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COP27 Daily Digest

17 November 2022

Keep up to date with the key issues and discussion points through our daily insights, summarising the activity and outcomes from the day, led by DWF's ESG experts.

COP27 has begun in Sharm El Sheikh following the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year with the aim to "accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement".

This year's COP is being billed as one where loss and damage has to be front and centre of the discussions. Demonstration of progress made will be under global scrutiny.

Each day we will have a summary of the key moments from the summit along with our expert analysis. Click the boxes below for the latest insights.

Latest Insights

Outcomes and Observations

Extended negotiations and compromise enabled delivery of some positive outcomes in the agreement reached at the conclusion of the COP27 Summit. – dubbed as the "African COP". We outline what we consider to be the key observations from the summit.
Outcomes and Observations


Governments reaffirmed the now very urgent need to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C-a huge relief as this was challenged at the summit. However the COP26 resolution to cause a peak in emissions by 2025 was taken out of the agreement which is most concerning.  

Loss and Damage

The acceptance of the need for required provision of financial help for countries experiencing loss and damage caused by climate change arising from developed countries emissions has been a significant breakthrough at this COP. Whilst agreement on the need for a fund is a major milestone this fund needs to be set up and money provided and so there is a long way to go. 

Financial Reform

This development has amplified the need and enabled greater clarity on the question of fundamental reform of the international financial system to support and provide for climate finance. Many countries are calling for urgent changes to the World Bank as it and other publically funded financial institutions have failed to provide the necessary aid to help affected locations cut their emissions and adapt to climate change. 

Funding has not materialised despite the commitments that were made at COP26 and worryingly some countries sought to backtrack on these commitments at the outset of COP27 although ultimately they have been reaffirmed.

Coal and Fossil Fuels

The resolution first agreed at COP26 in Glasgow to phase down the use of coal was also reaffirmed at COP27. Whilst there were calls to extend that to all fossil fuels – led by India – this was disappointingly unsuccessful and remains the subject of critical concern. Many were also hoping to see better negotiations around gas which didn't prevail.

Leadership and Responsibility

It is clear that the cost of inaction is perilous and the investment required to reform financial systems will be very significant. This is therefore a time that world leaders and governments have to show leadership and drive the changes required in their jurisdictions.

Commitments made at COP26 have not fully materialised and ambition set by some of the largest emitters are not deep or fast enough. We are on the cusp of either climate catastrophe or a clean energy world. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided evidence that we are at tipping point and that only immediate and sharp changes in emissions will prevent us reaching an irreversible situation and therefore must reduce emissions by 45% by 2030, to limit global temperature rising to 1.5°C.  This is in all of our hands and those who lead us, in particular in the G20. This is a time for meaningful action and redoubled efforts. 


A welcome addition to COP27 was President-elect, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who has vowed to host COP30 in 2025. He has also promised net zero deforestation by 2030 and launched a new partnership with Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Congo to cooperate on forest preservation. Deforestation in the Amazon has reached a 15 year high so there is a lot of work to be done to meet targets but the President-elect remains optimistic. 

US & China

During the second week of COP away from the main proceedings in Sharm El Sheikh, the two largest greenhouse gas emitters agreed to restart cooperation following previous tensions in Taiwan.  Whilst it is believed these are only informal talks at this stage, these will likely now ramp up following COP27 and it will be interesting to see how these develop over the coming months 

In summary, whilst many felt deflated by progress in certain areas, like fossil fuels, the significant importance of a Loss & Damage fund, advancements in climate technology and a new mitigation programme were signs of progress. 

Over the course of the two weeks, countries launched a series of 25 new collaborative actions and initiatives which will be interesting to see how these have developed at COP28 in Dubai.   

Friday wrap up

COP27 – match report after 90 minutes.
Friday wrap up

As COP27 entered its final scheduled day on Friday, nobody expected a final agreement by the official deadline of midnight. The UN even announced that catering was ready for Saturday. 

A more realistic target was finishing talks in time for delegates to catch up on sleep before the first World Cup game on Sunday afternoon. As the COP27 clock ticked towards extra time, this was the state of play.

Mood of the meeting

Momentum was building on the loss and damage front, thanks mainly to an EU proposal early on Friday morning for a loss and damage fund to compensate countries most vulnerable to climate change. Canada backed the proposal.

