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Saturday, November 19, 2022

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

COP Presidency Friday 11pm press briefing
The UN climate change conference is approaching its end game.

Will there be backsliding on Fossil fuels or 1.5C target? 

Will a Loss and Damage finance Facility be established?

The negotiations are past Friday closing, well into overtime working through the night.

UNFCCC draft documents can be found here:

Closing Plenary has started : COP 27 Closing Plenary followed by CMP 17 Closing Plenary followed by CMA 4 Closing Plenary

Watch live: 

Let's be clear. The Mitigation Work program is weak, and doesn't reflect the sciience, the IPCC Synthesis report, which outlines that we need to peak emissions by 2025 and half emissions by 2030, is not reflected in the COP decision. The Fossil Fuel Lobbyists (over 660 strong at this COP) have held their line, and ensured continued climate damage.

Important insight on the COP decision in Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan. Revised draft decision -/CMA.4: that "the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment" is part of the decision.

"Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity,"

Norway's Environment Minister says language not as strong as they would like it to be, would prefer Phase out of Fossil fuels. But it does not break ambition.

Cover Text: The temperature goals look as though they are in line with what was agreed in Glasgow in 202, but no progress with language on Fossil Fuels. Paragarph 28 of Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan. Draft decision -/CMA.4 is still locked on coal phasdown, not broadened to Fossil Fuels phaseout, retaining 'unabated' (code word for CCS) and 'inefficient' for Fossil fuel subsidies to justify retention of those subsidies. Similar to paragraph 16 in Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan. Draft decision -/CP.27. This is the only reference to fossil fuels in each document. If you remember India proposed text change to Phaseout of all fossil fuels. USA supported that position:

"28. Calls upon Parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low-emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures, including accelerating efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards a just transition;"

Switzerland has asked for a half hour suspension of the meeting as the Cover text has only just been published, they want time to review. President finds no objections, so Plenary suspended for time to read the new draft cover text.

Climate Action Network statement on establishment of Loss and Damage Fund.

Statement released by Environmental NGO Climate Action Network

20 November 2022, Sharm-el Sheikh: Today in a long overdue decision, three decades in the making, all governments at COP27 agreed to set up a Loss and Damage Fund. This is a first step in a process to rectify the systemic injustice to billions of people, particularly in the Global South, who are the least responsible but are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Those who are suffering devastating climate impacts; floods, droughts, hurricanes and sea level rise, will have some hope that their right to access support will be respected.

For two weeks, the G77 plus China, the largest developing country negotiation group representing over 134 countries and five billion of the world’s population, have stood united and resolutely behind the demand for the creation of a fund at COP27 for addressing Loss and Damage. This despite intense pressure from countries like the USA who attempted to block the creation of a fund from the onset, and some EU nations who attempted to derail the talks with watered down options that would divide developing countries.

The creation of the Loss and Damage Fund today is also a clear victory for civil society groups across the world, who made this issue a priority and used their power to put sustained pressure on rich nations to take responsibility for the crisis they have historically caused.

As climate impacts get more intense and frequent, there is an urgent need to scale up adaptation around the world, while strengthening and ensuring the delivery of needs-based finance in developing countries.

While COP27 delivered on addressing the consequences of the climate crisis – it failed to address the root cause of the crisis: Fossil Fuels. With no agreement to have a fair and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas, it has laid bare the capture of this process by fossil fuel lobbyists and vested interests. The agreement to scale up investment in renewable energy for the first time in this process is welcomed but without a strong outcome on phasing out all fossil fuels, governments risk breaching 1.5°C.

Civil Society will continue its resistance against fossil fuel expansion outside these halls and will continue to fight against all injustices and human rights abuses and shrinking of civic space across the world.

