Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

Key events

Damian Carrington

Damian Carrington

Far from the hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh, there are reminders around the world of what is at stake in the draft negotiations.

The torrential rain behind recent devastating floods in Nigeria, Niger and Chad has become about 80 times more likely due to the climate crisis, according to research by the World Weather Attribution Group.

The discovery is the latest stark example of the serious impacts global warming is already having on communities, even with a global temperature rise of just 1C to date. There is added pressure on countries at Cop27 to take significant measures to protect and compensate those affected.

“The analysis revealed a very clear imprint of anthropogenic climate change,” said prof. Maarten van Aalst, director of the Climate Center of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

“As scientists, we are not in a position to tell the Cop27 negotiators whether it should be a loss and damage fund, or a facility, or a mosaic of solutions, which is all being discussed,” he said. “But what is very clear from the science is that this is a real and present problem, and it’s the poorest countries in particular that are being hit hard, so it’s clear that solutions are needed.”

Read more here:

A place for the next cop…

A new draft decision on future COPs confirms that the UAE will host COP28 next year (but in December).

However, COP29 in 2024 will be in “Eastern Europe” (hence Bulgaria and the Czech Republic showing their interest) and COP30 in 2025 will be in “Latin America and the Caribbean”. So Lula’s Brazil?

But when Oz?

— Leo Hickman (@LeoHickman) November 17, 2022

Like the boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes, Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, brings clarity.

It’s time to get serious #COP27. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says the solution to climate change is “not fossil fuels” like saying the economy isn’t about money. The only way to a manageable future for humanity is to start phasing out fossil fuels. Now.

— Johan Rockström (@jrockstrom) November 17, 2022

A reminder of how world leaders arrived at the summit.

Our correspondent Oliver Milman provides a glimmer of hope detailing the 18 countries, including the UK, France and Australia, that have signed up to a US initiative unveiled at Cop27 to reduce public sector emissions to net zero by 2050.

The scheme targets emissions from government use of electricity, cars and other sources, which can be significant. For example, the US Department of Defense is not only the largest consumer of energy in the US, but also the world’s largest institutional consumer of oil from the fuel used in its trucks, tankers, ships and other vehicles.

John Kerry, the US climate envoy, said the deal showed there was a “growing global consensus on the role of governments in the transition” to clean energy.

As global politicians face tough debates over the draft in the coming hours, public opinion appears to support the idea that richer countries should pay losses and damages to finance climate action in poor countries.

Damian Carringtonour environment editor writes: A significant majority of people in the UK believe the country has a responsibility to pay for climate action in poorer and more vulnerable countries, according to a Guardian poll.

The issue of rich polluting countries providing significant funding to developing countries is key to success in the Cop27 climate fight.

The survey showed respondents that the UK’s total emissions over time are among the highest in the world, while poorer countries have produced very few emissions. The results showed that 49% of people said the UK had a responsibility to provide climate change funding, with 31% saying the UK did not and 20% saying they did not know.

A separate poll across all G7 countries found that 65% of people agree that richer countries should pay more of the cost of climate action because they are historically responsible for more damage, with 11% disagreeing.

Read more here:

Recapitulation of the key points of the draft

These seem to be the key points of interest in the draft so far. However, it is 20 pages long and may still appear over the next few hours.

  • There are no details on a fund to finance losses and damages for poorer countries

  • It “welcomes” the fact that for the first time the parties have agreed to include “issues related to financing arrangements in response to losses and damages” on the summit agenda.

  • There is no call for a phase-out of all fossil fuels

  • It underlines the importance of making every effort to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping the global average temperature well below 2C and working to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C

As Fiona Harvey says, this draft reiterates a goal from last year’s Glasgow Climate Pact “accelerate measures towards the gradual reduction of unabated energy coal and the gradual abolition and rationalization of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.”

However, it does not call for a phase-out of all fossil fuels as demanded by India and the EU.

Some context showing the place of this draft document in the long history of COP discussions. Last year at COP26 in Glasgow, it was the first time that fossil fuels and coal were even mentioned as part of the climate in a decision on which all parties agreed.

