Local weather negotiations on the United Nations Local weather Change Convention, higher generally known as COP, are over for one more yr. What can we take away from its twenty seventh iteration?
With the backdrop of warfare in Ukraine and a worldwide power disaster, expectations going into this yr’s convention, held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, had been decidedly low.
Including to the stress had been studies from the UN and Worldwide Power Company indicating that the world remains to be set to soar previous the 1.5C warming restrict set by the Paris Settlement. Mixed with a sequence of local weather disasters in 2022, the stakes (not like the expectations) had been excessive.
Now that COP27 is over and the mud has settled, we spotlight a few of the details of discussions and outcomes from the final two weeks—and what they imply for Canada.
On the massive points, one step ahead and one step again
Two points loomed massive over COP27.
The primary was “loss and harm,” the precept that rich international locations ought to compensate susceptible nations for the rising prices of local weather disasters (along with the US$100 billion in local weather finance for mitigation and adaptation that developed international locations have dedicated to). For the primary time, international locations reached a deal to arrange a loss and harm fund, considered by some as a “historic” step ahead.
Nevertheless, as this yr’s devastating Pakistan floods confirmed, the human and financial prices of local weather change are already important at simply over 1C of warming—and solely anticipated to rise. Decreasing emissions from burning oil, gasoline, and coal is the most affordable and simplest solution to restrict the long run impacts of local weather change.
This was the second key challenge that COP tried to grapple with and, sadly, didn’t make any headway on. Regardless of assist from 80 international locations—together with Canada, the EU, U.S., and India—COP27 failed to achieve a deal to “section down” oil and gasoline alongside coal (agreed to ultimately yr’s summit). This end result places the 1.5C goal, already in jeopardy, on life assist.
Our buddies need clear power, not fossil fuels
Spoiling the rising narrative that Canada’s buddies want extra of our oil and gasoline, the EU in impact mentioned “thanks however no thanks.” As an alternative, the EU’s local weather chief made it clear that regardless of the power disaster, it has no plans to backtrack on its local weather targets and can come armed with a strengthened goal at COP28 in 2023.
In the meantime, greater than 80 international locations at COP27 supported a proposal to section down the usage of all fossil fuels. This could give Canada’s federal and provincial governments a lot meals for thought.
Indicators of progress too
We additionally noticed indicators that the world is inching in the proper path:
- A thaw in relations between the world’s largest polluters, the U.S. and China, who look like on talking phrases once more (at the least on local weather). And a promise from incoming president Lula that “Brazil is again.”
- On clear power, Indonesia reached a deal with the U.S., Japan, and a number of other different international locations to supply US$20 billion (of which half will likely be personal finance) to transition its electrical energy grid off coal. That is the second deal negotiated below the Simply Power Transition Partnership. If profitable, it may catalyze future offers with different rising, carbon-intensive economies.
- On transportation, the U.S. joined Canada and 15 different international locations by committing to 100% zero-emission truck and bus gross sales by 2040. Development in passenger EVs reveals no indicators of slowing, with gross sales rising 60% to greater than 10 million in 2022.
- On heavy trade, COP noticed quite a lot of pledges to extend the availability of near-zero emission supplies whereas additionally scaling up demand. Canada has a key function to play in these initiatives as a lead member of the Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative and Cement Breakthrough.
- Barbados (chargeable for below 0.01% of worldwide emissions) acquired widespread assist for its plan to lift over US$1 trillion in local weather financing from worldwide establishments and by taxing oil firms.
- As net-zero pledges by banks and personal firms proliferate, so do considerations round greenwashing and inconsistent lobbying. A UN group—led by former federal Atmosphere Minister Catherine McKenna—issued a set of tips to separate truth from fiction with regards to net-zero claims.
Although simply forgotten amid the binary narrative of the general settlement’s success or failure, these multilateral, sub-global efforts present the COP course of at its finest.
Whereas the convention is over for one more yr, local weather change will take no such hiatus. It’s now as much as Canada’s governments to speed up the power transition right here at house. In spite of everything, actual international local weather progress is achieved by means of the gathered actions of particular person international locations.