This is the creation of the Loss and Damage Fund. A definite important breakthrough

Closing Plenary scheduled for 3.30am (CET), 12.30pm AEDT

The Guardian reports: cautious optimism on loss and damage, Focus now shifts to the Cover decision, and the language around phasing out fossil fuels. Less optimism for this, the record number of Fossil Fuel lobbyists at COP27 have worked hard to roll back the momentum from COP26 where for the first time Fossil fuels, as the elephant in the room, made it into the Cover decision. there has been opposition from Russia and Saudi Arabia to any mention of winding down the era of fossil fuels.

Jean Su, energy justice director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Climate-vulnerable nations and civil society are beaming at a big step forward on creating a loss and damage fund, more than a decade in the making.”

Su said that the openness of the US to phasing out fossil fuels – the Americans are also believed to be largely on board with attempts to create a loss and damage facility – has added to the encouragement. “It shouldn’t feel this surreal, but it seems like for this fleeting moment politicians are listening to the people, not polluters,” she said as reported by The Guardian.

My bedtime (4am)... so no updates for 5-6 hours from me. 

Coalition of High Ambition outlines redlines for Cover decision

Watch the press conference:


Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, outlined the High Ambition Coalition position. She was flanked by the UK’s Alok Sharma, Cop26 president, Jennifer Morgan, representing Germany, and others.

“As we watch the devastating impacts of climate change this year, and the multiple and interrelated crises that grip our world, exacerbating the suffering of the poor, marginalised and vulnerable, we come together to say that we must emerge from Cop27 with a package of outcomes that keeps 1.5C alive and protects the world’s vulnerable.”

The High Ambition Coalition hint they will not support cop27 cover text unless following 8 points are met:

  1. hold fast to 1.5, peak emissions by 2025, just transition to renewable energy
  2. insist that mitigation work programme focus on both ambition and implementation, grounded in IPCC, take decisions annually throughout this decade to reduce emissions in line with 1.5
  3. call for NDCs that align with 1.5, particularly by the g20. Shipping and aviation must be transformed 
  4. ensure short term measures fossil fuel energy crisis does not affect our ambition.
  5. support agreement to form Loss and Damage fund at COP27, recognise we need to sprint together to operationalise response in coming year. 
  6. collectively double funding for adaptation by 2025.
  7. support ambitious Global Goal on Adaptation, need a global movement to accelerate adaptation planning
  8. affirm importance of meeting existing obligations under international law to protect human rights and the environment, and gratefully acknowledge voices raised across the world in support of climate action.
According to The Guardian, Stege also called for the “affirmation of the importance of accountability for climate finance commitments.” which probably refers to the failure of Developed countries failure to keep their $100 billion per year climate finance commitment.

Agreement on Article 6 (Carbon Markets)

Lead negotiators have also reached agreement on Article 6 texts, too.

But Matt Williams warns in a short twitter thread that "These are *still* not final.They are, if anything, a little weaker." and identifies issues:

  • "6.2: confidentiality still in there meaning potential shady deals between countries on offsetting."
  • 6.4:
    • - language on human rights in relation to emission removals has gone
    • - unauthorised ("mitigation contribution") credits can still be 2x counted; and used for any purpose, incl. voluntary carbon markets/company targets, but there is a signal that this shouldn't be done.

Tennant Read is an Australian Industry Group Business Observer following the Article 6 texts. Here is a twitter thread on their adoption

Agreement on a Loss and Damage Fund

Africa Group negotiators in the negotiation room when Head of Delegations agree to establish a Loss and Damage Fund.

Alpha Oumar Kaloga from the Guinea delegation told Nina Lakhani of The Guardian he is overjoyed at the progress on loss and damage.

“It’s a very exciting moment, after 30 years of patience, 30 years of struggle, 30 years of trying to get recognition and concrete action on loss and damage. This is now a path, we have arranged a new funding arrangement that will address loss and damage in developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Developed countries wanted to pick and choose which countries would benefit, but now we have an agreement that all developing countries will be eligible. This is a unique and exciting moment.”

New COP Presidency proposal on Loss and Damage Finance Fund 13:00 / 10pm AEDT

Climate diplomacy briefing day 12 - 13:00 / 10pm AEDT

Ed King really has the best summaries....

