The European Union said this Sunday that it was disappointed with the lack of ambition in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agreement approved by the 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change.
“What we have here is a very short step for the inhabitants of the planet. It does not provide enough additional efforts on the part of major emitters to increase and accelerate their emission reductions,” said Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, in a speech inflamed, in the final plenary session of COP27, after two weeks of conference, in Egypt.
The annual UN climate conference approved this Sunday an agreement that provides for the creation of a fund to finance climate damage suffered by “particularly vulnerable” countries, in a decision described as historic.
The resolution was unanimously adopted in plenary assembly, followed by thunderous applause, at the end of the annual UN climate conference.
The resolution emphasizes the “immediate need for new, additional, predictable and adequate financial resources to assist developing countries that are particularly vulnerable” to the “economic and non-economic” impacts of climate change.
Among these possible financing modalities is the creation of a “loss and damage response fund”, a demand of developing countries.
The modalities for implementing the fund will have to be drawn up by a special commission, to be adopted at the next COP28, at the end of 2023, in the United Arab Emirates.
The question of “loss and damage”, which was more than ever at the center of debate, after the devastating floods that recently hit Pakistan and Nigeria, almost made COP27 unfeasible.
This morning, delegates had approved the offset fund, but had not tackled the controversial issues such as the target to control rising temperatures, cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and gradual capping of fossil fuels.
At dawn, the European Union and other nations were opposing what they considered to be a setback in the Egyptian presidency agreement, threatening to sink the rest of the process.
The agreement was again revised.
“It’s not as strong as we’d like it to be, but it doesn’t go against” what was decided at last year’s UN climate conference, said Norwegian climate minister Espen Barth Eide.
The agreement includes a veiled reference to the benefits of natural gas as low-emission energy, despite many nations calling for a gradual reduction in the use of natural gas, which contributes to climate change.
This new agreement does not provide for a reduction in emissions, but it keeps alive the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Egyptian presidency had returned to proposals dating back to 2015, which mentioned a more flexible objective of two degrees.
The 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change began on November 6 and ended today in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt, bringing together more than 35,000 participants, including several country leaders, with around two thousand interventions on more than of 300 topics.