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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Australia at COP27 Diary

UN climate conference, the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) is ocurring in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt from Monday November 6 to Friday November 18, 2022 (but may also go overtime into the weekend). 

This is my digital diary of Australia at COP27. I have attended four previous COPs, but I will be following whats going on at COP27 online. Follow with me. I'll be updating this blog post regularly over October-November 2022.

UNFCCC COP27 main website. Civil Society have organised the COP27 Coalition. See the La Ruta del Clima guide to COP27 (English and Spanish). The Australian Pavillion website.

Key Blogs (for tracking issues):. 

20 November - Long past bedtime as La Nina set to intensify cyclone season and flooding

Final hours of negotiations and post assessment: 

  • End game for COP27 - blogging the final hours Closing Plenary scheduled for 12:30-15:30 AEDT
  • The UN Climate conference COP27 may have closed but La Niña is set to intensify Australia’s cyclone season, raising risk of flooding (The Guardian)
  • What are the key outcomes of Cop27 climate summit? (The Guardian)
  • Guest: COP27: one big breakthrough but ultimately an inadequate response to the climate crisis (Blog)
  • The 1.5C climate goal died at Cop27 – but hope must not by Damian Carrington, Environment editor at The Guardian

19 November - Overtime, out of time

Prime minister Anthony Albanese says taking climate seriously is key to international diplomacy, is key to Australia’s push to co-host a UN climate conference with the Pacific islands. "Taking climate change seriously is the entry fee to get a seat at the table of international diplomacy and to be taken seriously by those who care about the global economy as well." (The Guardian)

U.S. silent on surprise aid plan (for Loss and Damnage finance) as climate talks stagger (Climatewire) Previous article reported U.S. isolated on loss and damage (Climatewire)

Reuters publishes Analysis-Australia's Climate Policies Don't Match Its Big Talk at COP27 highlighting Australia's addiction to fossil fuel exports and lack of policy to change this so far. (Reuters)

Australian position on Loss and Damage Finance: Australia said it welcomed the EU’s contribution and would “engage constructively with it”. On loss and damage, it was “very attracted to a new fund that benefits from a broad contributor base and focuses on the most vulnerable”. “We want to fully examine how other institutions such as multinational development banks can interact and further develop their interaction with this fund,” said Chris Bowen, the Australian climate change minister. reports the Guardian.

End game for COP27: Will there be backsliding on Fossil fuels or 1.5C target? Will a Loss and Damage finance Facility be established? (Blog)

Highlights and images from Earth Negotians Bulletin highlights Saturday 19 November a real negotiations rollercoaster ride (ENB/IISD)

High Ambition Coalition lists its demands for a successful COP:



18 November - When everyone guesses how long the COP will run overtime

Chris Bowen on Cop27’s urgent fight: ‘If we’re not trying to keep to 1.5C then what are we here for?’ (The Guardian) reports on Loss and Damage Fund "In a significant step late on Friday, Australia was party to an informal proposal led by the EU, and also backed by the US, UK, New Zealand and Canada, for a fund to be made operational within two years, with the possibility of a commission to consider how it would work with existing financial institutions. They called for money to come from “a wide variety of parties and sources”, but did not specify if that included large emerging economies such as China. Developing countries were examining the proposal." The draft text for a Cop27 agreement was still weaker than the Glasgow pact. “But it is much closer and we might be able to get somewhere better,” says Bowen.

18 November 2022 - Australia joins international Net Zero Government Initiative

This is a commitment to decarbonise Australian Government operations and the operations of the Federal Public Service. Australian Government has joined with more than 10 global partners, including the United States. But note that Defence and Security operations are excluded from this commitment. (DCCEEW)

18 November 2022 - Australia endorses the international Ocean Conservation Pledge

The Australian Government has endorsed the Ocean Conservation Pledge – a global movement calling on countries to conserve or protect at least 30% of the ocean within their jurisdiction by 2030. (DCCEEW)

Fossil Awards: Colossal Fossil: USA wins Colossal Fossil award at COP27 for block and delay on Loss and Damage Finance, Dishonourable mentions to Russia and Bolsanaro's Brazil (Blog)


17 November - Solutions Day

17 November - Australia's bid to co-host COP31 not locked in with Pacific "I will be talking to other Pacific island nations to make our support for Australia hosting the COP conditional on no new government money being given to fossil fuels". Regenvanu also called on Australia to rejoin the Green Climate Fund - Vanuatu's Minister of Climate Change Adaptation Ralph Regenvanu (@RRegenvanu) . (Guardian)

Methane Ministerial: Keeping 1.5°C Within Reach While Strengthening Energy and Food Security. 150 countries have now signed. Featured John Kerry US Special Envoy for Climate Change, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President European Commission, Inger Anderson, Executive Director UNEP, Ministers from Global Methane Pledge countries, with special attendance from China's climate envoy Xie Zhenhua. (Blog)

Presentation by Union Cycliste Internationale: How to Create a Cycling City. Woollongong features."In order to get people on bicyles it has been proven time and time again that you need protected bicycle lanes. You can't just tell people to cycle, you can't just put a bike share system on the street. If there aren't protected bike lanes, people will not ride bikes" (UNFCCC video-on-demand)

Electric car adoption accelerating, but needs stronger push to meet net zero. Annual electric car sales are on track to exceed 10m in 2022, up more than 60% year on year and more than triple the 3.1m sold in 2020. More than 13% of new cars sold globally in the first half of 2022 were electric, up from 8.7% in 2021, and 4.3% in 2020. Electric vehicle use in 2022 will avoid the burning of 1.7m barrels of oil per day - more than the total oil consumption of France or Mexico, both G20 economies. (Bloomberg NEF report)

