SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Today is supposed to be the last day of the UN’s COP27 climate talks, but talks are continuing past Friday’s official deadline as nations could not agree on funding to compensate developing countries for losses and damages caused by climate change. However, for some good news, Thursday was Solutions Day and there were some exciting initiatives launched on electric vehicles, urban resilience, global waste and more. (Check out our previous dispatches from COP27.)
Loss and damage debates go into overtime
Rich countries and developing countries have yet to agree on the details of an injury and damage fund. Most climate COPs actually go into overtime (out of 26 previous COPs, only six ended on time) and no one knows how long the negotiations will continue. In a press release on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “No one can deny the scale of loss and damage we are seeing around the world. The world is burning and drowning before our eyes. […] We cannot continue to deny climate justice to those who have contributed least to the climate crisis and are most affected.”
No phasing out beyond carbon
The draft COP agreement released on Thursday calls for phasing out coal but does not include other fossil fuels, which some countries, including India, have called for. The document may still change before it is finalized, and many hope it will include a managed phase-out of all fossil fuels.
Solutions Day creates some fun acronyms
A handful of initiatives to help countries meet their climate goals emerged from Solutions Day on Thursday, including some with creative acronyms.
The Low-Carbon Trust for Urban Sustainability (LOTUS) focuses on low-carbon mobility solutions such as vehicle electrification and alternative transport solutions for cities in developing countries.
The Accelerating to Zero Coalition (A2Z) supports the transition to zero-emission vehicles around the world.
The Sustainable Urban Resilience for the Next Generation (SURGe) initiative will address some of the barriers limiting urban emissions reductions and help build urban system resilience in housing, water, mobility, waste and energy.
The Waste 50 by 2050 initiative will help treat and recycle at least 50% of solid waste generated in Africa by 2050.
More countries are tackling methane
At least 150 countries have now signed the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, 50 more countries than signed the agreement at last year’s COP. And although China has not signed on, it has developed a draft plan to curb methane emissions.
RMI and the Clean Air Task Force launched a new digital platform to link satellite data with best practices for mitigating methane from waste, which produces nearly 20% of global methane emissions.
🌫️ Read about other COP27 announcements on initiatives to tackle methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas.
Stay tuned for an overview of the major COP27 developments after the conference concludes.