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COP 27 Climate Change Summit 2022... What do we want?

Nov 01,2022 - Last updated at Nov 01,2022

The COP 27 Climate Summit will begin next Sunday, the sixth of November, in Sharm El Sheikh of Egypt, with an international presence that seems to be less than the Glasgow Summit held in Scotland last year. The summit has been so named, as it is the twenty-seventh conference since the countries of the world agreed on March 1994 through the United Nations to reduce the impact of human activities, which are harmful to the environment and climate, and how to combat it.

The Climate Summit (COP27) will discuss progress on what was agreed upon at the recent summit in Glasgow and Paris Conferences in terms of commitments and actions to reduce gas emissions with a very ambitious goal of zero gas emissions by the mid of the Century, and to keep global warming below the 1.5°C by the 2030s, in comparison to pre-industrial levels. Also, the summit will discuss the financial commitments required for developing countries through the Green Fund and other financing methods such as carbon credits and the need price it in a proper way to boost climate change combat efforts. The commitments of rich countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and financing, especially the funds allocated to the Green Fund (GF) of about $ 100 billion, are the most important elements in achieving the goals of the Egypt Summit COP 27 in terms of mitigation, adaptation, financing, and cooperation of countries to achieve the envisaged endeavour.

Egypt has dealt with this global event with the utmost importance and professionalism and has held a series of conferences and preparatory workshops and developed initiatives that of need by the world which will be launched during the conference. Egypt has been keen to put the humanitarian needs of poor countries at the forefront of the proposed initiatives, especially the challenges in the field of energy, water, agriculture and biodiversity, and how to address them through innovative solutions and creative funding involving youth, women, and NGOs. The most important of these initiatives are the Global 50 Solid Waste Recycling Initiative, the Food and Agriculture Initiative for Sustainable Transformation, and the Water Action for Adaptation.

The Russian-Ukrainian war, or what the Russians called “the special operation of Ukraine”, has impacted the achievement of the goals of the climate agreements and there have been many new challenges facing what countries have agreed on at the Paris and Glasgow conferences. The most important of which is reducing the use of coal as a serious source for gas emissions, which became more used in Europe due to the war and energy crisis, and countries retreat from this obligation, will defer the envisaged goals of gas emissions reduction. As for the challenge of securing funding for the GF and to countries’ programs to combat climate change in terms of mitigation and adaptation which will be delayed and procrastinated, especially by European countries, as they have become committed to providing emergency funding for the Ukrainian war and refugees. Country’s cooperation to achieve the goals of the climate agreements, is neither pleasant nor encouraging as the world and G-20 group is divided, and communication among them on climate is difficult to achieve at least in the medium term.

Jordan being at the heart of the event in terms of the consequences of climate change and the impact of refugees on the various elements of the environment, the financial consequences, the overwhelmed infrastructure, and the lack of commitment of some countries to finance the Syrian refugee’s response plan where funding did not exceed 13 per cent of what required, as announced by the Minister of Planning weeks ago, must focus on green infrastructure to address climate change and shall encourage donor countries and international institutions to give this kind of financing a priority. The best way will be through conversion of part of the Kingdom’s debt into capital investments (debt swap for investments for climate change) for infrastructure with focus on addressing impacts and damages caused by climate change through mitigation and adaptation measures and programmes. The request to convert the debt into climate change investments shall be welcoming by donors’ countries, because it helps their commitments and obligations to climate change agreements and exempts them from paying new funds that may not be available at all!

 

The author is former minister of water and irrigation, and agriculture

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