©Health & Fitness Journal. FILE PHOTO: Smoke billows over a factory at sunset in Rugby, Britain on February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/
By Kate Abnett and Gloria Dickie
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Health & Fitness Journal) – Government ministers and negotiators from nearly 200 countries began the hard work on Tuesday to find common ground for an agreement at the annual UN climate talks, based on an outlined first draft on hand of delegates to the conference based summit in Egypt.
The document, released late Monday by Egypt’s COP27 presidency, lists two pages of bullet points outlining many of the issues countries have asked for their inclusion – including contentious points that have deeply divided nations.
The document is titled “Non-Paper,” making clear that it was far from an official draft of what will actually be approved by countries at the end of the summit, scheduled for Friday, as the core political agreement of the two-week event could.
“It all boils down to the last few days,” EU environmental policy chief Virginijus Sinkevicius told Health & Fitness Journal on the sidelines of the summit.
“It seems like we are still quite a way from what we would like, but I’m sure it will come down to the last few days and maybe the last few minutes as more and more energy is invested,” he said.
A section in the draft on loss and damage – related to financing developing countries facing unavoidable damage from climate change – suggested the agreement would address the “need for financing arrangements” to address this.
However, there was no indication whether the final deal will include a new loss and damage fund – something developing countries are calling for in the negotiations but which the European Union and the United States are suspicious of.
Burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change, but coal, gas and oil were notably absent from the draft deal.
India surprised some countries last week by pushing for a deal at the summit to phase out all fossil fuels — and not just coal, as countries agreed at last year’s UN summit. The draft COP27 text did not indicate what path the final agreement on this issue will take.
The document mentioned the urgent need for action to keep the globally agreed target of preventing the world from warming to more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels within reach in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Tom Evans, a policy analyst at nonprofit think tank E3G, said the draft text is a “wish list of items,” but he doesn’t reveal what’s likely to make it into the final deal.
“Many of the issues suggested in this paper will be discussed live at the G20 summit,” he said, adding what the Group of 20 leaders said during their meeting in Bali on Tuesday and Wednesday on issues such as the fossil fuel phase-out the final result of the COP27 summit could decide.
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