Early Draft Cop27 cover decision fails to call for ‘phase-down’ of all fossil fuels (The Guardian)

Brazil’s incoming president Lula met indigenous leaders and said what many have been thinking at Cop- that those most impacted by the climate emergency are not represented at these negotiations. He talked about G20 meetings and his feeling that nothing was said about the issues of civil society in these meetings. “Poor people don’t exist on the agenda do not exist on their agenda… indigenous communities, black communities… trade unions,” he said. (The Guardian)

Press conference - G77, AOSIS, LDCs, AILAC – Loss and Damage Finance Inaction. Pakistan Minister Sherry Rehman leads with a strong statement demanding a Loss and Danage finance facility (UNFCCC live stream on-demand) COP27: Developing Countries Call For 'Urgent Political Will' To Establish Loss and Damage Fund (The Wire)

Stakeout with António Guterres, UN Secretary-General and Sameh Shoukry, COP27 PresidentAccording to Sameh Shoukry, the items of contention are "The Mitigation Work Program (MWP) is yet to reach the desired outcome, Adaptation is still held back by procedural matters, ambitious outcomes on finance have not yet materialised. And on Loss and Damage Parties are shying away from taking the difficult political decisions." (Blog)

Fossil of the Day Awards: to Egypt for a weak cover text and Israel for greenwashing (Blog)

Negotiations: Read ENB/IISD for full summary but I highlight two key areas:climate finance and Loss and Damage Finance and the important cover text: Chris Bowen has ghis work cut out, as do all the co-facilitators.

On finance, particularly the new collective quantified goal (NCQG), Co-Facilitators Bhupender Yadav (India) and Chris Bowen (Australia) noted they had prepared text that could provide a structured approach to further the work of the ad hoc work programme for 2023 and enable a decision on the NCQG in 2024. They will meet with Heads of Delegation to hear parties’ views.

On finance for loss and damage, Co-Facilitators María Heloísa Rojas Corradi (Chile) and Jennifer Morgan (Germany) said they had produced draft text based on multiple bilateral consultations that would be made available shortly, and a meeting would be convened in the evening to hear parties’ reflections on the text.

Cover text: On presidency consultations, Nasr reported that streamlined cover decision text will be issued. He said views are divergent on the equitable geographical representation proposal by Georgia, the special needs and circumstances of Africa, and Article 2.1(c), among others. COP President Shoukry reported there would be another informal stocktaking on Friday, 18 November, followed by additional discussions with parties on the set of decisions to be resolved in a balanced manner. He said new cover decision text would be issued during the night.


16 November - Biodiversity Day

Australia joins global drive to boost offshore wind. Australia will join an alliance of government and private organisations to boost the offshore wind industry. Announced at COP27, this venture will leverage the expertise and support of other nations to help establish an offshore wind industry in Australia. (DCCEEW) Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia, NSW and Tasmania are hurrying to capitalise on more than 40 gigawatts (GW) of proposed offshore wind developments, the most advanced is the Star of the South in Bass Strait.(RenewEconomy)

Climate Finance: "A leaked draft copy of the Cop27 decision on long-term finance, seen by The Independent, reveals rollback on climate finance rollbacks on rich countries’ pledges to help poorer ones deal with extreme climate impacts.(The Independent)

No pledge to end export credit for Fossil Fuels from Australia's Export Finance Corporation. Labor Environment Action Network critical of failure of Chris Bowen to sign this statement/pledge on Tuesday 15 Nov. (Blog)

G20 in Bali provides impetus for negotiations at COP27: $20 billion to phase out Indonesian coal, Europe-Australia bilateral affirms Paris goals (Blog)

New Climate Analytics report: 1.5°C is still in reach to reduce the worst climate risks – but only with immediate mitigation action and shifting finance. (Climate Analytics)

To limit warming to 1.5C, global GHG emissions must:

  • peak as soon as possible before 2025
  • roughly halve by 2030 compared to 2019
  • decline to net zero CO2 emissions around 2050
  • and reach net zero GHG emissions around 2070

16 November 2022 - Australia joins global efforts to end plastic pollution. Media Release from Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. (DCCEEW)  

Australian Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen asked to take over the struggling negotiations over how to fund climate financing for poor and vulnerable countries. He will co-facilitate that section of negotiations alongside the Indian climate change minister, Bhupender Yadav. (The Guardian)

AOSIS Chair COP27 Statement: “Failure On Loss And Damage Fund Is A Failure For The World”. In the final few days of negotiations at the UN climate summit, COP27, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and other developing countries are gravely concerned with the lack of progress made on the fundamental agenda item of funding arrangements for loss and damage. The inaction of many developed countries has the potential to stall talks and land a devastating blow to the hopes of the developing world for the establishment of a loss and damage funding facility at COP27. (AOSIS)

Fossil of the Day: From Russia with Love (and Smoke) Fossil of the day Award at COP27 (Blog)

Negotiations: "Negotiations moved slowly on several issues, particularly finance. For other issues, texts were forwarded to the COP Presidency or ministers for further consideration. Agreement on a decision on the Santiago Network was met with applause from negotiators. Talks on the Adaptation Fund Board also reached compromise." (ENB/IISD)


15 November - ACE and Civil Society Day

Tracking Australian Ministers and Australian pledges at COP27 (BlogRead transcript of Chris Bowen's full speech to the High level Segment of COP27: Chris Bowen speech to COP27 on Australia's new climate ambition, COP31 bid and global financial institution reform.

Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen spoke at a UK COP26 Presidency event on Putting Promises into Practice: Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition. (Youtube)

Australian climate minister to target World Bank’s response to crisis in Cop27 speech (Guardian) Chris Bowen's major address at the Cop27 will call out the World Bank for failing to address the climate crisis, and join calls for the international financial system to be reshaped. Bowen will also declare that Australia is back as a “constructive, positive, and willing climate collaborator” since the Anthony Albanese-led Labor party ousted Scott Morrison’s rightwing coalition, which was widely criticised as a roadblock at climate negotiations. According to an advance copy of the speech released by his office, Bowen would not outline new climate funding or policies.

From G20 in Bali - Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden meet and “agreed to empower key senior officials to maintain communication and deepen constructive efforts” on climate change.(SMH)

Fiji, climate finance and Loss and Damage: Ambassador Satyendra Prasad, the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations explains the importance of climate finance: for adaptation, and for Loss and Damage and why Loss and Damage finance should be no longer delayed. (Sierra Club)

Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) new Head of Secretariat Julia Skorupska says on the 5th Anniversary event at COP27: "Coal phase out is the single most important first step to meet the Paris goals so its encouraging that we have grown from just 20 members five years ago to 168 members today..." (

Indonesia: $20 billion accepts deal to phase down coal. as one of the world’s largest consumers of coal, pledged to sharply reduce its reliance on coal and speed up its transition to renewable power as part of a $20 billion climate finance deal announced on Tuesday with the United States, Japan and other developed countries.(New York Times)

Fossil of the Day Award to Turkeyfor pretending to be a climate hero when the new target is actually a 30% emissions increase by 2030 compared to actual 2020 emissions (Blog)

Negotiations: While ministers gave high-level speeches that relayed their national priorities, negotiators worked to clear as much of the backlog of pending issues as possible. By the end of the day, numerous issues remained unresolved. Ministers will take up a shortlist of issues to bridge the remaining differences. (ENB/IISD Daily summary)


14 November - Gender Day and Water Day

Victorian election. Gas vs green jobs: Major parties put energy into campaigns. Grattan Institute director of Energy Tony Wood said neither party had provided a genuine plan to move off gas, a #fossilfuel, which he said needed to be done. (The Age) Reaction from Environment Victoria

Australia: Major flood event in progress in Central West NSW, Record rainfall records broken, record flooding likely. (SMH)

On Climate Finance worth reading Avinash Persaud, Breaking the Deadlock on Climate: The Bridgetown Initiative, Nov 2022, (Groupe d’études géopolitiques)

US climate envoy, John Kerry, said the US was “totally supportive” of moves to address loss and damage, one of the most contentious issues at these talks, and “100% ready” to discuss the issue in detail. (Guardian)

The argument for establish a loss and damage finance facility at COP27, rather than the Global Shield insurance scheme separate from and outside of UNFCCC. By Julia-Anne Richards, Global Shield: Solution or Distraction?  (Loss and Damage Collaboration) See article on Global Shield (insurance) establishment (DW)

Adam Morton thinks It was an avoidable mistake for Anthony Albanese not to attend Cop27, in terms of maintaining climate momentum (the Guardian)

Australia improves Climate Change Performance ranking slightly in CCPI 2023 report (Blog)

Mexico announces a new target to reduce emissions by 35%, up from its previous target of 22%. Double investments in clean energy, boost electric car use, reduce methane emissions from natural gas and expand protected forests.(AP)

India requests “phase down” wording from COP26 be expanded to apply to all fossil fuels, not just coal. India on Saturday at COP27 said meeting the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement requires "phase down of all fossil fuels", sources said. "Natural gas and oil also lead to emission of greenhouse gases. Making only one fuel the villain is not right," a source in the Indian delegation attending the climate talks said.(The Hindu)

Countries and organisations pledge USD $8 billion for projects to reduce the climate impact of farming as part of the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate.(Bloomberg)

Fossil of the day... to New Zealand for a disappointing statement on Saturday night on Loss and Damage Finance Facility (Blog)

Denial: Former Leader of the Nationals, Barnaby Joyce Declares Climate Change Is “Solved” Because It Is Raining. This could be satire (Junkee)

Negotiations: ENB summarise the day as "Monday began with a recognition of the significant volume of work ahead. The Subsidiary Bodies forwarded a long list of issues to this second week of talks, adding to the slate of political-level discussions on key issues to be facilitated by ministers and the Presidency later in the week."  and "technical work would continue on the 13 agenda items left outstanding from the Subsidiary Bodies, spanning mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, agriculture, gender, and response measures. Presidency consultations will also continue on the cover decisions and other issues identified in the opening plenaries. Ministerial consultations will begin Wednesday, 16 November." (ENB/IISD)


13 November - While negotiators and observers take a rest midway through, the news continues.
'Carbon-Neutral' Fossil Fuels & State-Sponsored Greenwashing (Blog) See also Guardian reportAustralia risks being a ‘state sponsoring greenwashing’ if it relies on carbon offsets, expert warns.

While the push is on to get a Loss and Damage Facility at COP27, Denmark, Scotland, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Canada, and Ireland  have already committed money to Loss and Damage finance. Although some of this is not new money but a reallocation of other climate finance, and some is in the form of insurance which is not supportive of developing countries needs. Loss and Damage finance should also be additional to existing climate finance for mitigation and adaptation. (Global Witness).

On Forests from 11 Nov side-event - Advancing Toward the Glasgow Climate Pact: A Call to Action to Achieve One Gigaton of Emissions Reductions from Forests by 2025. (ENB/IISD) See also the UNEP report: Making good on the Glasgow Climate Pact: a call to action to achieve one gigaton of emissions reductions from forests by 2025. (UNEP). The State of Victoria could contribute to this by ending logging in Native forests before 2024, which would result in saving 3 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Victorian Forests Alliance published Victoria's Forest Carbon: An Opportunity for Action on Climate Change report which outlines the climate savings from ending logging of Victorian Native forests Stopping logging now could save: 14 million tonnes of emissions by 2030; draw down 90 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050;  Provide $3.1B in carbon mitigation by 2050 (at a carbon cost of $35/tonne). 