At Paris in 2015 India pushed for “common but differentiated responsibilities” clauses that made smaller demands of lower-income countries. Last year in Glasgow, India led efforts to agree only a “phase down” and not a “phase out” of coal, and set itself a 2070 target date for net zero emissions – much later than other big economies.

This year, India is objecting to attempts to reduce emissions in the Koronivia Joint Work in Agriculture, and is demanding “phase down” language for oil and gas.

The substance

Friday morning saw the second draft of COP27’s ‘overarching decision’ text published. It was slimmed down to 10 pages after the previous day’s voluminous first draft dismayed COP-watchers. The cuts were not all improvements – the number of references to methane, for example, fell from one to zero.

There was slow progress on the more detailed texts. According to Carbon Brief’s live tracker, nine out of 32 were agreed by Friday afternoon.

Acronym of the Day

NDCs – nationally determined contributions are country-by-country commitments to cut emissions. Current ones put the world on track for some 2.4C of global warming, which would end the planet as we know it and could trigger a series of tipping points that cause further heating in an unstoppable domino effect.

Solutions Day

Solutions day did not provide the solutions hoped for and although positive progress has been made the final days require much effort from the negotiators and the need for transformative change has become more critical than ever.
Solutions Day

Mood of the meeting

President-elect Lula had lifted spirits the previous day, with a rapturously received speech declaring “Brazil is back”. But Thursday brought more sombre messages. The foreign minister of Tuvalu, which will disappear if sea levels rise, described in a heart-rending speech how the country was creating a digital version of itself to “remind our children and grandchildren what our home once was.”

Illustrating loss and damage, a report by World Weather Attribution estimated this year’s floods in West Africa – which killed hundreds and displaced millions – were made 80 times more likely by climate change.

The substance

The main solution that was widely supported was "The Sharm El Shaikh Declaration on Culture-based Climate Action" which considers the impact of climate change on culture, cultural heritage and landscapes as a means to move to a low carbon resilient future. The initiative aims to build on previous international climate agreements to put culture-based solutions higher up the agenda and at the forefront at future COP's.

The summit’s draft text sparked anger when it was published on Thursday morning. The draft:

  • Only calls for a phase-down of ‘unabated coal’, with no mention of oil or gas certainly (at least partially) reflects the African gas issue, where many African countries want to exploit their gas reserves
  • Mentions methane just once, when it ‘invites parties to prepare action plans’ 
  • Makes no provision for a loss and damage fund, but merely ‘welcomes’ discussion of the idea at the summit, however the US remain silent on their intentions and have simply asked for more time to consider the idea
  • Notes that the 1.5C target requires greenhouse gas emissions to fall 45% by 2030, while even a 2C global warming limit needs a 30% drop – but the latest ‘nationally determined contributions’ cut emissions by just 5-10%

Greenpeace said the failure to agree a loss and damage fund or even mention oil and gas “pushes the pedal to the metal on the highway to climate hell.”

Positive outcomes so far include:

  • Adaptation has made progress especially with initiatives such as the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda and the Global Shield Against Climate Risks although finance and effort is still required
  • There have been several mitigation initiatives arising during COP27 including greater clarity on standards in particular net zero from the International Organisation for Standardisation which will allow private bodies the certainty needed to act. However the mitigation agenda has been generally disappointing.

In other news, Egypt vow to protect 2,000 km of Red Sea coast, the UK continues with their onshore solar energy ban, France and Spain move up their bans on ICE vehicle sales by five years to 2035, and the EU, Danish, Dutch, French and German pledge of over € 1bn for climate adaptation in Africa.

The final day’s agenda

After the last theme-based day on Thursday, Friday was devoted to intense discussions over COP27’s definitive final text. Friday was meant to be the final day. However, with the FIFA World Cup kicking off on Sunday, COP27 was expected to enter extra time on Saturday – with fraught nerves, like a penalty shoot-out with the planet’s future at stake.

Acronym of the Day

MENA – the Middle East and North Africa region accounts for five of the top ten oil exporters, making it a major source of polluting products around the world, which will grow in proportion over time. Saudi Arabia will probably be the last country to produce oil, and the country's oil executives do not expect demand for oil to peak until as late as 2040.

