The final document approved at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh saves the goal of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels, the major achievement of COP26 in Glasgow last year. The importance of the transition to renewable sources is underlined and the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels is hoped for. But the document calls only for the reduction of coal-fired electricity production with unabated emissions, not for its elimination. Most importantly, it says nothing about reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels, as several countries had called for. Cop27 recognizes that maintaining the 1.5 degree target requires a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2019. With current decarbonisation commitments, however, the emissions cut would be only 0.3% by 2030 compared to 2019. For these, the states that have not yet updated their decarbonization goals (NDC) are invited to do so by 2023.
“We need to drastically reduce emissions now, and that’s a question this COP has not answered,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the conclusion of the climate conference. Following this, the European Union said it was “disappointed” by the emissions deal. After long and difficult negotiations that dragged on far longer than expected, COP27 concluded at dawn on Sunday after adopting a hotly contested text on aid to poor countries affected by climate change, but with no new ambitions for gas reductions greenhouse.
After more than two weeks, the important United Nations climate conference ended more than a day behind schedule, making it one of the longest COPs in history. This edition was marked by the adoption of an emblematic resolution, described as historic by its promoters, on compensation for the damage caused by climate change already suffered by the poorest countries.
The issue of climate “loss and damage” in poor countries nearly derailed the conference, before being the subject of a last-minute compromise text that left many unanswered questions, but established the principle of creating a specific financial fund. “The losses and damages in vulnerable countries can no longer be ignored, even if some developed countries have chosen to ignore our suffering,” said Ugandan youth activist Vanessa Nakate.