COP27 Ignores Carbon Price, Climate Costs, Carbon Debt, Full Reparations & Global South - by Melbourne based Dr Gideon Polya (Countercurrents)


12 November - Is Adaptation and Agriculture Day

Cop27: Biden says leaders ‘can no longer plead ignorance’ over climate crisis (Guardian) Biden Speech transcript (

Open Letter to World Leaders Calling for a Plant Based Treaty. The treaty outlined three core principles; to stop the expansion of animal agriculture, promote a shift to sustainable plant-based diets, and “reforest and rewild” planet Earth.(Plant Based Treaty) On Oct 18 LA City Council voted unanimously to endorse a resolution supporting the global Plant Based Treaty (LA Downtown News)

State Scrutiny and Midnight Disturbances Make Egypt’s COP27 the Most Chilling of Climate Talks. Australian Jo Dodds gives an example. (Bloomberg)

Fossil Fuel Treaty: US senator Edward Markey becoming the first US politician to back this treaty call, already endorsed by Vanuatu and Tuvalu. (Fossil Fuel Treaty)

USA wins Fossil award for lack of movement in Loss and Damage Facility, on delivering its debt (Blog)  

Negotiations: First week ended with the closing plenaries of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). ENB report that Substantive conclusions were adopted on a limited number of issues, mostly related to the consideration of reports by constituted bodies and to reporting. On many issues, only procedural conclusions were adopted which noted that further work is required to finalize the relevant decisions. (ENB/IISD Daily report for 12 November 2022)


11 November - Decarbonisation Day
Gas expansion - Latest report from Climate Action Tracker: Massive gas expansion risks overtaking positive climate policies. Also a current assessment of global climate action (Climate Action Tracker)

Global Carbon budget: Global carbon emissions at record levels with no signs of shrinking, new data shows. Humanity has a monumental task ahead. (Blog via The Conversation)

Australia will join the Mangrove Alliance for Climate further strengthening the country’s global leadership on climate action and blue carbon. (DCCEEW)

Meanwhile in Sydney....40% More intense Rain bursts for Sydney region in the last 2 decades. (The Conversation)

Coverge of the UN greenwashing and netzero report and its implication for business, state and local governments. (The Conversation) See my blog on the launch of this report.

Climate Trace: tool shows global origin of emissions launched by Al Gore at COP27. Important for transparency in reporting emissions, also enabling more efficiency, and targeting decarbonisation of most polluting activities (Blog) See also: Australian emissions more than triple the entire Pacific region’s (SMH)

Nov 11 is designated by the COP Presidency as decarbonisation day. But Egypt is hosting not one but three presidency events in favour of fossil gas.

Global Methane Pledge. I attended online the The Advancing the Global methane pledge, a presidency event. This had a strong focus on maintaining gas as a transition fuel as articulated by the CEO of Total Energies.  This was effectively a greenwash event for fossil gas by Egypt. (Blog) See 
Gas producers using Cop27 to rebrand gas as transitional fuel, experts warn (Guardian)

Flood the COP: Outside the meeting rooms civil society dressed in blue to Flood the COP, to pay up on Loss and Damage. A more hygenic flood, than the river of piss and shit earlier in the week at the conference venue (Blog)

Fossil Awards:  On Decarbonisation Day there was a Fossiloftheday Bonanza! for US, Russia, Egypt and UAE refusing to decarbonise - fossils run in their veins (Blog)

And the negotiations? I'll leave that to the good folk at the Earth Negotiations Bulletin 11 November summary report Co-facilitators across many negotiation rooms reminded delegates of the need to conclude consideration of the items set to be forwarded to the closing plenaries of the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs), scheduled for the next day.(ENB/IISD)


10 November: Australian Gov Discussion of Energy Efficiency - Release of National Energy Performance Strategy consultation paper.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific released its new report on Loss and Damage and its importance for Pacifika peoples: Lost time and damaged reputations: What Australia must do to go from blocker to leader on loss and damage (PDF), and a corresponding petition to Foreign Minister Penny Wong. 

Dr Simon Bradshaw op-ed on Australia's changing position with COP27 and the bid to host COP31 (SMH)

Australia Institute releases report on public response to addressing Gas Price Crisis: Overwhelming Majority Support for Gov Intervention in Gas Price Crisis: Research (Australia Institute)

Australia signs a pledge at COP27 to help clean up emissions from international shipping. (DCCEEW)

In Parliament for 10 Nov: Question on COP27 - Zalli Steggall, Question on funding Climate Activists - Mr Fletcher, Statement - Raise our voices Australia - Dr Aly, Statement - Australia: Floods - Brian Mitchell, BILLS on Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Reform. (Blog) Also added Opposition motion 7 Nov on Global methane Pledge

Launch of 10 insights in climate science report (PDF) launched at COP27 (Youtube) 1. Limits to adaptation are being breached already in different places across the world. Climate adaptation will become increasingly difficult as we approach 1.5°C or even 2.0°C above pre-industrial temperatures. 2. Vulnerability hotspots cluster in ‘regions at risk’. 3. New threats on the horizon from climatehealth interactions. 4. Climate mobility – from evidence to anticipatory action. 5. Human security requires climate security. 6. Sustainable land use is essential to meeting climate targets. 7. Private sustainable finance practices are failing to catalyse deep transitions. 8. Loss and Damage – the urgent planetary imperative. 9. Inclusive decision-making for climate-resilient development. 10. Breaking down structural barriers and unsustainable lock-ins.

