COP27: The final countdown - Day 2

Ahram Online , Friday 18 Nov 2022

Ahram Online is providing live updates of intense deliberations amid attempts by various parties to find a middle ground on contentious climate issues before the official end of the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh later Friday.

Security, right, walk through the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit venue as an attendee talks on their phone, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. AP


20:00 Ambassador Wael Abul-Magd, special representative of the COP27 president, said the conference’s presidency will issue its document on the conference on Saturday morning, state news agency MENA reported.

In statements on Friday, Abul-Magd said the COP27 presidency is looking to create a document that is agreed upon by all parties and that addresses climate challenges and desired goals.

Abul-Magd echoed COP27 President Sameh Shoukry’s remarks that the document should address efforts to achieve progress regarding climate finance and loss and damage issues.

19:20 Egypt signed partnership agreements and letters of intent with development partners worth around $7 billion for its Nexus on Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) programme for financing eco-friendly and green projects, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said in a Friday statement.

This is in addition to $3 billion for the country’s NWFE+ programme, which includes sustainable transport projects, Al-Mashat said as she met with Selwin Hart, the special adviser to the UN secretary-general on climate action.

Al-Mashat called on the UN to highlight the NWFE programme as an innovative national model for mobilising mixed finance to encourage the private sector and different financing mechanisms.

She added that such a model can be applied in developing countries and emerging markets.

16:30 “Unfortunately, we did not reach an expected result regarding climate finance,” said Brazil's Minister of the Environment Joaquim Leite.

The minister explained that Brazil has worked in conjunction with other countries so that developed nations and major polluters not only commit themselves, as they have done on previous occasions, but can allocate resources efficiently and in relevant volumes to developing nations — as is the case of Brazil.

“Brazil placed pressure together with the G77 + China, but so far, we have no news that the loss and damage fund will come out,” said the top diplomat, who heads the Brazilian delegation at COP27.

Leite also criticised Egypt's stance on this issue.

"The negotiation carried out by Egypt seems to have not been well conducted in articulation with other countries," he stated. As host of the event, Egypt shares the presidency of the COP with the secretary-general of the United Nations.

18:15 Talks are still deadlocked on main issues at the climate talks in Egypt, Harjeet Singh of Climate Action Network, an umbrella body of more than 1,000 environmental organisations, said on Friday.

There is a deadlock on two main issues; finance for loss and damage in countries vulnerable to climate change and on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Singh told the Associated Press.

The European Union came forward on Thursday to support the financing facility, “but it has put some strange conditions which are not in line with the principles of the Paris Agreement,” Singh said.

He singled out the US as the main opponent, blocking the climate compensation financing move proposed by the Group of 77 and China group, which has called for industrialised nations to foot the bill.

“We want the US to show sympathy and empathy towards people already suffering from the climate crisis by backing up this proposal,” Singh said.

“If the loss and damage fund is not established at the ongoing negotiations, we will call this COP a failure,” he asserted. 

18:00 A climate scientist urged negotiators at the United Nations climate conference to step up their efforts to achieve a deal on climate financing for vulnerable nations hit by climate change.

``This is no time for gains. This is no time to play politics,'' said Rachel Cleetus, policy director with the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

She said wealthy nations including oil-rich Saudi Arabia should show ``solidarity'' with people in vulnerable nations for climate change.

The funds, she said, are urgently needed because ``the poorest, most marginalized people in developing countries are facing these extreme impacts. They're losing lives and livelihoods. They're literally watching their homes get washed away.''

Cleetus said they were still many unsolved issues as the Egyptian presidency of the conference said it was taking over the talks in an attempt to reach a deal.

``We're waiting with bated breath and hope to see a good outcome,'' she said.

17:30 Egyptian diplomat Wael Aboulmagd, speaking for the chair of COP27, defended the host country's handling of the cover decision, an all-encompassing document that lays out the meeting's political goals, the Associated Press reported.

A 20-page-long first version that was released Thursday was criticised for being vague, confusing and bloated. This was followed by an updated version that was slimmed down to half the length and that was released Friday morning.

