“We must now drastically reduce emissions. And this is a question that this COP has not answered” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of COP 27.
The final decision does not show any progress compared to the 2021 COP in Glasgow when we wanted to see sectoral targets that would accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the findings of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the final decision of COP 27 does not commit countries to reduce their emissions drastically.
However, COP 27 did create a fund to finance the loss and damage of the countries most exposed to the impacts of climate change. 100 billion dollars per year may seem impressive, but some of the announcements made at COP 27 are only communication. The needs generated by the climate crises are estimated at 580 billion euros per year by 2030 in the countries of the South. This sum only includes the economic losses linked to disasters but does not quantify the cost of human lives or the displacement of a population. We are far from the envelope negotiated at this COP 27.
A few weeks ago, more than 1,000 scientists warned the international community: is it realistic to maintain the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°C when it will be exceeded in less than 10 years? UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was hardly more optimistic at the opening of COP 27, saying that the target was now “kept alive”. Yet it is a vital commitment of the Paris Agreement: “to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, compared to the pre-industrial era”.
The efforts of States remain insufficient to contain it, so much so that its inclusion in the final agreement of Sharm-El-Sheikh has been debated. The G20, meeting in Bali at the same time as the COP, reaffirmed its ambition to continue efforts to limit global temperature to 1.5°C by accelerating the gradual elimination of coal.
The regulation of net-zero pledges, starting with large emitting companies, is a rare satisfaction. The net-zero strategy of the highest emitting companies will be subject to strict climate disclosure requirements and greater state scrutiny.
The next COP will be held in the United Arab Emirates in November 2023. We hope that real decisions will be taken to meet the Paris Agreement.