Fossil Fuel Polluters/Lobbyists taking over the COP - 636 fossil fuel lobbyists have been registered to the COP27 climate talks, affiliated with some of the world's biggest polluting oil and gas giants. This is an increase of over 25% from COP26 says a Global Witness analysis

Report launch: NGOs Release the 2022 Global Oil & Gas Exit List (GOGEL): An Industry Willing to Sacrifice a Livable Planet. (Urgewald)

Egypt wins Fossil of the Day award for no protesters allowed but a warm welcome to a record number of fossil fuel lobbyists (Blog)

Negotiations: Australia's Statement at Global Stocktake GST TD1.2 Focused Exchange 10 Nov 2022 (UNFCCC PDF). Negotiators met throughout the day and into the night to discuss various finance-related issues, cooperative implementation under the Paris Agreement (Article 6), and scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation, among others. (ENB/IISD)


9 November - Addressing Greenwashing and net-zero pledges at non-state levels: the High Level Expert Group on Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities released its report to the UN Secretary-General. Important for enforcing meaningful emissions reduction and targets by businesses, regional, city and local governments. (Blog - Addressing Greenwashing and net-zero pledges at non-state levels: New report by UN Expert group at COP27)

Fossil of the Day goes to Japan for continuing Fossil Fuel finance (Blog) See this report: Japan’s Dirty Secret: World’s top fossil fuel financier is fueling climate chaos and undermining energy security (Oil Change International)

Negotiations: Ministers discussed expectations for the new collective quantified goal on climate finance and negotiators advanced work on the provision of guidance to climate funds. Fear is growing about lack of safeguards built into the Article 6.4 mechanism for cooperative implementation of the Paris Agreement. (ENB/IISD)


8 November - UN Secretary General -  Blunt choice: Climate Solidarity Pact or a Collective Suicide Pact says UN Secretary General António Guterres at COP27 openning (Blog)

Australia a laggard on climate finance. Will it promise more at COP27, support a Loss and damage facility? (Blog)

Australia signs forests pledge with Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership (Ministerial press release). WWF welcomes Australia’s commitment to forest partnership at COP27 (WWF)

Human rights suppression highlighted at COP27 by civil society at Opening Plenary (Blog)

Former diplomat Richie Merzian on COP27 First Day: Climate backsliding and buyer’s remorse. "Where things will unravel will be around the issue of compensating developing countries for loss and damage from climate change. This constant tension between developed and developing countries has been elevated at COP27 (with a formal agenda item). The Secretary General is setting this issue up as the “litmus test” for COP27. This is a recipe for failure. (Renew Economy)

Australia fought for Loss and Damage to go on the COP27 agenda says Nick O'Malley in The Age. ...making clear there was "no mention is made of either compensation or liability, nor is it yet clear what Australia’s position will be on the issue when it comes up for negotiation." The title editor didn't get the memo: How Australia joined the fight to negotiate on climate compensation

In Parliament: Albanese blasts Dutton over demand Australia ‘rule out’ compensating other countries for climate crisis. Also, Albanese government announced it had signed up as a founding member of a new forests and climate leaders partnership, but lack of clarity what this means for native forest logging. (Guardian) In Parliament: Climate Change questions, statements and COP27

Tuvalu becomes the first country to use United Nations climate talks to demand an international fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, which would phase out the use of coal, oil and gas.  It joins Vanuatu who has already endorsed the fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty in September. A Fossil Treaty is backed by the Vatican, the World Health Organization and 70 cities and subnational governments (including my own - Merribek) (Fossil Treaty)(Guardian)

Negotiations: world leaders issued calls for increased climate action in the High-Level Segment, with some even joining in on the negotiations on funding arrangements for loss and damage. (ENB/IISD)

7 November -  As COP27 starts Australia supports Loss and Damage finance agenda item, also bids for COP31 in 2026 and a new Climate Change Ambassador (Blog)

Meanwhile on Australian carbon credits:  Forest regeneration that earned multimillion-dollar carbon credits resulted in fewer trees, analysis finds reports the Guardian.

In Parliament: Opposition Leader Dutton  Greens MP Watson-Brown asks about the government’s desire to host the 2026 COP – despite Australia being “one of the biggest fossil fuel exporters, with a further 114 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline.” Will he now commit to not opening any new coal or gas projects?. Prime Minister Albanese responds "The government will be implementing the plan that we took to the election, our Powering Australia plan and our plan to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030". So that is no commitment reports the Guardian. (Guardian) Note. Attrribution of the question to Dutton by the Guardian journalist was incorrect. Question was asked by Greens MP Watson-Brown, according to Hansard. (Blog)

A new study says a cap of $10 a gigajoule on east coast gas prices would eliminate need for development of Narrabri gas field and Beetaloo basin. (AFR)

Negotiations: Heads of State and Government and their entourages took over the conference venue on the second day of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference. With their presence, leaders aimed to signal sustained momentum on climate action. In parallel, intergovernmental negotiations got up to speed. Discussions on some agenda items, such as those related to cooperative approaches under the Paris Agreement (Article 6.2), drew such crowds that they surpassed room capacity. (ENB/IISD)

6 November - Australia seeks to sell its new climate credentials on global stage (The Age) Meanwhile in NSW,  Floods continue in NSW town of Forbes (The Age) While in Victoria, the flood disaster continues to unfold as Murray River floodwater moves west, affecting Echuca, Swan Hill and Koondrook (ABC report)

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) issues report that the Eight warmest years on record witness upsurge in climate change impacts (WMO)( Guardian report)

Negotiations: COP27 opened with a shared sense of urgency, as many speakers underscored the devastating climate impacts that manifested this year. Speeches during the opening ceremony recalled the pressing messages from climate science, pointed out the current geopolitical challenges and their effects on energy and food systems, and underscored the necessity of focusing on implementation. All bodies launched their substantive work and, in the afternoon, informal consultations convened under various bodies. A joint opening plenary also convened to hear statements from parties and observers. (ENB/IISD)

5 November - Australia names Kristin Tilley as new ambassador for climate change.Guardian.  Also launching a bid with Pacific nations to host the 2026 UN climate change conference (COP31)  

3 November - Land Gap report released.  The Land Gap Report is the product of a global team of researchers combing through NDCs and national net-zero pledges to see how much land area is included.  The Report shows that countries' climate pledges rely too much on land for CDR (carbon dioxide removal), and not enough on slashing fossil fuel use. It also shows that countries are planning risky tree planting schemes instead of prioritizing the protection and restoration of existing forests.