1300 update

Iterations of the cover text, loss & damage and mitigation landing zones are being briefed to parties - but as we hit the 18 hours overtime mark there is still no evidence of a landing zone. Tensions are marked among delegations: the Egyptian Presidency has started to lay the ground for a crash here, telling media in a 1030am presser it was now up to the parties. A plenary may take place in coming hours - and Shoukry may try and gavel a deal constructed in Egypt through. Expect fireworks if he does.

Lost and damaged

This lies at the core of the deadlock. Battle lines over the current text proposal (which we haven’t seen) appear to be stark. It is understood to be close enough to the G77 proposal to garner support of many of those groups, but, and it’s a big but, the current proposal on the fund is understood to lock in ad-infinitum the existing definitions of who should pay (US, EU, Japan, Australia, Canada, UK etc) and who should receive (everyone else including rich nations such as Saudi and China).  

Red lines

Not mentioned in the mooted text is the US + UK’s loss and damage offer from last night. This is a redline for the EU/US, who will argue they are getting nothing in return on mitigation efforts for movement on L&D earlier in the week. When it breaks, Carbon Brief is the place to go for the latest line-by-line analysis.

Battle lines on saving 1.5

Well over 100 countries (inc LDCs, AOSIS, AILAC, EU, US) wrote to COP President Shoukry last night warning that "critical elements of the mitigation work programme" are not reflected in the text. They want a deal that ensures the UN cranks up focus on sectoral emission cuts, regular reports on progress, 4 annual workshops and a direct link to the IPCC WG3 findings from this year - with a timeline through 2030.    

No hat, no rabbit

Shifting into a Homer Simpson *shrinking into a bush mode,* COP president Shoukry told press he has provided a balanced text that covers the issues, consulted with parties a bit, and it was now up to ministers to sort it out. He claimed the credibility of the process was on ministers but rest easy:  “the vast majority thought the text was balanced and could be a breakthrough that can lead to consensus.”  Not sure he's at the same meeting.

But, but…

There are (for now) suggestions the Presidency is prioritising its own relations with Middle East petro-partners as we enter the endgame, stripping out references to fossil fuels, weakening mitigation texts to remove calls to deliver new climate plans before 2025. 


It's notable Saudi Arabia - which with the UAE has backed Egypt to the tune of $22bn in 2022 - told envoys in an open meeting at 3pm yesterday “We should not target sources of energy… we should focus on emissions. We should not mention fossil fuels. We should not cherry pick from the IPCC.”

1.5C at risk

"We cannot expect 1.5C dies here," EU climate boss Timmermans tweeted - the implication being that's what he thinks may happen today. He told the press this morning that the EU has shifted its position on loss and damage, it's time for others to shift too. 


Not just a 90s British punk synth-pop band, a COP bis is when everyone says no deal, the entire COP is suspended and reconvened next year - most likely in Bonn in June instead of the intersessional. It would be under the same presidency. A bis has happened only once in this process -- in 2000 when there was a bitter showdown between the US and EU over the amount of land use sequestration that could be used towards countries' Kyoto targets.  

Article 6 yo-yo 

Sessions on Article 6 carbon market rules are set to continue today. New drafts released this morning do little to alleviate yesterday’s concerns. But they have managed to strip all mention of needing to address human and Indigenous Rights, which had been a solid part of the texts for the last 2 weeks. Shady deals can still be done in dark corners if countries want to, and ambiguity still remains around whether some credits can be sold multiple times.  


19 November 9:33pm AEDT GMT+ 11 

19 November 2022 - Climate Action Network (CAN) Presser at 12pm CET 9:00:00 PM GMT+11

19 November 2022 at 7:30:00 PM GMT+11 press conference (UNFCCC on demand video),

"We cannot afford a bad deal. ... We cannot delay implementing 1.5. It is a commitment we have all made, and it is up to the Presidency to lead us in the right direction... we cannot backtrack the agreement we have made." The draft that we say yesterday is basically taking us backward. 

