Awaiting commitments

Friday 18 Nov 2022

photo: AP
photo: AP


COP27 is drawing to a close with unabated momentum but with little progress on financial commitments by developing nations to combat and adapt to climate change. After around two weeks of meetings, debates, and campaigning, the annual event which brought together leaders from around the world is scheduled to wrap up on 18 November.

One of the achievements of the largest global environmental gathering was the inclusion of the issue of loss and damage for the first time on the official agenda. For years, developed countries that are being held responsible for damage to the environment, had been putting off the adoption of this matter for fear of liability. Although loss and damage is now on the books, an agreement on exact funding has yet to be reached.

There has also been little progress on discussions of how to deliver on deals and pledges made in previous years. UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin proposes that international development funding institutions should finance climate action projects through long-term facilitated loans extended to all low- and middle-income countries without exception.

“Implementing this proposal is all the more urgent in light of the failure of most developed nations to meet the commitments they made in the Copenhagen and Paris agreements to provide $100 billion a year to support climate action in developing nations.”

If this proposal is applied, Mohieldin said, the world will be on the threshold of the path to victory in the war on climate change.

According to Reuters, a draft of what could become a deal “mentioned the urgency of action to keep within reach the goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Temperatures have already increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius.”

Egypt’s Special Representative to the COP27 summit Wael Abul-Magd told the news agency that “sticking points remained, but countries have to strike a deal.” He stressed that “the future of humanity, without exaggeration, is at stake.”

Throughout these two weeks, campaigners are urging the COP27 to spread awareness of the race against global warming. In an open letter, the campaigners stressed the need for all parties, governmental, non-governmental and business, to adopt a common strategy to inform the world of what global warming is about. They also urged the bosses of seven digital giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, to implement tough policies preventing false climate information from spreading on their platforms, similar to the measßures taken on the Covid-19 pandemic.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 17 November, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.


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