Victorian Forests Alliance publishes Victoria's Forest Carbon: An Opportunity for Action on Climate Change report which outlines that logging of Victorian Native forests, causes 2 million tonnes emissions per year, 3 million tonnes/year when averaged out over a longer time period. Stopping logging now could save: 14 million tonnes of emissions by 2030; draw down 90 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050;  Provide $3.1B in carbon mitigation by 2050 (at a carbon cost of $35/tonne). This is the first time emissions from logging has been calculated and separated from LULUCF emissions where they have been hidden by all the carbon sequestration activities.

27 October - UNEP Emissions Gap 2022 report finds that the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. "Only an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid climate disaster." 

WMO releases 2022 Greenhouse Gas emissions bulletin, showing  biggest increase in methane concentrations since start of measurements. (WMO media Release)

IEA publishes 2022 World Energy Outlook,  showing the global energy crisis is likely accelerating renewables transition. Coal to peak in next few years, gas later this decade.

25 October - Federal budget allocates substantial funds for Powering Australia climate policy, but fails to phase out fossil fuel subsidies (FF tax subsidies running at $11bn per year). Allocates $1.9 billion financing to Middle Arm Industrial Precinct in Darwin Harbour. The precinct will be a petrochemicals and gas carbon capture and storage hub, and will be used to process fracked gas from potential future fields in the Beetaloo Basin for export. ACF initial assessment

23 October - Australia commits to signing Global Methane Pledge. Blogpost

20 October: Victoria announces new climate targets and a new government Owned electricity supplier. Victoria's new targets: 75-80% emissions reductions by 2035 on 2005 levels, new VRET 65% renewables by 2030, 95% renewables by 2035, 4.5 gigawatts of publicly owned renewables and the reestablishment of a publicly owned State Electric Commission. The government has estimated its energy plan will create 60,000 jobs by 2035. This is In addition to a Victorian Energy Storage Target of 2.6 gigawatts by 2030 and 6.3 gigawatts by 2035. Blog: Victoria sets 75-80% emissions reduction target for 2035, New Renewables Targets VRET of 65% by 2030, 95% by 2035

Climate Transparency Report released. Provides a concise overview of the key facts and figures on the state of climate performance of the G20 (including Australia)  in a comparative stocktake. The review is based on 100 indicators for adaptation, mitigation and finance with detailed country profiles of all G20 members and a summary of key findings. Link. Here is Australia's facsheet from 2021 (PDF) The change in Government Federally in May 2022 and new targets and plans by Queensland, NSW and Victoria will change the trajectory for Australia.

European Parliament calls on EU nation states to begin developing a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT), and to “stand ready” to do what is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Energy Mix

13 October: Agriculture Minister Murray Watt says Australia considering signing Global Methane Pledge, reports the Guardian. Meanwhile Nationals leader Littleproud sends media release saying how the methane pledge would be “the death of the Australian BBQ”. Honestly can you believe this crap? | ABC report | 7.30 Report Video: Methane – the unspoken threat to global warming

Foreign Minister Penny Wong visits Marshall Islands. Announces agreement had been reached to share ABC radio content, and also noted big shift in Australian climate policy, reported The Guardian.

Over 100 Senior Fath leaders sign open letter to Prime Minister on Climate ActionSenior faith leaders across Australia and the Pacific are pushing the Albanese government to increase Australia’s ambition on climate, calling for an end to all any new coal or gas projects and the scrapping of public subsidies for fossil fuel projects. ARRCC open letter | ABC

11 October: WMO report says clean energy supply must double in next 8 years, investment in renewables needs to triple. This is needed to limit global temperature increase. Otherwise, there is a risk that climate change, more extreme weather and water stress will undermine our energy security and even jeopardize renewable energy supplies, WMO State of Climate Services Energy Report

10 October - Escalating threat from deadly heatwaves in new UN report - UN News: UN relief chief appeals for concerted action to tackle deadly heatwave threat ReliefWeb: Extreme heat: Preparing for the heatwaves of the future (October 2022)

8 October - No climate justice  without human rights. Powerful piece by Naomi Klein on holding the UN Climate Conference COP27 in Egypt at Sharm El-Sheikh in an atmosphere of local intimidation, suppression and imprisonment of civil society activists, academics. It is a greenwash for a repressive dictatorship. There can be no climate justice without human rights and open civic space. A long read.  The Intercept: From Blah Blah Blah to Blood Blood Blood | Human Rights Watch report on how Egypt has undermined environmental activism: | UNHR - Egypt: UN experts alarmed by restrictions on civil society ahead of climate summit

6 October - Energy Efficiency. Albanese Government Minister Jenny McAllister announces initial consultations on the development of a Commonwealth-led National Energy Performance Strategy focussing on energy efficiency. Climate Change Performance Index, an independent monitoring tool presented at the annual UN Climate Change Conference, ranked Australia 54 out of 64 countries for energy performance per capita in 2022. (Combined ranking on all measurements was 59 out of 64 countries)

5 October - Timor Leste - José Ramos-Horta first head of state from a fossil fuel-producing state to call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. See Sydney Morning Herald article and more in-depth speech on the topic to the G7+ on 23 Sep on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. 