However, the region sees the writing on the wall. Saudi Arabia has embarked on major green initiatives, including large renewable power and hydrogen projects that may vault the region to become the largest exporter of renewable energy in the future. The Kingdom has also started developing large sustainable & regenerative tourism projects. Finally, the region is attracting sustainability-based investments. Fittingly, after Egypt, next year Dubai will host COP28.

Authors: Kirsty Rogers and Mohab Khattab

Biodiversity Day

Dominic Watkins breaks down Biodiversity Day, including a warning from WWF that the Amazon rainforest may die by 2030.
Biodiversity Day

Mood of the meeting

Global awareness continues to grow over the link between nature loss and climate change. Some $44trn of economic value generation – over half the world’s total GDP – is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services, so it’s little wonder then that biodiversity was the latest issue to receive its own dedicated day at COP27.

The tone for the day was set by scientists and campaigners warning of the “catastrophic” nature loss that is taking place around the world. A new paper released on Wednesday by WWF warned that the Amazon rainforest has experienced so much climate change, forest loss and degradation that it is “alarmingly close” to tipping into a permanently degraded state and may die by 2030.

The consensus is that progress towards nature protection and restoration is not happening nearly fast enough; and the lack of action is only accelerating the world towards 1.5 degrees. A survey of 400 expert stakeholders from business, science, civil society and government carried out by consultancy GlobeScan revealed that despite national governments being considered the most important actors to lead the nature agenda, a lack of political support, policies and incentives are causing significant barriers to progress.

Alongside greater political support and policies, the critical role of the private sector in preserving biodiversity was highlighted. Danone executive Henri Bruxelles said: “Business has an essential role to play, including through the elimination of deforestation and conversion, preservation and restoration of wetlands, and acceleration of regenerative agriculture in our supply chains.” At the start of COP27, 14 of the world’s leading agri-food companies published a roadmap outlining how they will work towards reducing emissions from land use change. It includes a target for the removal of deforestation linked to soy production in the Amazon by 2025.

The substance

Biodiversity Day is perhaps most significant as a prelude to the agreement for nature that is set to be struck at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) taking place in Montreal, Canada from 7th to 19th December. The summit has been tasked with negotiating a new set of biodiversity goals to replace the 2010 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which established a set of nature protection goals for 2020 and have largely been missed.

Progress on this so-called UN treaty for nature has been sluggish. Companies with combined annual revenues of $1.5trn recently called on world leaders for mandatory corporate reporting on nature.

Experts used Biodiversity Day to apply yet more pressure on world leaders to deliver an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework at CBD COP15. A group consisting of climate champions of the 2015 Paris Agreement, including COP21 president Laurent Fabius, stated that the lack of an ambitious and transformative agreement risked undermining the planet’s ability to deliver on key climate goals.

Many campaigners believe food-based solutions can act as a bridge between climate and nature. Following their meeting in Bali, the G20 Leaders Declaration talked of the need to apply food systems approaches for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. Campaigners want to see a similar focus on food systems in the Koronivia Dialogue on agriculture that continues to be negotiated at COP27, as well as in Montreal.

Talk inside the COP27 tent focused on how to mobilise global actions that would halt biodiversity loss – both on land and in our seas and oceans – as well as reduce the impacts of climate change and pollution. This included discussion of nature-based solutions to climate mitigation and adaptation through conservation, land restoration, combating desertification and protecting aquatic ecosystems and species.

The COP27 Presidency launched the Enhancing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for Climate Transformation (ENACT) initiative in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the aim of driving collective action across climate, biodiversity and desertification to help close the finance gap for nature-based solutions.

Other notable pledges and statements from national governments and leaders included:

  • The UK government’s launch of a £30m Big Nature Impact Fund – a new public-private fund to invest in nature protection and restoration. The UK government has also pledged an additional £12m to the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance to protect and restore vulnerable coastal communities and habitats.
  • New Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told the conference that Brazil was “emerging from the cocoon” on climate change after illegal deforestation soared under predecessor Jair Bolsonaro. ‘Lula’ promised to crack down on illegal deforestation in the Amazon and create a special ministry to represent the interests of indigenous people.

Acronym of the day

CBD COP15 - The 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity takes place in December and will bring together governments from around the world to set out new goals and develop an action plan for nature over the next decade.