Climate Home points out in the draft:

Wise words from @ClimateHome on today’s #COP27 “cover decision” text.

“This is not a text discussed by the countries, but elements that reflect what Egypt gathered during the consultations… Formal negotiations on the text are yet to begin.” https://t.co/WhgqFCDqGm

— Simon Evans (@DrSimEvans) November 17, 2022

Greenpeace International’s head of the Cop27 delegation, Yeb Saño, is trying nothing, saying: “The Cop27 presidency is pushing the pedal to the limit on the highway to climate hell.”

Saño continued: “We came to Sharm el-Sheikh to demand real action to meet and exceed climate change and adaptation finance commitments, to phase out all fossil fuels and for rich countries to pay for the loss and damage caused to the most vulnerable communities. within developing countries by contracting a fund to finance losses and damages.

“None of that is on offer in this draft. Climate justice will not be served if this sets the bar for the outcome of Cop27.

“After initially not even mentioning fossil fuels, the draft text is a disclaimer to capture the urgency expressed by many countries to at least phase out all oil and gas added to coal. It’s time to stop denying it, the age of fossil fuels must end quickly.”

What to expect today

Amid the explosion of analysis around the 20-page draft, Patrick Greenfieldour Sharm el-Sheikh correspondent updates what you can expect from today.

“We are at the business end of the climate summit and all eyes are on the political outcome, known as the “disguised decision”. The draft was finally released this morning. My colleague Fiona Harvey goes through the 20-page text to understand its significance.

In theory, Cop27 should end tomorrow night, but no one thinks that will happen. The summit is likely to drag on over the weekend as countries wrangle over what should and should not be included in the final text.

We will bring you updates throughout the day from Egypt as the negotiations enter their final stages.”

Simon Evans, Senior Policy Editor at Carbon Brief also points out the lack of mention of all fossil fuels.

Not including a call to cut fossil fuels or mention oil and gas leaves a gaping hole in the draft, critics say.

The new draft decision published this morning in #COP27 ignores the science of 1.5°C.

🛢️ does not mention oil, gas

❌ does not stop the expansion of fossil fuels

⛏️ It gradually reduces the “unreduced coal” that is still present, but the “unreduced” is a hole big enough to put a drill through.

— Tzeporah Berman (@Tzeporah) November 17, 2022

Reaction to the draft is coming.

New “elements” of the decision he announced #COP27 team around 0630.

There are balloons from 2 to 20 pages. It is a strategic choice of the compilers. Tough 2-3 days mom…

A few hits below… pic.twitter.com/R3ViDRnlK8

— Ed King (@edking_I) November 17, 2022

Published draft of the title text

Good morning and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the Cop27 climate conference.

This morning’s big news is that the first draft of the headline text has just been released, although it will change significantly in the coming days. Here’s a brief recap from Reuters:

The UN climate agency released the first draft of what could be a comprehensive agreement from the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt on Thursday. However, most of the text is likely to be reworked in the coming days.

The document, marked “non-paper”, indicating it is still far from a final version, reiterates the goal from last year’s Glasgow Climate Pact to “accelerate measures to phase out unabated coal power and phase out and rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies “.

It does not call for a phase-out of all fossil fuels, as demanded by India and the EU. The text does not include details on setting up a loss and damage fund, a key requirement of the most climate-sensitive countries such as island nations. Instead, it “welcomes” the fact that the parties have agreed for the first time to include “issues relating to financing arrangements in response to loss and damage” on the summit agenda.

It does not include a timetable for deciding whether a separate fund should be created or what it should look like, giving negotiators time to continue working on the contentious issue.

The initial reaction of many was disappointment and concern at the speed of progress – with so much to be done, it is unlikely that the conference will finish on time.

We will have more details about it, as well as an analysis of the text, soon.

I’m Sandra Laville and you can send me news tips and questions at sandra.laville@theguardian.com or on Twitter at @sandralaville.