At Cop27 we enter the heart of the negotiations. Three days after the official conclusion of the climate conference (but the Cops have accustomed us to extra time) the heads of the various delegations are making their moves to reach an agreement.
The executive vice president of the European Commission opened the dance Frans Timmermans, who, first in the plenary and then in the press conference, gave two pieces of news. The first: the European Union can cut its emissions by 57% by 2030, two points more than the target that Brussels had set itself. “We are not making any new commitments,” Timmermans specified. “However, we have verified that if all European countries keep their promises, the cut in CO2 will be 57%”. This is good news, although it remains to be seen how faithful European countries will be in applying the Fit for 55 plan. Not only that: “The 2-point increase from 55% to 57% of the commitment to reduce emissions is very far from the 65% which is the right amount on which the EU should commit to globally limiting the temperature to 1, 5°C,” he says Clare Martinelli by Climate Action Now Europe.
The other piece of news given by Timmermans is that according to the EU delegation at the moment there are no conditions for reaching an agreement on the Loss and damage at Cop27.
The compensation, by rich countries, for “losses” and “damages” that the climate inflicts on those in the developing world, is the crucial theme of this COP. The Egyptian presidency has strongly wanted that alongside the traditional pillars of climate finance (the mitigation and theadaptation) here in Sharm El-Sheikh we were also speaking formally of loss and damage. Result obtained. And yet, a few days after the conclusion, the negotiations seem to be on the high seas, especially after Timmermans’ words. The vice-president of the commission denied the European countries are divided on the loss and damage and that this is the basis of his skepticism about a possible deal. But it is known that the Swedenfor example, is against any fund form or facility for compensation for climate damage to developing countries. Then there are those among the observers who do not interpret the EU position as a form of obstructionism to the agreement, but only as a willingness to stall and see what the Anglo-Saxon countries will do.
Indeed, the role of the United States seems to have strengthened after yesterday’s meeting between Joe Biden and the Chinese president Xi Jinpingin Bali for the G20. The resumption of dialogue, including on the climate, between the two superpowers has put the US special envoy back on track John Kerry: his offices at Cop27 in the last few hours have been the destination of a coming and going of delegations, including the Italian one led by the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin. The minister left the 40-minute meeting satisfied: “He went very well”. But he didn’t go into the technical details discussed between the two delegations. Certainly, however, Pichetto Fratin admits, Kerry, “asked where we are with the growth of renewables to reduce gas“. The minister somehow justified the Italian delays: “With Kerry I represented the beauty of Italy, with its ancient villages, and therefore the difficulty of finding the balance between cultural beauties and new energies”. , “once the balance point has been found with the intermediate bodies representing the territories, our country can be ready”. green light for wind and photovoltaic plants. “I hope to be able to speed up the authorization times and to soon reach the 20 gigawatts a year hoped for by Elettricità Futura (the Confindustria association that brings together energy companies, ed)”.
With Kerry there was also talk of gas, given that the United States, while pushing towards the decarbonization, are one of the possible LNG suppliers for Italy. “Yes, we also mentioned gas and regasification plants, but above all the need to implement renewables in a strong way”, reiterated Pichetto Fratin. The Minister of the Environment did not say too much about the negotiations under way at Cop27 and in particular on the loss and damage: “Our position, which I saw appreciated by Kerry, is the one I expressed yesterday with in 27 EU ministers: a path made up of a sum of interventions, to be shared”.
Therefore, if on the one hand Europe is at the window and waits to see what happens, on the other the USA is regaining leadership in the climate negotiations and will probably try to unblock the impasse on loss and damage. The next 48 hours will be decisive. Last night the Egyptian presidency of Cop27 circulated a first draft of the final document, more a list of themes than solutions: 1.5°C warming goal, commitment to renewable energy, emphasis on doubling adaptation money to $40 billion, just to name a few. The aim is to feed it to the delegations to digest it and sharpen their weapons for the final negotiation. A deadline has been set for the items on the agenda, which will have to reach the final text stage by Wednesday before being considered by ministers.
Finally, there is the question ofexit from fossil fuels. Almost provocatively, India, protagonist at the Cop26 in Glasgow of a tug of war on the wording in the paragraph relating to coal (it managed to use phasing down, gradual reduction, instead of phasing out, gradual exit) asked that the gradual reduction of all fossil fuels, therefore also gas and oil, be put on paper in the final document. “I totally agree,” Timmermans replied when asked on the matter. “Provided that the extension to all fossils does not call into question the results achieved in Glasgow last year”.