ACE & Civil Society/Energy Day

Kirsty Rogers and Darren Walsh breakdown the latest from COP27, including ACE's aim to integrate civil society into decision-making processes associated with climate action.
ACE & Civil Society/Energy Day

Action for Climate Empowerment (or ACE); originating from the (COP 26) Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment and was adopted originally by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ("UNFCCC").

ACE aims to integrate civil society into decision-making processes associated with climate action through six elements: education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and international cooperation.

Whilst often thought to be primarily focused on engagement with young people in society, all of civil society need to be on-board; as well as business and institutions via shareholders and investors is equally important in driving the agenda of climate action – something that DWF welcome and is further supported by our ESG strategy.

UNFCCC say that all six ACE elements are crucial to the global response to climate change and that the young in particular, must understand and participate in the transition. Additionally, collaboration between all governments and sectors is essential, sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption and production will also be key.

Mood of the meeting

China improved the spirit of international co-operation in two ways. First, Xi Jinping agreed to resume co-operation with the US, which had been formally suspended after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August. Second, China’s climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua – who had maintained informal contacts with his US counterpart John Kerry – backed the 1.5C global warming limit, amid fears that this vital but hugely challenging target could be abandoned.

Agriculture moved into the spotlight – it accounts for a third of greenhouse gas emissions (see Adaptation and Agriculture Day) but receives scant attention. Some say the elephant in the room is a cow. A coalition including the EU and the WWF urged negotiators to step up the ‘Koronivia’ work to tackle the issue.

The substance

Indonesia became the second country to start a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JEPT) – a concept pioneered at COP26 last year, when South Africa received a $8.5bn package to shift out of coal and into renewables. Indonesia’s JETP is even bigger, at $20bn. It was announced at the G20 which is taking place in the country by the G7 along with Norway and Denmark. Indonesia is the worlds fourth largest producer of coal and has committed to capping power sector emissions at 290 million tonnes by 2030 and fulling forward its goal to hit net zero by ten years to 2050.

The COP27 presidency published a bullet-point list of ‘possible elements’ in the all-important final text. It includes 1.5C and a whole section on loss and damage, but nothing on fossil fuels or agriculture. The press conference at COP27 confirming the JETP demonstrated global movement towards implementation and there is a drive to set up additional deals with Vietnam, Senegal and India. India has also published details of its strategy for achieving net zero economy by 2070. It is hoped that the announcements will inject momentum into the climate talks.

Agenda for biodiversity day

Biodiversity has its own series of COP summits – the much-delayed COP15 – the Biodiversity COP - is next month in Montreal. In the meantime, the thematic day at Sharm El-Sheikh sees scientific research updates; the launch of a ‘nature-based solutions’ initiative; a one-year progress report on the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use; and a look ahead to the draft Global Biodiversity Framework, the bedrock of COP15.

Acronym of the Day

ISDS – Investor-state dispute settlement, dubbed a ‘secret court system’, is in the climate firing line. It is a system through which countries can be sued by foreign investors for certain state actions affecting foreign direct investment. However the system has been challenged by many for its perceived failures. Hundreds of organisations have signed a demand for governments to pull out, saying that 42% of known cases cover energy and mining, including challenges to coal phase-out, cancellation of a tar sands pipeline, and a ban on offshore drilling. Most of the large EU states are leaving the ISDS-based Energy Charter Treaty as it is being seen as a significant obstacle to enacting national policies to combat climate change.

Gender/Water Day

Analysis from Monday as the UN Secretary General revealed that 40% of the world's people are affected by water scarcity, 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment and 90% of disasters are water related.
Gender/Water Day

Mood of the meeting

Placing gender and water together on the agenda is as an acknowledgment that women are globally on the frontline when it comes to protecting water from exploitation. However, the day’s gender theme sat uneasily with COP27’s multiple ‘manels’, or all-male panels, including one full of white men talking about “African food systems”.

What remains clear is that gender equality lies at the heart of achieving our climate goals.  Women bear a disproportionate burden of the adverse impacts from climate change. The voices and views of women require to be protected and amplified across the globe given the significant role that women play in protecting biodiversity, the just transition and climate activism particularly in indigenous communities and Africa.

New initiatives from the US and other big historical emitters are meeting a mixed response. The Energy Transition Accelerator, launched by US climate envoy John Kerry, is meant to encourage big companies to fund renewable energy in developing countries, but some worried it could enable those companies to continue emitting greenhouse gases while claiming to offset their emissions.

