COP27 did not deliver on urgently needed convergence of ambition
21 November 2022 - Yesterday, negotiators closed proceedings at the COP27 climate conference in Sharm-El Sheik, Egypt. Reflecting on the decisions today and the process of the last two weeks, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "The agreement reached in Sharm-El Sheikh unfortunately does not live up to the expectations the European business community had for this summit. While EU negotiators signalled the willingness to increase the already very high EU 2030 emissions reduction target, other parties did not move beyond their positions from Glasgow, making the 1.5-degree target even harder to attain. In the context of the ongoing energy crisis, this leaves Europe increasingly isolated and making it harder for European businesses to compete in the short term. While the long-term utility of the energy transition remains undoubted, in the short term, the EU’s trading partners must step up their commitments in order to share the burden more equally.
Despite this increasingly dramatic imbalance, we acknowledge that progress was made on other important parts. The decision to set up a facility addressing loss and damage is a milestone in the UNFCCC process. Its success will depend on the rules for contributions and eligibility, which still need to be defined. We hope that this step will rebuild some of the trust needed among developing nations to follow through on higher mitigation targets. The texts on international carbon markets (Art. 6 of the Paris Agreement) give reason for optimism that full operationalisation might finally be possible at next years or shortly after next year’s COP, even though a lot of procedural questions will still need to be addressed. It is essential now that in the EU we get more clarity about whether and how we are going to engage in these markets.
Seen overall, however, COP27 barely managed to avoid backsliding behind what was agreed in Glasgow. The severity of climate impacts all around us should serve as a good reminder of the urgency for all parties to work for better outcomes."