Alexander Saier, U.N. Climate Change, left, sits with Wael Aboulmagd, head of the Egyptian delegation, during a session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo: AP
The issue of "loss and damage" has been inching its way toward the heart of the multilateral climate agenda for decades, but only this year made it formally onto the negotiating table as the battle lines between rich polluting nations and vulnerable developing countries harden.
The need for such "loss and damage" financing is urgent and immediate according to the largest negotiating bloc at the conference.
The draft obtained by Al-Ahram on Tuesday includes a summary of all the topics discussed by the 190 countires participating in the conference.
The topics were organised according to 9 axes and a list was made of the points on which participating countries have agreed so far.
Under the title of "losses and damages", which the conference presidency succeeded in including on the agenda of negotiations, there was agreement on 3 points. First, that there was an urgent need to discuss the matter. Second, that arrangements or mechanisms for financing must be established. Third, that participating countries and funding agencies should exert more effort to support the implementation of the mechanism of financing losses and damages.
An additional section was then inserted that allows the adding of further recommendations on the matter and that underscores the importance of reaching outputs and results with regards to "losses and damages".
It is worth noting that the phrase ‘demanding access to outputs’ kept coming up under every axis related to climate economy, particularly on adaptation and mitigation, transparency and accountability, technical support, and capacity building and financing. This indicates that there has been no agreement until yesterday on any of the files discussed under any of the axes related to climate economy.
During the press conference, Ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, special representative of the COP27 president, stated that the meetings to draft the final statement have already started.
He added that these meetings will continue during the remaining days of the conference with direct support from the conference presidency and from the ministers assigned to facilitate the outstanding or controversial issues.
He explained that reaching that draft came after extensive meetings in the presence of all countries who voiced their opinions and points of agreement and divergence.
Aboulmagd said that some issues still needed more time to negotiate and that the presidency of the conference has assigned a number of qualified ministers from developed and developing countries to lead the negotiation tracks in the coming days.
“We hope that the countries will reach results consistent with the climate repercussions and the need for implementation measures,” he added.
When asked about the reason for excluding from the suggested draft India's recommendation to phase out fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources, Aboulmagd said that none of the proposals and recommendations were excluded.
The conference presidency, he said, had negotiated an enormous number of recommendations and listened to all opinions to formulate a final statement.
He stressed that there was still room for adding or deleting some recommendations based on the results of the ensuing discussions.
Several questions were also raised about gas exports and their impact on domestic energy consumption and on the recently announced renewable energy projects in Egypt. Ambassador Aboulmagd explained that Egypt is committed to reducing carbon emissions and that the projects that have been launched will be implemented to increase dependence on renewable energy sources in accordance with Egypt's Vision 2030.
He said that the country hoped to launch more green initiatives which will contribute to increasing the pace of mitigation and adaptation projects to support the water, energy and food production sectors.