There were similar questions over the Global Shield scheme to insure poor countries against climate risk. Some call it a step in the right direction; others say it’s a distraction from paying for loss and damage.

The substance

Brazil, Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Congo, covering over half the world’s rainforest, formally launched a tripartite alliance for forest preservation, dubbed an ‘Opec for rainforests’.

Launching the Action on Water, Adaptation and Resilience (AWARe) initiative covered one of the day’s themes, albeit with many details to fill in ahead of the UN Water Conference in March 2023. Without doubt, action is needed given the frightening statistics from the UN Secretary General that 40% of the world's people are affected by water scarcity, 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment and 90% of disasters are water related.

On the gender front, former Irish president Mary Robinson launched Mothers of Invention, a podcast series presenting climate change as “a man-made problem with a feminist solution”.

Additionally, the UN Executive Director for women has made three asks on gender equality for COP27: greater meaningful leadership for women and girls, a just transition for women through an alternative development model, and using the benefit multiplier from gender equality to counter the threat multiplier of climate change in global investment decisions by directly amplifying, protecting and supporting women's skills, resilience and knowledge.

Agenda for ACE & Civil Society and Energy Day

The organisers have crammed a lot into the agenda for 15th November – which is also the start of the two-day G20 summit in Bali. The sessions on ACE (see below) and Civil Society include “announcement of financial and other pledges”, testimony on climate-induced disasters in the developing world, and opportunities for co-operation.

On top of all that, there’s the energy theme, with emphasis on positives such as green hydrogen and battery storage – but not much on near-term reductions in fossil fuel use.

Acronym of the Day

ACE – Action for Climate Empowerment is the UN climate agreements’ term for getting the public on board. It covers six areas, from education to international co-operation, to encourage sustainable lifestyles and “empower all members of society to engage in climate action”.

Adaptation & Agriculture Day

Dominic Watkins analyses all of the day's issues, with two new climate finance initiatives launched.
Adaptation & Agriculture Day

Mood of the meeting

Food finally got its day at a COP summit on Saturday (November 12, 2022). The sector responsible for circa 33% of global greenhouse gas emissions has previously been sidelined at these events so the inclusion of the ‘agriculture and adaptation’ day at COP27 marked progress.

The backdrop of a global food crisis (think extreme weather, soaring inflation and the war in Ukraine) has increased the appetite for action. But this is a complex system with a number of thorny issues that need addressing.

“Adapt or starve” was the message from the UN as sessions were used to once again lobby rich nations to provide the $100bn a year in climate finance promised to developing nations (so-called ‘loss and damage’ funding).

Two new climate finance initiatives were launched (see below) as the day’s sessions focused on technology – from artificial intelligence to data – to help farmers adapt to climate change. Agriculture was billed as a “solution” to climate change and, as has become customary in such global political forums, there was little to no mention of the demand side changes required, such as consumption of less meat and dairy in the developed world.

The substance

In an ironic twist of fate delegates had a fully immersive experience in the food crisis as stalls ran out of supplies and water dispensers ran dry. Many argue that the current food system is broken and not easily fixed but some of the solutions being touted – from vertical farms to plant-based foods – are on show in Egypt.

Two new initiatives attracted particular attention:

  • The UN officially launched the COP27 FAST (Food for Agriculture and Sustainable Transformation) initiative, which aims to increase climate finance contributions for agriculture and food systems. The initiative aims to do this by targeting the most vulnerable countries.
  • AIM for climate, a US-UAE led initiative, pledged $8bn (double that floated at COP26) towards greener farming research and development projects.

To adapt farmers need finance and support. In particular there is far too little attention on the small-scale farmers from developing countries that produce one third of the world’s food yet receive just 1.7% of climate finance (only 3% of climate finance is funnelled to food systems, according to the Global Alliance for the Future of Food).

Red flags were also raised about the impact of carbon offsets and insets, which both suffer from a lack of regulation and as such have been subject to accusations of greenwashing.

While not mentioned explicitly in the high level expert group report on greenwashing last week (see day 3’s bulletin), the scrutiny on food companies as big carbon emitters will intensify now agriculture has a seat at the COP table. Net-zero commitments will need tightening and companies will need to be clear about their reduction strategies.

