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Stakeout: António Guterres, UN Secretary-General and Sameh Shoukry, COP27 President demand negotiators step up

Sameh Shoukry, COP27 President and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres targeted comments at negotiators, although they did not identify the blockers in negotiations. 

According to Sameh Shoukry, the items of contention are “The Mitigation Work Program (MWP) is yet to reach the desired outcome, Adaptation is still held back by procedural matters, ambitious outcomes on finance have not yet materialised. And on Loss and Damage Parties are shying away from taking the difficult political decisions.”

Add to this the cover decision of COP has yet to include any ambition, such as the request by India to change the phasedown of coal statement from COP26 to being a Phaseout of all Fossil Fuels.

Watch them both trying to shame the negotiators in stepping up, compromise to deliver climate ambition especially on Loss and Damage Finance at this COP.

See also Side-event at the bottom of this post: Practical Action, NYU, Germanwatch, UCS: To many the climate negotiations appear to be stuck, how do we unlock progress on Loss and Damage?

Sameh Shoukry, COP27 President outlines that on some issues there has been progress but on many issues there is divergence with time almost at the end.

“While progress has been achieved on a wide range of issues, it is evidently clear that at this late stage of the COP27, there is still a number of issues where progress remains lacking with persisting divergent views amongst Parties.

“On the 7th and 8th of November World Leaders descended on this venue and expressed unequivicol support to the global effort to tackle climate change and adapt to its impacts..Reaffirming their countries steadfast commitment and heightened political will to the issue, and making pledges of further commitments to enhance climate response. This political will needs to find its way fully to the negotiating rooms.

“Yesterday and today I have been attending the consultations amongst Parties and have been actively involved in direct discussions with all Parties on the various issues under consideration. While some of the discussions were constructive and positive, others did not reflect the expected recognition of the need to move collectively to address the gravity and urgency of the climate crisis.

“The Mitigation Work Program (MWP) is yet to reach the desired outcome, Adaptation is still held back by procedural matters, ambitious outcomes on finance have not yet materialised. And on Loss and Damage Parties are shying away from taking the difficult political decisions.

“The Secretary General and I discussed the current status of matters relating to funding arrangements responding to Loss and Damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change. I believe extra efforts need to be exerted by all Parties to ensure an agreement on this matter. One that would provide a basis for us to effectively respond to the urgent and legitimate demand for an adequate funding setup for Loss and Damage at the earliest.

“We underscored the urgency of the ongoing climate crisis by reiterating what was highlighted by his excellency President Al-Sissi at the opening ceremony of the climate implementation summit on October 7, and I quote…”The world has become a stage for continuing running show of human misery and pain. This needs to end now, not tomorrow. “

On our part, the COP27 Presidency is working around the clock and with the facilitating ministers to ensure a timely conclusion of all issues at hand. I urge all parties to go the extra mile, to take the necessary steps, to reach the much needed conclusions and agreements. The world is waiting for us to demonstrate the seriousness by which we tackle this matter. And as a community of nations we must live up to those expectations.

“I thank you”

UN Secretary General has just arrived from the G20 Bali

“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 has been clearly, in the past times, a breakdown in trust between north and south, and between Developed and Emerging economies. But this is no time for fingerpointing.The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction.

“I am here to appeal to all Parties to rise to this moment and to the greatest challenge humanity is facing. The world is watching and there is a simple message to all of us: stand and deliver. Deliver the kind of meaningful climate action that people and planet so desperately need.

“Global emissions are at their highest level in history and rising. Climate impacts are decimating economies and societies and growing.

“And we know what we need to do and we have the tools and resources to get it done.

“So I appeal to the Parties to act in three areas. First, the most effective way to build trust is finding an ambitious and credible agreement on Loss and Damage and financial support to developing countries. The time for talking on Loss and Damage finance is over. We need action. No one can deny the scale of Loss and Damage we see around the globe. The world is burning, and drowning before our eyes. I urge all parties ensure that they see it and get it. Send a clear signal that the voices on the frontlines of the climate crisis are finally being heard. Reflect the urgency, scale and the enormity of the challenge faced by so many developing countries.

“We cannot continue to deny climate justice to those who have contributed least to the climate crisis and are getting hurt the most. Now is the moment for solidarity.

Second, I appeal to all Parties to forcefully address the huge emissions gap. The 1.5 target is not simply about keeping the goal alive, its about keeping people alive. I see the will to keep to the 1.5 goal, but we must ensure the commitment is evident in the COP27 outcome.

“Fossil fuel expansion is hijacking humanity. The hope of meeting the 1.5 target requires a stretch change in emissions reductions. We cannot close the emissions gap without an acceleration in the deployment of renewables. The Just Energy Transition partnership is an important pathway to accelerate out of coal and the scaling up of renewables. But this effort must be expanded.

“More bradly, we need to keep pushing for a climate solidarity pact. A Pact with developed countries taking the lead in reducing emissions, and a pact to mobilise together financial institutions, private sector and technological support for emerging economies to accelerate their transition to renewable energy. This is essential to keep to the 1.5 degree goal within reach. 

“Renewables are the exit ramp from the climate hell highway

“So the Parties must tackle the crucial question of finance..That means the delivery of $100 billion US dollars in climate finance for developing countries, clarity on the doubling of adaptation finance for the delivery of a credible  roadmap. And it means acting on the consensus of multilateral development banks and international financial institutions. Their business model needs to change to accept more risk and to leverage private finance for developing countries at reasonable cost for climate action. They must provide the support that developing countries need to embark upon a renewable energy climate resilient pathway.

“Dear members of the media. We must have great solutions in front of us to repond to respond to Loss and Damage, to close the Emissions Gap, and to deliver on finance.

“The climate clock is ticking, and trust keeps evolving. The Parties at COP27 have a chance to make a difference here and now and I urge them to act now and act quickly.

“Thankyou”

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As Loss and Damage is key issue to resolve, here is a discussion on the issue.

Practical Action, NYU, Germanwatch, UCS: To many the climate negotiations appear to be stuck, how do we unlock progress on Loss and Damage?

This session will bring together representatives from climate impacted communities, key negotiators from climate vulnerable countries and climate lawyers to deliberate on how to make progress on Loss and Damage in the negotiations. What can be done to accelerate action under the Paris Agreement?

Speakers: Laura Schafer (German Watch) Arpitha Kodiveri (CLX) Hafij Khan (Bangladesh) TBC [Climate Negotiator from St Lucia, Caribbean] Moderator Colin McQuistan (Practical Action)

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