Climate negotiators seek deal as COP27 goes into overtime

World Saturday 19/November/2022 13:17 PM
By: DW
Climate negotiators seek deal as COP27 goes into overtime

Cairo: EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans has called on negotiators at the ongoing COP27 climate summit in Egypt to reach a deal that builds on previous climate agreements and works to keep a 1.5C cap on the rise in global temperatures.

"The EU is united in our ambition to move forward and build on what we agreed in Glasgow. Our message to partners is clear: we cannot accept that 1.5C dies here and today," he said in a tweet on Saturday.

Negotiators are making a final push for agreements this weekend at the COP27 climate talks, as persistent disagreements over money and responsibility forced the two-week summit into overtime.

Last-minute negotiations running past the scheduled closing time have been a recurring feature of recent COP summits.

Nevertheless, the 2022 event was seen as a crucial test of global commitment to containing climate change, in light of a war in Europe and rapidly rising energy prices distracting governments the world over.

"I remain committed to bring this conference to a close tomorrow in an orderly manner, with the adoption of a series of consensus decisions that will be comprehensive, ambitious, and balanced," COP27 President Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's foreign minister, told reporters late on Friday.

"It will be an intensive day, probably an intensive night, too," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in Sharm el-Sheikh. "A lot of ground is still before us, but none of the questions still open are insoluble, if we are honestly prepared to make collective progress on behalf of us all."

What appears to have been agreed so far?

A draft statement released early on Friday suggested that a deal had been reached for the almost 200 participating countries to reaffirm past commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels.

This is one point at which scientists say the effects of climate change will start to get worse and harder to reverse or decelerate.

The statement would "reaffirm" that doing this requires rapid and deep cuts in carbon emissions in the coming years.

Although critics have in the past said that this particular commitment does little to lay out how to achieve the goal it states.

The text would give countries until next November to lay out short-term plans for the current decade, and encourage them to start submitting longer-term plans.

Observers also noted that the draft specifically refers to "renewable energy," rather than "low-carbon" or "clean" energy at several points, which has not been the case in any COP statement since 2015. Critics said this language was designed to allow other power sources with relatively low CO2 emissions like nuclear or gas to be counted.