There is much to do and little time. Work by WWF with nine major UK supermarkets showed emissions are increasing, driven by scope 3 emissions which mostly lie before the farm gate (from livestock emissions from methane to fertilisers).

Tackling farming emissions is complex. The Koronivia Dialogue (the main UNFCCC forum for addressing agriculture on the side of the negotiations) remains stuck in the mud with countries struggling to agree on a way forward.

There remains very limited attention on agriculture or food waste in many countries’ climate plans (called national determined contributions, or NDCs). Take the new initiatives announced by the US (see day 4) – methane was mentioned 41 times but livestock, a major source of the gas, wasn’t mentioned once.

The thornier issue of shifting diets towards less meat and dairy consumption is not addressed in any NDC, according to Friends of the Earth. The topic – seen widely by scientists as essential in meeting net-zero – was conspicuous by its absence at the summit.

News that the FAO will produce a roadmap showing how the food sector can align with 1.5 degrees is welcome however. This will be revealed by COP28.

Back at COP27, reports over the weekend revealed there were jitters that a deal wouldn’t be reached. This is par for the course at the midway point during these two-week long COP summits. However, with this billed as the ‘implementation COP’ by the Egyptian presidency there are plenty of details to thrash out on various pledges made in previous years.

Acronym of the Day

I-CAN - Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition. The global initiative which confirmed news of the additional $8bn funding from the US to support its work, aims to deliver detailed baselines and targets by June 30th 2023, ready for COP28.

Decarbonisation Day

Darren Walsh looks at President Biden's admission that "We need to make vital progress by the end of this decade" despite predictions that the US will increase oil and gas carbon emissions by 1.5% in 2022.
Decarbonisation Day

Mood of the meeting

The climate emergency affects everyone on the planet, but on Friday, attention was focused on just one man. Two hours before Joe Biden was due to speak at 5:15pm local time, the queue to hear him already stretched all the way around the conference hall.

Decarbonisation was the theme of the sessions earlier in the day. The irony was that its theme was the importance of achieving decarbonisation, but this main message was overshadowed by the announcement that fossil fuel emissions will reach a record high in 2022 and shows no signs of decreasing. The report undertaken by the Global Carbon Project found that Co2 emissions will reach 40.6 billion tonnes in 2022 which represents a 1% rise on emissions from 2021. Alarmingly, if current emissions levels persist, there is a 50% chance that global warming of 1.5% will be exceeded in nine years.

President Biden apologised for his predecessor’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and said the US had rejoined. “The science is devastatingly clear,” he said. “We need to make vital progress by the end of this decade.” Despite this, the Global Carbon Project predicts that the US will increase oil and gas carbon emissions by 1.5% in 2022, whilst China and the EU are predicted to reduce their emissions by 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively.

The substance

The White House laid the groundwork for Biden’s speech by announcing new initiatives and increased US commitment to existing ones. Whilst such pledges are welcomed, the statistics do not back up meaningful action that is required. With increased carbon emissions for 2022, focus must be on harnessing carbon abatement and a rapid investment in decarbonisation projects globally.

DWF has embraced its own pathway to net zero and is working with many clients in the development of low and zero carbon energy projects. Challenges brought about by Russia's war in Ukraine and the drive for post-pandemic economic restoration and growth are having a negative impact of the global necessity to decarbonise. Meaningful and concerted effort is required on a global scale to address the risk of global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees in only nine years. The impact of this is evident now with increased natural disasters and the real possibility of displacement of millions of people. More action and fewer hollow pledges is now even more pressing.

"We are at a turning point and must not allow world events to distract us from the urgent and sustained need to cut our emissions to stabilise the global climate and reduce cascading risks,” says Professor Corinne Le Quéré, a co-author of the Global Carbon Project Report; and this is something that we are acutely aware of and striving to keep on track with our clients, colleagues and communities."

The president did not use the term loss and damage, but he raised his country’s funding of the Adaptation Fund from $50m to $100m. There were other announcements of aid to the developing world, many of them directed at Africa.

Methane received plenty of attention – the White House briefing mentioned it 41 times. Biden unveiled an updated US Methane Emissions Reduction Plan, backed by $20bn in new investments.

Biden also used his platform to promote the Green Shipping Challenge launched by the US and Norway this year.

