The 27th edition is already a week away United Nations Conference of the Parties to Climate Change (COP27)and the most important negotiations on critical issues are about to begin.
Fingers are crossed for the more than 50,000 attendees of the Egyptian summit as they all look forward to how the second week, which will be the week of negotiations, turns out.
Like all previous COPs, COP27 began with an opening plenary ceremony on Sunday, November 6, where the chairman of the summit, Sameh Shoukry, was officially announced by his predecessor, Alok Sharma.
This was followed by a two-day summit of world leaders with the theme: “Climate Action Summit”. It hosted more than 100 heads of state and government who spoke about climate change, what their countries wanted to do about it, or the challenges they are facing as the effects of climate change intensify.
In two days of intensive engagement between these leaders, issues of food security, innovative finance, just transition, investing in the future of energy (green hydrogen, climate change and the sustainability of vulnerable communities) and water security took center stage. The six panel discussions presented at the high-level event ended on Tuesday.
Then, as in previous COPs, the rest of the days will focus on issues such as finance, science, youth and future generations, decarbonisation, adaptation and agriculture, gender, water, civil society, energy, biodiversity and solutions.
Meanwhile, politicians and business leaders have stepped up to announce new commitments, coalitions and projects this first week with numerous side events in beautifully decorated pavilions in the blue, green and red areas of the conference venue.
On November 12, activists stormed the streets and premises of the summit, calling for climate justice, rallying against shallow commitments and political inaction.
By the start of the second week on Monday, this year’s COP negotiations are expected to begin, with the aim of forming a viable communication that will shape climate action ahead of the next summit in 2023.
But many COP participants do not seem to have a clear understanding of how COP climate negotiations are conducted, as the event is often held behind closed doors away from the public eye.
COP and diplomacy
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, one of the Nigerian attendees and Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Forestry Research, Adesola Adepoju, said the COP negotiations do not start at the conference, but is a commitment. past.
“An event like this is not where the negotiations really start. It is a commitment of the cumulative past work of all the negotiators, especially the chief negotiators of all countries and those who were given to do some aspect of the negotiations,” he said.
He said chief negotiators usually go to Bonn in Germany, the build-up to the final summit of the annual COP.
Mr. Adepoju explained that all countries belong to one group and Nigeria belongs to the African Group of Negotiators (AGN).
“In the African group, they must take positions together. What they agreed on in their trial is what is now coming to the general negotiating table of the G77 and China on behalf of the African group,” he said.
In the second week of COP27 starting Monday, delegates are expected to present proposals to their ministers and chief negotiators.
Nigeria’s COP27 delegation is led by Environment Minister Mohammed Abdullahi, while the ministry’s Director of Climate Change Department, Iniobong Abiola-Awe, is the country’s chief negotiator at the summit.
The goal of the COP negotiation phase, according to experts, is to write a document that all countries would agree to – an ambitious task that sometimes creates compromises.
According to A the reportdraft texts are written in the strange and sterile language of international diplomacy and too much time is spent on writing: and discussions about whether something “should” or “will” drag on for days.
Sometimes they end with square brackets, indicating areas of significant disagreement.
For Africa, the main concerns for other countries
Most COPs include concerns about climate change negotiations represent the differences below between industrialized nations and developing nations.
One aspect of the difference is limited by the excess of COPs beyond the calendar. That, analysts say, is ineffective and unfair to representatives of weaker countries.
When the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, parties agreed that countries would return every five years with ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming. But only 26 countries have revised their Nationally Determined Contributions documents between the last COP 26 and now, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell said in his remarks at the COP27 opening plenary on Sunday.
This year, a major agenda for developing countries, mostly on the African continent, is “loss and damage financing” to help countries that cannot adapt and face the impacts of climate change. permanent, as in the case of floods, disasters and sea level rise.
Although, after the official announcement of Mr. Shoukry as the new president of COP27, “losses and damages” were included in the agenda items at the opening of Sunday’s proceedings.
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Prior to COP27, the topic (losses and damages) was still uncertain, but it was finally put on the agenda after negotiators (including developing countries) presented it after strong discussions among the 194 parties to the UNFCCC.
During the plenary session, the COP27 President said that this year’s deliberations on climate issues must take into account the needs of developing countries (Africa), which are the least responsible for emissions and the most affected by the global impact of climate change.
“As a COP organized in Africa, it must take into account the needs of developing countries and ensure climate justice through adequate financing and other means of implementation, since the countries least responsible for emissions are the most affected by climate change.” said Mr. Shoukry.
Dozens of African and other developing countries are making claims and are eager to make commitments to address losses and damages at this year’s summit.
Also, many young African negotiators are pushing for a seat at the negotiating table so that their yearnings and aspirations can be heard and answered.
“They cannot decide for us, we want to enter into negotiations, we want to take decisions, we want to participate in making and implementing policies and we want to be collaborators and co-designers of solutions for the effects of the climate. the changes we are facing,” Rose Kobusinge, 26, a Ugandan climate justice advocate, told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview.
What happened at COP26?
Last year, the main outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland was the “Glasgow Climate Agreement”.
The treaty included a commitment to end “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies and to phase out “less” coal. Although many countries were disappointed with the final text, which was underestimated in many places.
The Glasgow summit saw several multilateral agreements between groups of countries. These included commitments to reduce methane emissions, halt deforestation and end foreign fossil fuel financing. But pledges of $100 trillion annually in climate finance from developed countries remained unfulfilled.
Little progress was made on adaptation to climate change, but not on “loss and damage” financing either.
“It is not as if the leaders of the developed world are not considering the agenda of loss and damage, but they are saying that decisions cannot be made in haste. They are saying let’s take things step by step,” said Christopher Wright, a climate change professional.
Among the many national challenges facing Nigeria, which do you think the next president should focus on?
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