4 October - commitment to stop species extinctions this decade. The Federal Government has committed to a new Threatened Species Action Plan. The Plan sets out a pathway for threatened species conservation and recovery over the next 10 years. It includes the aim of preventing any new extinctions of plants and animals, and protecting and conserving at least 30% of Australia’s land mass. Australian experts comment at Australian Science Media Centre, also at The Conversation. Important for CBD COP15 in December.

29 September - AGL Energy brings forward Loy Yang A coal plant closure from 2045 to 2035.

Still not enough, but coal closure coming faster. Loy Yang B scheduled for 2045, Yallourn scheduled for 2028. This is a result of ramping up onshore solar and wind, setting targets for offshore wind and new targets for energy storage in Victoria. Blog

Move Beyond Coal - there are currently 69 proposed coal projects in the pipeline in Australia, and 29 projects waiting for approvals on Environment Minister Plibersek’s desk says Move Beyond Coal:  Coal mine approval decisions on Minister Plibersek's desk could lead to over 17bn tonnes of carbon pollution

28 September: Queensland sets new renewables targets: 70% by 2032, 80% by 2035, coal phaseout by 2035.

Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan unveiled with at least 25 GW new and existing renewable energy; Gladstone grid reinforcement to support heavy industry to switch to renewable energy and decarbonise their operations; All publicly owned coal-fired power stations operating as clean energy hubs by 2035, supported by a legislated Job Security Guarantee for energy workers; Two new world-class pumped hydro projects that together could deliver up to 7 GW of long duration storage; Around 1500km of new high voltage backbone transmission to move more power around the state; Up to 3 GW of low to zero emissions gas generation for periods of peak demand and backup security; smarter grid to support over 11 GW of rooftop solar and around 6 GW of batteries in homes and businesses. Blog: Queensland sets new renewables targets: 70% by 2032, 80% by 2035, coal reliance phaseout by 2035

South Australia is at 65 per cent renewables this past year, and is likely to hit 100 per cent in the next five years reports Renew Economy

27 September: Victorian Premier announces new energy storage targets 

Victoria sets Energy Storage targets of 2.6 Gigawatts by 2030 and 6.3 GW by 2035 capacity, coal may end in early 2030s. Blog See also 29 Sep story on AGL Energy bringing forward Loy Yang A coal plant closure to 2035

26 September - New Labor MP for Bennelong Jerome Laxale says in his first speech to parliament that the government should look to “drive down emissions over and above the 43% that this house legislated”

Revisit and Strengthen pledge from COP26: Just 23 of the nearly 200 countries which signed the Glasgow agreement had submitted updated 2030 climate plans by 23 September. Australia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates all increased targets. India formalised promises, UK clarified policies. Climate Action Tracker estimates the gap to being on track for 1.5C of global warming is 17-20 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year by 2030. At Cop26, Climate Action Tracker predicted the world was on course for 2.7C of global warming based on government policies. Climate Home News

Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group "reminds all nations that a successful COP is one that delivers tangible outcomes that includes loss and damage as a core element, pushes for stronger mitigation plans, and enables adequate adaptation to the climate crisis." @LDCChairUNFCCC tweet

24 September - Foreign Minister Penny Wong addresses UN General Assembly on reforming the UN and climate action - Blog: Foreign Minister Penny Wong addresses UN General Assembly on climate action and reforming the United Nations

23 September - Australia signs Global Leaders Nature Pledge to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. In a video statement to the UN General Assembly Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had signed the Leaders Nature Pledge in the lead up to the Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 meeting in Montreal in December that is considering a new franework agreement addressing the Biodiversity crisis. Blog: Australia commits to Global Nature Pledge to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 during UN General Assembly

Australian Government found to be violating human rights obligations to Torres Strait Islanders by failing to act on climate change. 

"In a ground-breaking decision, the U.N. Human Rights Committee has found that Australia’s failure to adequately protect indigenous Torres Islanders against adverse impacts of climate change violated their rights to enjoy their culture and be free from arbitrary interferences with their private life, family and home....The Islanders claimed their rights had been violated as Australia failed to adapt to climate change by, inter alia, upgrading seawalls on the islands and reducing greenhouse gas emissions." UN Human Rights Committee - Australia violated Torres Strait Islanders’ rights to enjoy culture and family life, UN Committee finds | Blog: Guest Post: Australia violated the rights of Torres Strait Islanders by failing to act on climate change, the UN says. Here’s what that means

Fossil Fuel Treaty - Vanuatu bcomes the first nation to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty | Fossil Fuel Treaty

20 September - Victoria over-achieves 2020 climate target

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announces over-achievement in emissions reduction, with emissions falling to almost 30 per cent below 2005 levels in 2020 – almost doubling the target of a 15 to 20 per cent reduction. . Media Release "

"The Victorian government is on track to significantly exceed its Emissions Reduction Target of a 45-50 percent cut (below 2005 levels) by 2030.  On the straight-line trajectory, Victoria would achieve a 54 percent emissions reduction by 2025 and 79 percent reduction by 2030. These emissions reductions represent a new baseline. The legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050 could be achieved in mid-2034 on this trajectory — over 16 years ahead of schedule. This means Victoria’s emissions reduction would be inline with a 1.5°C carbon budget" says FoE Analysis | Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions } Blog Post: Victoria cut emissions by 29.8% on 2005 levels by 2020. There is a pathway to decarbonisation by 2035 to meet 1.5C target. But some bad news buried deep: see Blog post 7/10 on 561% expansion in Urea Fossil Nitrogen fertiliser use while cropping only doubled. Blog Post

Loss and Damage Finance: Denmark becomes first nation to pledge Loss and Damage finance. Over 400 civil society organisation are demanding Loss and Damage is on the agenda at COP27. Adaptation finance is also an important issue argues a Nature Editorial (30 Aug). Egypt has previously flagged that climate finance will be a top agenda item at COP27 (23 May)

Fortescue Metals Group commits to decarbonise Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. Andrew Forrest committed his Iron Ore mining company to spend $9.2bn on wind, solar, batteries and hydrogen to reach net zero by 2030. Move will eliminate fossil fuel risk from across Fortescue Metals’ iron ore operations by 2030 and cut operating costs by $A1.2 billion per year, and a relatively quick payback by 2034. Renew Economy reports.