Day 6’s agenda

Saturday was a working day at COP27, with the theme switching to agriculture and adaptation. Once again, the developing countries needs were front and centre, with sessions on malnutrition, food security and conflict prevention.

Acronym of the Day

ICJ – What does the International Court of Justice have to do with global warming? Until now, nothing. In December, however, the Vanuatu ICJ Initiative will ask the UN General Assembly to seek the court’s advisory opinion on “the obligations of States under international law to protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change”.

Science/Youth Day

Emma Peveril and Dan Noakes look back on the science/youth topics discussed. A "Global Youth Statement" was shared which urged nations to look beyond geopolitics to facilitate international cooperation and dialogue.
Science/Youth Day

Mood of the meeting

With twin themes of science and future generations, the daily agenda is tackling the core fundamentals of climate change. There were eye-catching protests against human rights abuses and the dominance of the fossil fuel lobby.

Protestors wore white in solidarity with killed or imprisoned activists including Alaa Abdel Fattah, a British-Egyptian pro-democracy campaigner on hunger strike in an Egyptian prison. They also demanded the expulsion of the 636 oil and gas lobbyists at COP27 – a record number and up 25% from last year.

Other lobbyists promoted nuclear as a cheap, carbon-free alternative, whilst youth-led protests were calling for climate justice and a shared enthusiasm for loss and damage funding.

On a brighter note, Iraq and Lebanon pledged to work with Israel on climate issues, despite having no diplomatic relations.

The substance

The biggest progress (or lack of it) from a COP summit is found in the ‘cover text’. The Egyptian officials running COP27 have announced that delegates will start hammering out the ‘cover decision’ on Saturday. Don’t be surprised if negotiations go down to the wire like last year – COP27 began hours late because participants were still haggling over what should be on the agenda.

Smaller measures trickle out piecemeal. Norway postponed by four years an investment decision due in December on the Wisting project in the Arctic, which would be the world’s most northerly oil field.

On Science specifically, the importance of data and science in driving and delivering implementation by policymakers was reiterated and further stated by COP27 President H.E.Sameh Shoukry.

Other highlights included, Egypt's launch of its first Vulnerability Assessment Map and the One Health Initiative which sets out [Egypt's] ambition to improve the health of all -- human and animal - in the face of the impact of climate change.

It is hoped that One Health will build on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic where statistically, lower- and middle-income countries felt the harshest impact of the disease. Egypt's One Health Action Plan will lay out a route map for better mitigation to confront this climate change health crisis.

In other news, the Climate Action Tracker's latest update on the global warming projection notes that the world is currently is heading for 2.4°C of warming against 2030 targets.  This figure is by and large similar to the target disclosed at COP26 in Glasgow thus highlighting that very little progress has been made in that time and that governments have failed to deliver the "urgent emissions cuts that were promised to keep warming to 1.5°C.

The lack of progress can no doubt be attributed to lack of energy security produced as a result of the Russian – Ukrainian War and as a result, according to the Climate Action Tracker “The goldrush for gas continues and is counterproductive to the Paris Agreement.”

In terms of youth and future generations, this is the first COP to have a platform dedicated to children and youth so all eyes were on what was going to be covered.

The UNFCCC's official youth constituency shared a "Global Youth Statement" which was developed for COP27 and was only finalised last week.

The statement was a collaboration of future generations from 149 nations.

Key takeaways from the statement:

  • We need to commit to a dedicated finance facility for loss and damage to support those most affected by increasingly destructive impacts of climate change.
  • Post pandemic, now is the time to enhance climate and development goals.
  • We need to look beyond geopolitics to facilitate international cooperation and dialogue. The global energy crisis was given as an example of how the system is broken.

Day 5’s agenda

As countries commemorate the end of the First World War, 11th November is Decarbonisation Day in Sharm El-Sheikh. The official agenda is largely sector-based, with sessions on steel, cement and fertiliser as well as oil and gas.

All of that could be eclipsed by the arrival of Joe Biden. Given COP27’s emphasis on demands from low-income nations for financial support, the president’s willingness and ability to fund international action could make or break the summit.

Acronym of the Day

CCUS is on Day 5’s agenda. The carbon capture and storage (CCS) concept is relatively well known, though so far real-life examples haven’t been extensive enough to make a big difference. Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) is a variation on the theme, turning carbon into valuable fuels or commodities. CCUS covers both.

