The COP27 is prolonged, a failure of the negotiations is dangerously close

The 27th UN conference continues on Saturday, after another night of tough negotiations, without the prospect of an agreement between the nearly 200 countries present in Sharm el-Sheikh seeming close.

While the European Union made an opening with a proposal, under certain conditions, to create a fund to finance the damage caused by climate change (losses and damage), partially responding to a request from the countries of the South, the leader of the European delegation, Frans Timmermans, reaffirmed the will of the Twenty-Seven not to accept anything that weakens the objective of containing global warming at +1.5°C. “The European Union would rather have no agreement than a bad agreement,” said the Vice-President of the European Commission on Saturday morning.

“We are beyond the usual dramaturgy, a failure cannot be ruled out at this stage”, indicated earlier in the day a source within the European delegation.

Several sources also judged that the Egyptian presidency of COP27 “lacks height” in the negotiations and had let the negotiations drag on.

On the mitigation component, Belgian Minister Zakia Khattabi, who is taking part in the discussions, judged that the proposal put on the table by the Egyptian presidency was “unacceptable” and “exceeds European red lines”. “The mitigation component presented this night constitutes a considerable step backwards compared to the achievements of Glasgow”, she still lamented.

The Paris climate agreement aims to contain global warming “well below +2°C and if possible to 1.5°C”. This objective of 1.5°C was reaffirmed last year in Glasgow, during COP26. But the commitments made so far by the States, via their “nationally determined contribution” (NDC, in the jargon of climate negotiations) are still insufficient and would lead to a warming of at least +2.5°C during of this century.

The president of COP27, the Egyptian Sameh Shoukry, is more optimistic and said on Saturday during a press briefing that a large majority of countries found the texts on the table “balanced”. Mr. Shoukry called on the parties to seize this moment and reach consensus.

COP27 was supposed to end on Friday evening

The Egyptian presidency had still not officially published a new proposal for a final decision on Saturday morning, a sign that the negotiations had not made sufficient progress.

In addition to the mitigation and loss and damage aspects, i.e. the damage already observed in certain countries, especially in the South, due to climate change, which is a hot topic at this COP27, the difficult negotiations underway in Sharm el-Cheikh focus on climate finance and adaptation to climate change.

In terms of financing, developed countries have failed to meet their pledge of $100 billion per year in financing for the countries of the South by 2020. This commitment would not be met, at best, until 2023, which has damaged the confidence of developing countries in developed countries.

COP27, which started on November 6 in Sharm el-Sheikh, was supposed to end on Friday evening. On Saturday, the aisles were increasingly sparse, as the pavilions of the various delegations were being dismantled, giving the COP site the appearance of an endgame.

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