Thoughts on COP 27 from VCA
After two intense weeks of negotiations and numerous activities, COP27 ended on Sunday morning, the 20th of November. What took place at COP, and what were the outcomes and processes? A few thoughts from VCA…
LOSS AND DAMAGE
The establishment of a loss & damage fund for vulnerable countries makes it tempting to label the Sharm el-Sheikh climate summit as a historic climate summit. After 30 years of advocacy by developing countries, this is certainly a moment to celebrate.But finance for loss and damage was only one side of the climate goals on the table. A breakthrough in the field of loss & damage will be cancelled out unless we simultaneously do everything we can to reduce emissions and work on making our societies more resilient. Moreover, a lot is still uncertain. Where does the money come from? How does it end up where it is needed most?
GENDER EQUALITY AND FINANCE OF GENDER ACTION PLANS
This COP should have taken steps towards transformative climate action that counteracts inequalities. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the changing climate and deserve extra attention. While on Gender Day, prominent speakers in many country pavilions expressed their support for gender equality in climate action, negotiations on this agenda item fell apart. Gender experts and women’s rights activists were left out of negotiation rooms while parties tinkered at the edges of weak and vague texts that failed to address and advance critical issues at the intersection of climate and gender. After two weeks of difficult negotiations, parties were unable to deliver on the question of financing Gender Action Plans, no substantial progress has been made, and it remains a repetition of existing agreements. Women and girls worldwide need more action to support their rights, security and solutions.
THE NCQG FOR CLIMATE FINANCE
There has yet to be real progress on the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) for climate finance. Negotiations on the NCQG will continue over the next two years. The COP27 draft cover decision named the “Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan” highlights that Parties acknowledge the significant financial and investment gaps and the failure of developed country Parties to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020. The text urges developed Parties to scale up their public financial support for developing countries and address concerns over the accessibility and the terms and conditions of these funds. It also pointed out that accelerating funding support from “other resources” can contribute to filling the gaps. Parties further called for the reform of multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to be “fit for purpose”.
‘’it is imperative for there to be a quantitative subgoal of the NCQG on finance for local climate solutions and setting of concrete targets for climate finance to reach the local level.”
– Chief Bunda Bunda – a traditional leader and climate activist, Zambia.
COP… JUST ANOTHER SPACE FOR DOING BUSINESS?
The COP space is becoming less inclusive, and CSO spaces have shrunk due to the restrictions put in place by host countries. A report by Global Witness, together with Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory, has identified at least 636 fossil lobbyists who have been granted access to COP27, 26% more than COP26, a greater number than the ten most impacted countries’ delegations altogether and twice as many fossil fuel lobbyists as delegates from the official UN constituency for indigenous peoples.
Hence, COPs are becoming a space for doing business, just another frontier for capitalistic opportunism. This negatively impacts the broader public’s perception of the efficiency of negotiations, CSOs advocacy and the whole process around it.