Finance Day

Brendan Slack and Eleanor Cook look back on COP27's "Finance Day", as several OECD members announced they would help developing countries with the financial impact of climate change.
Finance Day

Mood of the meeting

The third day brought a more positive tone, as delegates digested announcements from several OECD members that they would help developing countries meet the financial burden and other impacts (economic or otherwise) of climate change.

It was also seen as positive that, as results trickled in from US mid-term elections, the more climate-friendly Democrats had performed better than expected.

However, frustration over the slow pace of change and lack of transparency rumbled on fuelled by fears that many commitments were simply a re-allocation of funding previously promised.

After the US was a focus of criticism the previous day, attention shifted to, amongst other items,

  • the fossil fuel industry, as the Climate Trace project published data showing greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas projects were three times higher than their owners claimed; and
  • Net-zero commitments – where the High Level Expert Group highlighted a real concern that greenwashing and weak net zero pledges could threaten to undermine global efforts.

The substance

CDP, the non-profit environmental disclosure body, announced it would incorporate the climate standards of the International Sustainability Standards Board, or ISSB. As technical changes go, this is a big one – CDP covers 18,700 companies worth half the world’s market capitalisation, and the move helps to create a global standard for corporate climate data.

The UK’s export credit agency introduced ‘climate resilient debt clauses’ for its lending, which would stop payments for two years if a country were hit by a climate disaster, meaning the UK Export Finance (UKEF) will become the first export credit agency in the world to introduce Climate Resilient Debt Clauses (CRDCs) into its loan agreements.

These will provide low-income countries and small island developing states the ability to defer debt repayments in the event of a severe climate shock or natural disaster.

The list of high-income countries pledging funds to compensate developing countries continued to grow. They now include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Scotland. China said it might also contribute.

US climate envoy John Kerry unveiled new carbon trading plans, in which companies including Microsoft and PepsiCo would buy credits to help countries shift away from coal.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Wind Energy Council together launched the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) on November 8.

GOWA aims to support the development and increase total global offshore wind capacity to at least 380 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

During COP27, nine new countries – Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the US – have joined the GOWA to build upon the 60GW of Wind already completed.

Day 4’s agenda

There are two themes on the official agenda for Thursday 10th. It’s Science Day, highlighting landmark UN reports on climate change along with sessions focused on health, dust particles, and coral reefs. It’s also Youth and Future Generations Day, under the heading ‘passing the baton’.

Acronym of the Day

SBTi – the science-based targets initiative offers external scrutiny and validation of a company’s net-zero pledge. The organisation offers advice including sector guidance.

World Leaders Summit

Read our overview of the World Leaders Summit, with corporate greenwashing on the agenda.
World Leaders Summit

Mood of the meeting

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres set the tone with an opening ceremony speech warning that humanity was “on a highway to climate hell, with our foot still on the accelerator”. Leaders of developing countries lamented the impact of the global impact rich countries’ historic emissions, and called on them to spend more on “loss and damage” compensation.

Day Two brought more dire warnings, with the spotlight shifting from politicians to activists. The US bore the brunt criticism for not doing enough.

The official agenda included a roundtable on the sustainability of vulnerable communities.

The substance

A crackdown on corporate greenwashing was signalled by a high-level expert group that Antonio Guterres created in March. The group published a report with setting out what constitutes a credible net zero pledge. Recommendations include interim targets at five-year intervals starting in 2025, with annual emissions reporting including Scope 3 emissions, and separate targets for CO2 and methane. The expert group is influential, but lacks enforcement powers.

Japan shelved plans for a new carbon tax, saying it would issue $136bn in green bonds instead. A government source cited the burden of this year’s soaring energy costs on businesses and consumers. The country already has a more limited carbon tax.

New Zealand allocated $12m to address loss and damage in developing countries.

Day 3’s agenda

It’s Finance Day on 9th November, the first of eight thematic days at COP27. As finance ministers gather, the emphasis will be on the developing world’s needs – three of the thirteen sessions focus on Africa. Also watch out for the roles of green bonds, regulators, and big banks.

Acronym of the Day

GFANZ – the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, launched at COP26, which recently relaxed its membership criteria after big US banks threatened to leave.


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