Aboulmagd said the first draft was “not a presidency position” but merely reflected the “incredibly diverse and divergent views” of the nearly 200 parties, or nations, attending the climate talks. “It couldn't be the product of any single author.”

He said the first draft was whittled down from 51 pages and was “intended to show everyone what everyone else was saying,” he said.

The updated document released on Friday “is our product,” Aboulmagd said, “that, again, I'll stress is the presidency document.”

He said he expects there will be “another iteration” following further feedback from delegations throughout the day. 

17:00 UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin proposed what he described as a “transformational idea” to scale up climate finance and investments, dubbed the “one percent for 1.5 percent proposal.”

Under the initiative, various multilateral development banks should extend concessional finance terms to low and low-middle income countries with one percent interest rate, a 10-year grace period, and a 20-year repayment period, Mohieldin said in a speech at the closing of the two-week conference.

“If this gets through, it could lead to a transformation in climate finance and investments in developing countries,” he noted.

16:00 Pakistan's environment minister, whose country represents a group of dozens of developing states, pushed back against western proposals that tie aid for vulnerable nations hit by climate change to contributions by emerging economies and tougher emissions rules.

Sherry Rehman told delegates at the U.N. climate talks in Egypt on Friday that her group, known as `G77 and China,' believes rival proposals to their own ``are not tenable.''

Still, she indicated that the G77 and China group was working to adjust its proposal, which currently would require only industrialized countries such as the United States and those in Europe to pay into the so-called loss and damage fund.

15:30 A top European Union negotiator dealing with the thorny issue of `loss and damage' payments for poor nations suffering climate catastrophes says the 27-nation bloc wants to make sure any money goes to the most vulnerable, while as many countries and companies as possible contribute.

Eamonn Ryan, who is Ireland's environment minister, said Friday that a deal at this year's U.N. climate talks in Egypt also needs to include a commitment to steeper emissions cuts so that fewer disasters happen in the first place.

``That's our three asks,'' Ryan told The Associated Press. ``Protect the most vulnerable countries, broaden the donor base and do the business mitigation at the same time. I hope we can get agreement on that.''

15:00 Sameh Shoukry, the COP27 president, said that efforts are currently underway to achieve the goals of all parties participating in the conference, assuring that the outcomes of the Sharm El-Sheikh talks will be constructive, according to Egyptian state news agency MENA.

Shoukry added that the extension of the summit until Saturday is in response to requests from different parties.

13:30 Egypt’s COP27 presidency announced on Friday shortly after 13:30 Cairo Local Time that the COP27 talks have been extended until Saturday.

Sameh Shoukry, the summit president and Egypt’s foreign minister, urged extra efforts, saying “today we need to shift gears again, time is not on our side." 

"I remain committed to bringing this conference to a close tomorrow in an orderly manner," Shoukry told the delegates in a session today. 

12:45 Antigua and Barbuda's Minister of the Environment Molwyn Joseph, who spoke on behalf of small island states, said there are parts of the EU's offer for a loss and damage fund that need “adjusting.”

“We will wait until we meet bilaterally to discuss the areas of concern,” the AP cited Joseph as adding.

Joseph met Friday with German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock for talks on operationalising loss and damage financing. He will also hold separate talks later with China and the United States.

“We need an agreement at COP right now. That is what we need, an agreement among all the parties.”

He noted that there is a “strong possibility” to achieve an agreement on loss and damage funding by Saturday.

12:30 Frans Timmermans, the EU climate chief, said he explained the EU proposal for a loss and damage fund to US delegates who were "very interested in seeing" the need to cut emissions to reach the 1.5 °C target be reflected in the conclusions, according to a report by AFP. However, no comment has been made so far by the US.

The US, which had opposed a loss and damage mechanism in the past over concerns about liability, has said it was willing to discuss the issue.

12:20 Dozens of nations spearheaded by island nation Vanuatu say they will seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on countries' legal obligations to protect people who suffer from the impacts of climate change.

