, to Saturday. He called on the parties to “step up a gear” and “work together to resolve these remaining issues as quickly as possible.”
The work of the conference, which opened on November 6 in Sharm el-Sheikh (east), has come up against the same questions for several days, and on condition of anonymity, delegates have multiplied their criticisms of the conduct of the negotiations by the presidency.
But on at least one of the files, that of “losses and damage”, a way out seemed to be emerging.
“Loss and Damage Response Fund”
The year 2022 illustrated the multiplication of these disasters linked to climate change – floods, droughts affecting crops or mega-fires.
Rich countries had been very reluctant to the idea of specific funding for years, but late Thursday the European Union made an overture.
The EU has accepted the principle of a “loss and damage response fund”, with conditions, including that it be reserved for the “most vulnerable” and have a “broad contributor base”. In other words, emerging countries with substantial resources like China.
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The Europeans, supported by other groups, are at the same time demanding the reaffirmation of strong objectives in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions aimed at limiting global warming.
A similar option appears in a draft resolution circulated late Thursday evening by the “facilitators” of this file.
Option deemed acceptable Friday “with some changes” by the Pakistani Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, president of the powerful G77 + China negotiating group.
It remains to know the position of the United States, first economic power and second world polluter, until now opposed to the idea of a specific fund.
As well as that of China, the first polluter and second economic power.
“It’s the hour of truth”
“It’s the moment of truth,” Rachel Cleetus, chief economist of the American NGO Union of Concerned Scientists, told AFP. “China and the United States can unblock this file in the last 24 hours”.
“This is our final offer”, insisted Friday morning the vice-president of the European commission Frans Timmermans. “In any negotiation, if you take steps forward and the other side doesn’t move, at some point it’s over.”
All these financial discussions take place in a context of great mistrust, the rich countries having never kept a commitment of 2009 to increase to 100 billion dollars per year the financing intended for developing countries for the adaptation to climate change and reducing emissions.
>> To read again: “What will be the use of the climate conference which opens in Egypt?”
The Egyptian presidency also published a new draft final text on Friday morning.
On another delicate chapter, the increased reduction of emissions responsible for global warming, the new text reaffirms the resolution “to continue efforts to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.5°C”, clearly referring to the objectives of the Paris.
A cornerstone of the fight against climate change, this 2015 agreement aims to limit global warming “well below 2°C” compared to the pre-industrial era, and if possible to 1.5°C .
But the current commitments of the various countries are far from allowing this objective to be met. According to UN analyses, they make it possible at best to limit global warming to 2.4°C by the end of the century.
On the energy side, the text reaffirms the need to reduce the use of coal without CO2 capture systems and tackles “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.