COP27 Action Tracker: Egypt accused of plans to silence climate experts and youth activists
With less than one month to go until COP27, this new series from edie provides a regular update on preparations across the world.
Taking place in Sharm-El-Sheikh this November, COP27 is a major event in the diary for anyone in the sustainability space.
At COP26 in Glasgow last year, nations collectively agreed to update their Paris Agreement commitments within 12 months and signed a new text, the Glasgow Climate Pact – the first from any COP to explicitly mention fossil fuels.
Much has changed since then.
edie has, therefore, launched this COP27 Action Tracker – a regular round-up of the policy and business preparations being made here in the UK and across the world. Read on for our second edition.
- 90% of global GDP now covered by net-zero commitments
- 24 nations have submitted Paris Agreement NDCs
- 3,865 companies signed up to implementing science-based emissions targets
- 1,834 companies with verified science-based emissions targets
- Egypt silenced climate experts’ voices before hosting COP27, Human Rights Watch says
- Further delaying climate policies will hurt economic growth, IMF warns
- COP26 President Alok Sharma speaks in Washington, D.C.
To say that it’s been a turbulent week in UK politics would be an understatement. Prime Minister Liz Truss sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor late last week, after the measures announced in his mini-Budget caused the pound to plummet. Jeremy Hunt was swiftly announced as the replacement for the former Business and Energy Minister.
On Friday, Truss announced a u-turn on plans to cap corporation tax. This added to an already-announced plan not to change tax rules, thereby allowing those with an annual income of £150,000 or more to pay lower rates. This had commentators worrying that the fiscal plan that Truss had run on was falling apart and beginning to more closely resemble measures proposed by her Tory leadership race competitor Rishi Sunak.
Hunt has today (17 October) delivered his own emergency announcement. Several more of Kwarteng’s measures were reversed and, in an attempt to reduce the bill for shielding homes and businesses from high energy prices, the Treasury promised a review next April.
In the clamor, it has been easy for the Energy Prices Bill to be sidelined. The Bill includes a measure to impose a temporary profit cap on renewable energy generators, which industry bodies fear may deter investment. BEIS representatives have stated that they are working to design a measure which is investor-friendly and short-term.
In other news, the Aldersgate Group hosted a pre-COP27 briefing in London on Thursday (13 October). There, representatives from Aviva Investors, CMS, WWF UK, Ramboll, Nestle UK & Ireland and Cemex UK were on hand to outline their wishlist for the summit.
Themes that reoccurred were the need for developed nations to meet their $100bn climate finance commitments; the need for a greater focus on food systems; the need for clarity on carbon pricing and better synergy between the climate COP and the biodiversity COP, which is set for Montreal in December.
Also speaking was the UK Government’s new Climate Minister Graham Stuart. Stuart said: “We’ve been making a lot of promises and, as I’ve said, we’ve now got to convert that into reality. And a lot was promised at COP26.
“Promises are important, but implementation and action are what count.”
COP27 President Alok Sharma and dozens of other ministers from around the world were in Washington, D.C., last week, for the IMF and the World Bank’s annual meetings.
Sharma pushed for further support for the creation of new Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPS), designed to fast-track funding from developed nations to lower-income countries grappling with reducing fossil fuel use. A UK-South-Africa JETP was announced at COP26 and other JETPs will be finalised at COP27.
“Against the backdrop of ongoing global energy security challenges, organisations like the IMF and World Bank must do all they can to help developing countries move further and faster in tackling climate change, to support resilient economies powered by clean, renewable energy systems,” Sharma told the meeting, in what will likely be his last public speech as President.
The Financial Times has called the talks ‘bleak’ and the mood one of ‘gloom’ to begin with. However, it has reported that there was a major sense of optimism towards the end, with many nations agreeing that a post-war-style mobilisation was needed to amend global financial architecture to better unlock global climate finance flows.
In other news:
- Four additional nations are reported to have submitted their Paris Agreement NDCs within the last few days
- EU Countries are reportedly considering watering down the European Commission’s plan for them to target 45% renewables in the energy mix by 2030
- Some hotels near the COP27 venue have raised their room prices for the two-week period tenfold
- The UN is urging Egypt to ensure that civil society can ‘fully participate’ in COP27, amid concerns about limits to protests
Words of wisdom
“‘If we can do something about it, then do it. We can do it. We must do it. Then there will be a future for the planet.” – Sir David Attenborough
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