The COP27 summit has missed an opportunity with fossil fuels

The COP27 summit has missed an opportunity with fossil fuels

Fossil fuel producers benefited from a comprehensive deal in Egypt at COP27 climate talks, senior government officials said, weighing on their influence in rushed final negotiations and frustrating those hoping for a more ambitious outcome. .

Senior officials said host Egypt, a natural gas exporter and frequent recipient of funds from Gulf oil producers, was partly responsible, although the war in Ukraine and the subsequent European energy crisis also had an impact. Egyptian spokesmen have said that their priority was to provide an atmosphere conducive to negotiations and act as a neutral mediator.

Fossil fuel producers benefited from comprehensive treatment


Young activists demand to maintain policies that limit warming to 1.5 degrees at the UN Climate Summit COP27


The presidency denied that fossil fuel producers had received favorable treatment. “The final decision of COP27 was a compilation of contributions reached by consensus from all parties to the UNFCCC, which were consulted,” he said in a statement, referring to the almost 200 countries participating in the summit under the Framework Convention on the UN on Climate Change.

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Demands from environmental groups and scientists for governments and companies to keep oil and gas underground have been less forceful this year as European countries have rushed to substitute Russian gas.

The COP27 meeting produced mixed results, with a hard-fought agreement on a fund for countries hardest hit by climate change welcomed by vulnerable nations, but an entry decision some officials said lacked ambition due to to the influence of fossil fuel producers. The entry decision summarizes the main outcomes of the summit.

low emission energy


Former US Vice President Al Gore speaks during a session at the COP27 UN Climate Summit, November 9, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Peter Dejong/AP

The COP27 agreements are in line with what was agreed at last year’s Glasgow meeting to accelerate “efforts towards phasing out coal power and removing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”, rather than The progressive elimination of fossil fuels should be reinforced, as some countries had promoted.

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A group of activists during the summit in Egypt

A new reference to “low emission and renewable energy” was also included. The Egyptian presidency said the language reflected part of the “just transition” embraced by all parties, which includes the use of hydrogen and nuclear power to reduce emissions. Egyptian COP27 President Sameh Shoukry acknowledged that there had been “disappointment in certain quarters” but told reporters after the deal that “a single party cannot achieve its full ambition, and this does not detract from what is has reached”.

For some, the Egyptian presidency had achieved a satisfactory agreement by managing to create a loss and damage fund. The idea had been resisted for years by some of the largest emitters, such as the United States and Europe, concerned about the scope of the liabilities.

The COP27 agreements are in line with what was agreed in Glasgow

The COP27 banner is seen in the Green Zone at the UN climate summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

The COP27 banner is seen in the Green Zone at the UN climate summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

REUTERS/Emilie Madi/File Photo

The loss and damage fund was “what we have wanted for a long time, and for it to be resolved at a COP hosted by a developing country is in itself a great victory because it shows their diplomatic muscle,” said Selamawit Wubet, adviser to a group of countries highly vulnerable to climate change.

However, climate activists and some delegates said that little progress had been made on most other issues, arguing that the tone had been set by fossil fuel producers, who played a more public and prominent role in Sharm el-Talk. Sheikh than in previous summits.

A “difficult transition”

SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT - NOVEMBER 11: Young protesters demanding climate reparations payment from rich countries to poor countries impacted by climate loss and damage march at the conference venue during the UNFCCC COP27 climate conference on November 11, 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.  The conference is bringing together political leaders and representatives from 190 countries to discuss climate-related topics including climate change adaptation, climate finance, decarbonisation, agriculture and biodiversity.  The conference is running from November 6-18.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Young protesters demanding payment of climate reparations from rich countries to poor countries affected by climate loss and damage

Sean Gallup/Getty

“It has now become quite clear that the transition away from fossil fuels is going to be difficult,” Pakistan’s UN ambassador Munir Akram said, citing the impact of the war in Ukraine.

In the last 24 hours, the COP presidency held a meeting in which calls by negotiators from countries and groups, including Switzerland, the United States, Latin America and small island states, for Egypt to include language initially proposed by India to phase out all fossil fuels, according to the representatives.

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People demonstrate at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of the same name, during the COP27 climate conference on Novmeber 15, 2022. (Photo by Joseph EID / AFP)

At least 80 countries supported that text, they said. Some negotiators expressed concern that Egypt has advanced its proposal without full consultation, as major emitters and producers have positioned themselves against more ambitious targets to limit the use of fossil fuels. Egypt will occupy the presidency of the COP until it hands over the baton to the United Arab Emirates, an ally and a large producer of hydrocarbons, in a little less than a year.

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