Women remain underrepresented in climate governance and decision-making structures. The Gender Thematic Day was aimed at bringing the issue to the forefront and providing a platform to look into sound policies, best practices, and effective solutions. The sessions of the day shared success stories from around the world with a view of promoting gender-sensitive and highly responsive policies, strategies, and actions.
During the opening session for the Day, the African Women’s Climate Adaptive Priorities (AWCAP) initiative was announced and launched by the President of the National Council of Women of Egypt, Dr Maya Morsy. This initiative stems from a key insight that in the wake of disasters, ~80% of women and children are in need of assistance, while poor women in rural areas are 14 times more likely to die during a natural disaster.
Women and Climate Change Finance at COP27 considered the role of women in society and business and how addressing inequalities could lead to different outcomes when it comes to climate finance, thus the need for ensuring sufficient, appropriate and accessible climate finance that is sensitive and responsive to the needs and priorities of women is required.
COP27 Presidency Launches AWARe Initiative to Address Water Security as Part of Climate Change Adaptation
Egypt’s COP27 Presidency, in partnership with World Meteorological Organization (WMO), launched AWARe (Action on Water Adaptation or Resilience), an initiative that will champion inclusive cooperation to address water related challenges and solutions across climate change adaptation. AWARe aims at contributing to a successful outcome at the 2023 UN Conference on Water and it brings together the Water and Climate Coalition, the Adaptation Action Coalition as well as the Marrakesh Partnership Climate Action Pathway Water towards scaling up adaptation action.
COP27 President H.E. Mr. Sameh Shoukry stated: “Increasing water demand from a growing population and variable supply does not make for sound economics. As we work to design and implement solutions across adaptation, water management must feature prominently in the discussions and actions. Water is life and is vital to sustaining lives and livelihoods. Through the AWARe initiative we are bringing together stakeholders to alleviate the challenges faced by the world’s vulnerable communities and ecosystems.”
AWARe focus on three priorities for action:
- Decrease water losses worldwide and improve water supply.
- Propose and support implementing mutually agreed policy and methods for cooperative water-related adaptation action and its co-benefits.
- Promote cooperation and interlinkages between water and climate action in order to achieve Agenda 2030, in particular SDG 6.
Europe’s Energy Crisis Complicates COP for Key Climate Player
The European Union has long been one of climate diplomacy’s most important players. The bloc has arguably gone further than any other large emitter in actually implementing the goal of reaching climate neutrality by the middle of the century. In just the last month, it agreed on crucial bits of its landmark green deal regulation, including phasing out new combustion engines by 2035.
But at this year’s COP27 summit, the EU’s role as a climate vanguard has been complicated by the region’s energy crisis and the need to replace Russian gas supplies as quickly as possible. Europe’s member states have increased consumption of coal, the most harmful fossil fuel, and sought new gas supply contracts in the US, the Middle East and Africa, raising concern that it will lock-in fossil fuel production for decades to come. When German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh last week, campaigners accused him of “energy colonialism” after looking for gas from Senegal.
“We are not just cutting our dependency on Russian fossil fuels — that is good, but not good enough — but we are massively accelerating the roll-out of renewables,” Ursula von der Leyen, Commission President, told delegates in Sharm el-Sheikh last week. “The global fossil fuel crisis must be a game changer.”
The Commission has called to boost its renewable and energy efficiency targets by the end of the decade and proposed plans to drastically cut permitting times for wind and solar, which can take as long as a decade. The test will be whether new direction from the top filters down into Europe’s 27 member states. As this year’s COP enters its second week and the serious horse-trading to get an agreement everyone can sign, the EU delegation will feel added pressure to play a constructive role.
EU, UK Join India’s COP27 Push for Tough Pledge on Fossil Fuels
India’s push to add a call for the phase down of all fossil fuels into the agreement at COP27 gained momentum as the European Union, small island states and the UK are expected to support the move.
The coalition of some of the world’s biggest emitters — as well as the Alliance of Small Island States, some of countries hit hardest by climate change — will put pressure on the Egyptian presidency of the summit to include the language in the first draft of its cover decision, which is expected early this week. It is likely to face heavy push back from oil and gas producers as well as China. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, H.E. Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said in an interview last week that the kingdom would be very unlikely to support an agreement that included the phase down of oil.