Vulnerable nations and other states, including New Zealand and the Alliance of Small Island States, supported the move.

``AOSIS will benefit greatly from this initiative ... The moment of this advisory legal opinion is now,`` said Antigua and Barbuda's environment minister Molwyn Joseph, who spoke on behalf of small island sates.

Vanuatu environment and climate minister Ralph Regenvavu welcomed the growing coalition of nations in support of the move.

Regenvavu said there was renewed hope following an EU proposal late Thursday night for a loss and damage fund.

``Overnight circumstances changed and we hope for a loss and damage deal today,'' he said. ``We are happy with the progress made so far.''

12:00 German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Friday morning that the EU's proposal late Thursday on a fund for vulnerable countries suffering the impacts of climate change was ``a big step'' in UN climate talks in Egypt.

Asked whether China will participate in such a loss and damage fund, Baerbock replied: “We are arguing massively for it.”

But Baerbock did not think an agreement would be reached quickly.

“I packed my suitcase for the whole weekend,” she told German television.

11:00 EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said Friday that a proposal made by the bloc on funding for loss and damage and mitigation is ``a final offer'' that seeks to ``find a compromise'' between nations as negotiators seek a way forward at the UN climate talks in Egypt.

04:00 The UNFCCC released a new COP27 draft deal at 03:30 Cairo Local Time.

The draft deal reaffirmed the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

However, the draft did not include a proposed solution to the contentious issue of financing loss and damage as demanded by a number of developing countries in Asia and Africa as well as civil society groups.

The text in the draft welcomed placing the issue of loss and damage for the first time on the COP agend but left a (placeholder funding arrangement responding to loss and damage). 

03:15 At 03:00 Cairo Local Time, the EU put forward a new proposal to create a fund for responding to loss and damage as well as to strengthen efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 °C and speed up the process of phasing out of coal.

The Vice President of the European Union Commission Frans Timmermans said in a statement that this proposed fund would support the most vulnerable nations.

Timmermans added that such fund would need a broad financial donor base as part of a mosaic of solutions that includes, for example, reform of multilateral development banks.

To Know

On Thursday night, COP27 President Sameh Shoukry said said that extra efforts are needed in the remaining hours of the 27th session of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP) to respond to the urgent and legitimate demand for adequate funding set up for loss and damage.

In a press conference held at the COP27 with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Shoukry said that despite the progress achieved in the past few days on a large number of issues, it has become clear at this late stage that there were still a number of issues “where progress remains lacking with persisting divergent views amongst the parties."

The foremost among these issues, Shoukry said, is setting up adequate funding for loss and damage.

“Ambitious outcomes on finance have not yet materialised, and loss and damage parties are shying away from taking the difficult political decisions,” he said.

Meanhile, Guterres appealed to world leaders to find a solution and reach an agreement on financing loss and damage.

 "We are at crunch time in the negotiations. COP27 is scheduled to close in 24 hours – and the parties remain divided on a number of significant issues."

"There is clearly a breakdown in trust between North and South, and between developed and emerging economies. This is no time for finger pointing. The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction," he said.

Day 12, 18 November - Solutions Day

10:00 - 13:00 Closing Plenary meetings and meetings of groups of the Convention and Protocol bodies 




COP27, Day 1: Loss and damage funding introduced as an agenda item (Click here).

COP27, Day 2: Sisi urges world leaders to move to concrete action on climate (Click here).

COP27, DAY 3: President launches the 'Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda' (Click here).

COP27, Day 4: Climate finance in a polycrisis era (Click here).

COP27, Day 5: Science and Future Generations Day (Click here).

COP27, Day 6: Decarbonisation challenge (Click here).

COP27, Day 7: Adaptation and Agriculture (Click here).

COP27, Day 8: Gender & Water Day (Click here).

COP27, Day 9: Civil society & Energy (Click here).

COP27, Day 10: Biodiversity (Click here).

COP27, Day 11: The final countdown - Day 1 (Click here).

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