The preparatory meeting for COP27 lasts from 6 to 16 June
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – How to accelerate the global climate agenda? How to prevent the war in Ukraine from curbing the action against global warming? What can be a concrete meeting point between rich and disadvantaged countries on climate finance? These are the items on the agenda in Bonn, where the COP27 pre-conference takes place from 6 to 16 June. A technical appointment – and crucial – on whose results we will begin to measure the level of ambition that we must expect in Sharm el-Sheikh next November.
What will happen in Bonn?
The meeting in Germany is the first since the end of last year’s Glasgow conference in which the two Subsidiary Bodies meet, the technical bodies responsible for implementing the Paris agreement. But it is also the first important meeting in the COP process that takes place after the publication of Assessment Report 6, the update of the IPCC reports in which the most recent and valid climate science is summarized and consolidated.
And it is precisely from the IPCC reports that the Bonn conference will have to start. The message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is clear: climate action must accelerate or there will be no chance to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees, or perhaps even to meet the threshold after a temporary overshoot.
Progress since the Glasgow climate pact
Faced with this urgency, however, the COP27 can only resume the path where the COP26 had left. That is, with many promises, almost none of which have really been kept in these months. The task of the Subsidiary Bodies – the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) – is to take stock of progress on the Glasgow climate pact.
Progress is scarce. Only 11 countries (out of 196) have submitted new climate plans. On coal, there are fewer countries planning new power plants, but the installed capacity – driven by China – will increase. We are therefore far from the “phase down” promised in Glasgow. On deforestation the situation is even worse: in Brazil, the rate of logging is skyrocketing, despite Bolsonaro having promised zero reductions by 2028. And on climate finance, in fact, almost nothing has happened: the rich countries still have to reach 100 billion dollars a year. They won’t do it until 2023, three years late.
One of the main obstacles in the negotiations will be the long wave of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The war also threatens to undermine climate diplomacy. The elephant in the room is the global energy crisis and its ramifications, for example on basic food prices. A background on which it is even more difficult to ask new sacrifices from the states.
Europe will arrive at the COP in Egypt with less dependence on Russian fossils, but not on fossils in general. And many emergency measures taken in recent months weaken climate action in Brussels, as well as eroding its credibility at the negotiating table.
In addition, there is unknown China. Beijing has given many signs of annoyance towards the Ukrainian adventure decided by Putin, but it has been careful not to openly condemn the invasion. And he will also use this ambiguity in the COP27 table. An attitude that the United States sees as smoke and mirrors. Given the specific importance that the US and China have on global climate action, without an agreement between the two countries it is difficult to achieve concrete results in Egypt.
Building the agenda of the COP27 of Sharm el-Sheikh
There is enough to derail even a technical meeting like the Bonn pre-conference, where political input is minimal. The most critical point, for the moment, seems to be climate finance. The Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) group has proposed to add the dialogue on loss & damage (L&D) and the global goal of adaptation to the agenda. Very difficult dossiers, which aim to quantify the aid and funding that the most developed countries must provide annually for the damage caused by climate change and for the necessary adaptation measures, in favor of countries that have a less historical responsibility for global warming.
In addition, Bonn will also discuss how to finally make operational the Santiago network on loss & damage, the body from which passes all the negotiations on L&D. Created at the COP25 in Madrid, in Glasgow it received the ok on its rules of operation (the only step forward on the issue made at the COP26).
Other points under discussion in Bonn are Global Stocktake, which is the monitoring of countries’ climate commitments, which, under the Glasgow Pact, must become a mechanism for increasing climate ambition. Further: delegates will have to prepare a draft on another sensitive point of the COP27 agenda, a work program on global mitigation measures to be taken by the decade. This theme is directly related to the previous one and completes it. And so it is viewed with suspicion by those countries that do not want to raise the bar of ambition too quickly.
Finally, discussions on the post-2025 climate finance perimeter will also begin. The initial stumbling block here is to define the size of the annual commitment (which should be in the order of 1-2 trillion dollars, at least 10 times more than at present) and therefore what resources to count for this purpose. (lm)