Safeguard mechanism is currently being reviewed to be reformed. Emissions from Australia’s oil and gas industry rose 20% in first five years of safeguard mechanism reports the Guardian. Free carbon credits could threaten Australia’s emission reduction targets, warns RepuTex who did Labor's modelling for climate policies. They say safeguard mechanism could hand free credits to big industrial polluters and lock in fossil fuel production, reports the Guardian.

$2 billion in Uncommitted 'Zombie' Fossil fuel subsidies : Newly released analysis from the Parliamentary Budget Office shows that nearly $2 billion worth of projects announced by the Morrison Government to prop up the gas industry remain unspent and could easily be scrapped by the new Government. Guardian. This is on top of existing fossil fuel subsidies - Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $11.6 billion worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries in 2021/22. Australia Institute (PDF).

19 September - Australia negotiating to hold a future COP

Australia's new Labor Government pushing to host a UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in 2024 or later reports Adam Morton at The Guardian.

15 September - Australia underfunding climate finance

The Oxfam/Action Aid report highlights that Australia’s international climate funding is currently just a tenth of our international fair share. Australia’s fair share of international commitments is AUD$4 billion per year; however, our average contributions sit at only AUD$400 million per year over the period 2020-2025. Report calls for: Australia to immediately increase climate finance commitments to AUD $3 billion over 2020-25 ahead of the next global climate meeting, COP27 in Egypt in November; Fulfil our fair share of the USD $100b (AUD $4b annually in new and additional funding) and honour our existing commitments by 2025; Support the call from Pacific nations to establish a dedicated fund for a loss and damage finance facility at COP27.  Action Aid | Guardian report

14 September: Minister Bowen adds 3 new board members to Climate Change Authority adding to the present 6 existing business friendly board members. Guardian report

13 September: Climate Council releases action plan to achieve 75% cut by 2030

The Power Up: 10 Climate Gamechangers report provides a practical roadmap for the Federal Government to speed up its climate action in the 2020s, to ensure Australia well overshoots the 43% emissions reduction target.

WMO releases United in Science report highlighting that global emissions still rising, climate impacts are accelerating. UN Secretary General highlights the crisis we are in. See Blog Post: UN Secretary General highlights climate crisis at WMO United in Science Report 2022 launch

12 September - Egypt: Government Undermining Environmental Groups

Reports coming out of Egypt say civil society NGOs being restricted, with requests for Countries to Press Cairo to End Restrictions, Enable Participation. Human Rights Watch asserts that Egyptian Authorities Fail to Respond to Central Human Rights Report Findings. See Guardian report 24 Aug.

9 September - New research: Risk of passing multiple climate tipping points escalates above 1.5°C global warming. "Even at current levels of global heating the world is already at risk of passing five dangerous climate tipping points, and risks increase with each tenth of a degree of further warming. An international research team synthesised evidence for tipping points, their temperature thresholds, timescales, and impacts from a comprehensive review of over 200 papers published since 2008, when climate tipping points were first rigorously defined." Potsdam Institute Media Release. Science research article.

8 September - Australia's new 43% emissions target by 2030 enshrined in law

Australia's climate bill passes the Senate with several minor cross bench amnedments by David Pocock. It enshrines new 2030 climate target in legislation of 43 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 on 2005 levels, as a floor for action. ABC report. The government must now report annually on its progress towards that goal. Climate Change Authority has also been made responsible for advising on future goals, including the government's 2035 emissions target. 

Senate refers the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2022 [No. 2] to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 28 February 2023.  Submissions close 13th October 2022.

19 July - State of the Environment Report confirms shocking decline in ecosystems

Scientific Report confirms the health of Australia’s environment is poor and has deteriorated over the past five years due to pressures of climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and mining. The report was delayed release by Morrison Environment Minister Sussan Ley until after the election. Guardian report | State of the Environment Report 

July - Climate Analytics advocates for Australia to rejoin Green Climate Fund. Scott Morrison arbitrarily withdraw Australia from this fund in October 2018. Briefing: Rejoining the Green Climate Fund is an easy win for the new Australian Government’s climate and foreign policy agendas. By Anna Chapman, Nathan Webb, Patrick Pringle,  July 2022 Climate Analytics PDF

23 June - Global methane pledge under serious consideration

Australia’s resources minister, Madeleine King, confirmed the new government was considering signing the global methane pledge to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030. Guardian report. Pushback the following day from National Farmers Federation. Guardian report. Read Background: Global Methane Pledge aims for 30 percent methane emissions cut from 2020 levels by 2030

16 June - New climate targets registered with UNFCCC

New Australian PM Anthony Albanese submits a letter advising of new climate targets of 43% by 2030 which is followed by an NDC update (PDF) to the UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) registry. 

23 May - Climate election and new Labor Government

Labor Government elected with a two seat majority but with a strengthened Greens and climate community independent crossbench in the House of Representatives. Greens increase representation in Seante to 12, climate independent David Pocock elected for ACT, Jackie Lambie Network gains second senator. Australia votes for climate action in 2022 Federal election

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