COP27: Draft agreement fails to make a firm stand on fossil fuels

Posted on 17 November 2022

​The UN climate agency has published the first draft of the agreement, which comes from COP27. While this is only the first draft, and as negotiations continue is likely to change the wording over the next few days, many groups have already shared their frustration with the first draft.

The document repeats the climate pact set at COP26 in Glasgow to "accelerate measures towards the phase-down of unabated coal power and phase out and rationalise inefficient fossil fuel subsidies".

While last year's summit was the first time that an agreement was made which included fossil fuels and coal as part of the climate, COP27 has seen speakers, India, and the EU request a "phase-down" of all fossil fuels, which the document is lacking.

There are also no details to launch funding for the loss and damage from the effects of climate change. Climate crisis compensation has been a key demand from countries most vulnerable to the climate crisis. Instead, it "welcomes" that parties have, for the first time, discussed "matters related to funding arrangements responding to loss and damage" at the summit.

The document "stresses the importance of exerting all efforts at all levels to achieve the Paris agreement temperature goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels".

While the document is a draft based on the request of delegates from over 200 countries, early frustration suggests considerable negotiations could be over the coming days to rework the text and flesh out the details.

Yeb Saño, Head of Delegation for Greenpeace, commented, "The Cop27 presidency pushes the pedal to the metal on the highway to climate hell. After initially failing to even mention fossil fuels, the draft text is an abdication of responsibility to capture the urgency expressed by many countries to see all oil and gas added to coal for at least a phase-down. It is time to end the denial, the fossil fuel age must be brought to a rapid end."

Joseph Sikulu of the Pacific Climate Warriors and said: "The cover text released this morning does not represent the call from both the negotiation rooms as well as the civil society for a just, equitable and managed phase-out of all fossil fuels. Anything less than what we achieved in Glasgow will see COP27 branded a failure by the world."

However, it is to be remembered that the first draft is considered "non-paper". The coming days will see negotiations and reworking of the document once more solid agreements have been made between leaders and countries. It will be the final document from COP27, which will decide the summit's success in Egypt.

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