"Our biggest fear as civil society is that the fossil fuel industry and the fossil fuel lobbyists that are all around us are basically running the deal."

David Tong, Oil Change International: I have been to 8 COPs, but something different with this one. The negotiations are on the verge of breakdown.

Three red lines for civil society:

Any deal must not go backwards overall. We must not unwind what was agreed in Paris, we must not unwind what was agreed in Glasgow. On critical agenda items we must move forward. three things to look out for

  • Is there a real fund created for Loss and Damage?
  • Second, Is 1.5 protected?
  • Third, is the science of the need to phase out fossil fuels reflected?

Science shows, peer reviewed articles, that just burning the oil and gas in existing fields and mines now will take us beyond 1.5C, without coal. Burning the oil, gas and coal in existing fields and mines will take us far beyond 2 degrees. We need to phase out fossil fuels. It is the only way to meet the target of the Paris Agreement.

That means we need to be very very careful, and ask questions about what are the weazle words around any comment about phasing out fossil fuels. The word "unabated" hides a lot of unscientific, dishonest, profit-seeking ways to avoid the scientific necessity. Just last week an expert anel highlighted that it is not enough to offset your way, we need to end fossil fuels.

19 November - Letter to COP Presidency

Australia is among this group pushing hard to keep 1.5C targets. But they also need to support phaseout of all fossil fuels, which is equally important as part of any deal.

19 November - Europe threatens to leave negotiations due to poor deal in draft texts

European Ministers threaten to walk out of COP27....

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — European Union ministers threatened to walk out of global climate talks here Saturday, with officials blaming China and Saudi Arabia for weakening the deal. 

“All ministers, as they have told me — like myself — are prepared to walk away if we do not have a result that does justice to what the world is waiting for,” EU climate envoy Frans Timmermans told reporters, escalating tense talks that have already run into overtime.

Flanked by the 13 EU ministers still present at the talks, Timmermans told a pack of reporters on Saturday that the EU is “worried about some of the things we have seen and heard” in recent hours, which he said jeopardizes the global goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

Read more at Politico:  EU threatens COP27 walkout over weak deal

 19 November: 11.45am AEDT - draft text for COP 27 agenda item 13

The draft text for COP 27 agenda item 13 has dropped (PDF) Second periodic review of the long-term global goal under the Convention and of overall progress towards achieving it - Version 19/11/2022 2.45. The 1.5C temperature target is still prominent...

5.  Reaffirms the long-term global goal of holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (hereinafter referred to as the long-term global goal), recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, as referred to in decision 10/CP.21, paragraph 4, and notes that it is assessed over a period of decades;

6.  Expresses alarm and utmost concern that human activities have caused a global average temperature increase of around 1.1 °C above pre-industrial levels to date and that impacts are already being felt in every region and will escalate with every increment of global warming;

7.  Recalls that the impacts of climate change will be much lower at the temperature increase of 1.5 °C compared with 2 °C,3 and acknowledges that limiting the global average temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels with no or limited overshoot would avoid increasingly severe climate change impacts, stressing that the severity of impacts will be reduced with every increment of global warming avoided;

8.  Reaffirms that limiting global warming to 1.5 °C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century as well as deep reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions; 4

17.  Acknowledges that in order to shift to and remain on a pathway to achieving the long-term global goal, Parties must enhance their efforts under the Convention and the Paris Agreement to significantly reduce their aggregated emissions prior to 2030, while recognizing the financial, technological, economic, capacity-building and institutional challenges and needs and special circumstances of developing country Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, as provided for in the Convention;


Saturday 4:56 AM AEDT - Ed King outlines where the negotiations stand going into overtime:

No closure

5 texts are still live. This is 3D chess played by tired, grumpy humans who just don’t want to be here. The cover text, finance, mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and the design of carbon markets are still causing problems. In every track, the debate between countries almost seems to be where it was following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015. 