Indian negotiators led the push for a decision on phasing down all fossil fuels on Saturday. While its strategy stems largely from the coal-dependent country’s desire to not be singled out for its dependence on dirty fossil fuel, others are seeing it as a opportunity to push for more ambition.
Ministers discuss USD 100 billion climate finance goal
The Presidency convened the fifth High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Long-Term Climate Finance on the progress and fulfillment of the goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020, in the context of meaningful mitigation action and transparency on implementation.
This round-table dialogue follows previous dialogues at COP20, COP22, COP24, and COP26.
The HLMD will be informed by the fifth Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flow and the report on progress towards achieving the goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by the Standing Committee on Finance.
COP27 President calls for intensifying efforts to mitigate climate change impact
Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of COP27, Sameh Shoukry, participated on Monday in the ministerial roundtable on mitigating the effects of climate change before 2030, with the participation of Simon Steel, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and delegations of UNFCCC member states.
In this regard, Shoukry highlighted the importance of mitigating the effects of climate change, in light of the international scientific reports indicating the need to move quickly in this regard to maintain global temperatures at safe rates.
In this regard, he noted the content of the IPCC report on greenhouse gas emissions, which highlights the importance of sending a message through COP27 that reflects the political will of Parties to strengthen their efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change by increasing their efforts to reduce emissions and providing clear guarantees in this regard, in a manner that contributes to the fulfillment of the provisions of the Paris Agreement.
Leaders Boost Sustainable Forest Management
Important progress on sustainable forest management and conservation has been made at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh with the launch of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), which aims to unite action by governments, businesses and community leaders.
The Partnership aims to boost action to implement a commitment made by over 140 countries at COP26 in Glasgow last year to halt forest loss and land degradation by 2030 and to convert ambition into results on the ground. Only by stepping up efforts to reduce deforestation and implementing other mitigation activities in the forest sector can the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels be reached. Twenty-seven countries, representing over 60% of global GDP and 33% of the world’s forests, have already joined the new partnership and are committed to leading by example one or more of the FCLP’s action areas. These include mobilizing public and donor finance to support implementation, supporting Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ initiatives, and incentivizing the conservation of high-integrity forests.
“This alliance is an opportunity to implement solutions that reduce deforestation, that increase forest restoration and strengthen the livelihoods of people living in forest areas,” said Gustavo Manrique Miranda, Minister of the Environment and Water, Ecuador.
The renewed political and financial commitment towards forest climate action shown at COP27 is creating new momentum for REDD+. REDD+ provides a holistic framework for forest climate action, including providing results-based payments for emission reductions achieved in the forestry sector.
Transparency and Accountability Underpin Effective Climate Action
Two weeks of transparency events kicked off at COP27 in Egypt last week under the banner “Together4Transparency”. With discussions ranging from the need for reliable greenhouse gas emissions estimates accessible to all to the role, that information plays in reducing risks and uncertainties in order to attract financial support for action, the series of events address the full range of actors and issues related to transparency. “Together4Transparency” aims to unite stakeholders involved in supporting the transition toward the Enhanced Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement.
Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad noted: “The health of our planet – and life as we know it – depends on each of us doing our part to address the climate emergency and moving us closer to net-zero emissions by 2050. We must act now to achieve results and ensure that promises made are promises kept. But to ensure that, we need to have reliable climate data and information. The reporting, review and consideration of this climate data and information is referred to as ‘transparency’. Without it, we are left to act blindly, without knowledge of our circumstances and our impacts. This is why transparency is at the very core of the Paris Agreement, and everything we do here.”
Global Climate Ambassador and CEO of the Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator Racquel Moses defined transparency as “a carrot, not a stick”. In her view, transparency challenges climate actors to do more, to do better, and in identifying leaders, it helps us all to all learn from those who are blazing the trail. In this way, Moses says transparency is both a “tool and an opportunity, citing examples of how transparent data have helped to guide Jamaica’s energy sector transformation, Barbados’s adoption of solar water heaters, and Bermuda’s advances in water security.