Climate activists stand next to banners as they take part in protests during COP27 Climate activists stand next to banners as they take part in protests during COP27 

COP27, Guterres: There is still no answer to the climate crisis

The UN Climate Change Conference receives criticism for a document that fails to agree on CO2 emission reductions.

By Tiziana Campisi

The contents of the final document approved on Sunday by Cop27 are not enough to combat climate change. Criticism has poured down on the decisions of the UN Climate Change Conference, which met from 6 to 18 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, including criticism from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called for "drastic reductions in emissions ". Guterres commented on Cop27's failure to address the issue and the fact that funding for the most vulnerable countries, while still essential, is not an answer to the climate crisis that "wipes a small island off the map, or turns an entire African country into a desert". " The world still needs a giant leap forward on climate ambition," added the Secretary-General. "The red line that must not be crossed is the one that takes our planet beyond the 1.5-degree temperature limit."

Emissions must be reduced quickly

Mariagrazia Midulla, head of Climate and Energy at WWF Italy called the agreement on human casualties and property damage caused by the impacts of the climate crisis a positive step, but fears it could become an 'end of the world fund' if countries do not move much faster to reduce emissions and limit warming to below 1.5 degrees. "Leaders have missed the opportunity to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels," Midulla continues, "so we will continue to run into the most catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis. Without rapid and deep cuts in emissions, we will not be able to limit the scale of loss and damage, and this must be our first goal", she said.

Cop27 decisions

Cop27 calls on keeping the global temperature within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels - which requires a 43% reduction in emissions up to 2030 - and emphasizes the importance of the transition to renewable sources, calling for the elimination of subsidies to fossil fuels. However, it only calls for the reduction of coal-fired electricity production with unabated emissions. With current decarbonization commitments, however, the emissions cut would only be 0.3% by 2030, and states that have not yet updated their decarbonization targets (MoUs) are asked to do so by 2023. There is no mention in the document of reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels, as several countries had called for, but there is a call to cancel subsidies to fossil fuels - but only the "inefficient" ones. In order to cope with global warming, there is a demand to increase the funds necessary for adjustments and, in order to reach zero net emissions in 2050, to invest, four trillion dollars per year, until 2030, in renewables. For the first time, there is talk of a fund to compensate for climate change losses and damage in the most vulnerable nations, for which the states will appoint a Transitional Committee with the task of preparing a project to be presented at next year's COP28 in Dubai, with the aim of approving it and making it operational by then. A first alert system for extreme weather events is also envisaged.

21 November 2022, 13:53