Who's saying what?

Saudi Arabia is still talking about ignoring the IPCC and zero transparency carbon offsets, the US is still talking about what it is against but not what it’s for, China isn’t saying anything at all beyond its talking point on the immorality of western countries supporting fossil fuel phase out while increasing fossil fuel use in the face of the war induced energy crisis.

-Text progress: Track latest developments with Carbon Brief  Google Doc

-Text tracker: Super wonks traffic light assessment of all texts Google Doc

The heads of delegation meet at 1500 was a cracker - here's a snaffle:

  • G77/Pakistan - very unhappy with text / took 20+ mins ripping it
  • Bangladesh - high vulnerable / need assurances on money 
  • Zambia - Adaptation weak, want loss and damage fund
  • Australia - Must hit 2030 targets, peaking emissions by 2025 to keep 1.5C alive
  • Switzerland (EIG) - Clearly not ambitious enough; some areas back from Glasgow
  • EU - Need to ref clean energy;  1.5C / non CO2 emissions… mitigation is poor
  • Saudi Arabia - Not happy with ref to net zero, specific energy sources, 1.5C, IPCC
  • Barbados (AOSIS) - Must emphasise 1.5C & global peaking before 2025
  • UK - Text is not credible; no deal that weakens Glasgow; 1.5C key

Ditch all fossils

India has moved up the fossil-fuel phase out agenda, but not landed it, and the EU attempted to flip the script with their Loss and Damage proposal which made agreement on a facility dependent on ambitious mitigation and broadening the definition of who should supply money to fill it - aka the donor base. 

L&D landing zones

The Loss & Damage Option 1, proposed by Germany and Chile, seems to be the potential landing point, but a lot of red lines of some big players will need to be crossed to get there, including the EU itself. That “donor base” issue can only really be addressed by the US and China brokering a deal. They have been talking behind closed doors for 3 days, but so far no white smoke has drifted across the Lamborghini conference centre (except for the point when the roof was briefly on fire).

Who's vulnerable?

As Carbon Brief points out, the EU proposal to just focus on vulnerable countries framed around the least developed countries and small islands would exclude Nigeria, Pakistan and Philippines - all hit hard in 2022 by extreme weather.

Sat 19 Nov 2022 04.52 AEDT Cop27 talks continue over EU climate loss and damage fund proposal

Europe has proposed a compromise proposal on Loss and Damage Finance to try and break the negotiations deadlock. The proposal includes establishment of a fund to be made operational within two years, and options for a commission to be set up that would examine whether it could work in concert with other existing financial institutions, such as the World Bank. (The Guardian: Cop27 talks continue over EU climate loss and damage fund proposal)

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.

Sat 19 Nov 2022 03.37 AEDT Second draft of Cop27 text: what has changed since the first draft? 

Fiona Harvey from The Guardian reports

At 10 pages, this second draft of the Cop27 cover text is just half the length of the previous version, which will come as a relief to negotiators. Many of the ramblings and repetitions of the previous version have been removed or tidied up, but some key points have been weakened or left out.

There is still a commitment to phase down coal power, but the wider commitment to a phase down of all fossil fuels sought by India and others has been taken out.

On the 1.5C temperature limit, many countries were hoping for much stronger language that would reflect the advances made at Cop26 in Glasgow last year to “keep 1.5C alive”.

And on loss and damage – the vexed issue of how to provide financial assistance to poor countries suffering the worst ravages of climate breakdown – there is little of substance because countries are still fiercely debating the possibility of a new fund, proposed by the EU in the early hours of Friday.

This text has a long way to go, and while the tightening that has been done by the Egyptian hosts is welcome, the lack of substantial commitments and forthright language in some key areas will disappoint many.

More detail on paragrphs and language at The Guardian report: Second draft of Cop27 text: what has changed since the first draft?

Press Briefing from COP Presidency 18. November 2022 at 11:30:00 PM GMT+11

Video on-demand

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