World Leaders Summit Round-up
Inspired have been closely monitoring the discussion and outcomes of the World Leaders Summit. Here’s what’s been happening at COP27 so far….
- Ukraine War and energy crisis casting shadow over discussions
- UN Secretary General proclaims we are on the “highway to climate hell”
- UK Prime Minister launches the ‘Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership
- The Indian Minister of Environment unveils details of the ‘Early Warnings for All Executive Action Plan’
- Mideast leaders launch the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’
- UK Government announce major new package of climate support
- COP27 Presidency launch the ‘Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda’
On Sunday, 6th November, the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) began in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, bringing together World Leaders and diplomats from 196 countries to ensure full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Inspired have been closely monitoring the discussion and outcomes of the Summit. Here’s what’s been happening at COP27 so far….
Delayed COP27 opens with ‘loss and damage’ high on the agenda
The agenda of COP27 must be agreed upon before it can officially begin, and there was much debate this year on whether to include ‘loss and damage’ funding as an agenda item for the first time.
Originally, the conference was scheduled to start at 10am Saturday morning; however, the agenda was not confirmed until 1am Sunday morning, which leads many to speculate that this may be the most difficult climate summit in history.
Nevertheless, this is a significant victory for developing countries at COP, as they are eager to make progress following the devastating floods, droughts, and storms caused by climate change. The impacts are becoming more severe and frequent.
Conflict in Ukraine and energy crisis cannot overshadow climate change commitments
There has been frustration among UN diplomats that some governments have been ‘distracted’ over the past year, which has resulted in little progress on their net zero commitments.
COP26 President Alok Sharma handed over the UK presidency during his ceremonial opening speech on Sunday 6th November and stressed that climate action must be a priority.
“We have been buffeted by global headwinds that have tested our ability to make progress” says Alok.
“Putin’s brutal and illegal war in Ukraine has precipitated multiple global crises: energy and food insecurity, inflationary pressures and spiralling debt. These crises have compounded existing climate vulnerabilities, and the scarring effects of the pandemic. And yet, despite this context, there has been some progress in implementing the commitments we delivered in Glasgow.
“The UK is here to reach ambitious outcomes across the agenda, including on mitigation, on adaptation, and on loss and damage.”
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell adds “If there is one defining crisis of our time, it is climate. All of the other things; interest rates, cost of living, even wars come to an end. But climate change just marches on.
“Yes, the world is distracted, but Sharm El-Sheikh gives us an opportunity to refocus”.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also addressed the concerns in his statement on Monday 7th November: “Putin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine and rising energy prices across the world are not a reason to go slow on climate change. They are a reason to act faster.
“Because diversifying our energy supplies by investing in renewables is precisely the way to insure ourselves against the risks of energy dependency. It is also a fantastic source of new jobs and growth”
DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS
UN Secretary General proclaims we are on the “highway to climate hell”
In his speech to COP27 attendees on Monday 7th November, UN Secretary General António Guterres stressed that the world was losing the fight against climate change, while also urging coal to be completely phased out by 2040.
“We are in the fight of our lives, and we are losing,” he said.
“Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.”
World Leaders Launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted the Forest and Climate Leaders’ event on Monday, pledging the UK’s continued support for conserving threatened forests around the world. At the summit the Prime Minister also launched the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP).
Through the partnership, over 140 World Leaders will help to achieve the COP26 commitments by 2030 to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation, while promoting sustainable development and rural transformation.
These actions are crucial to adapting to climate change and can contribute up to 30% of the reductions needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
26 countries have committed to drive forward at least one of the FCLP’s action areas, which are:
- International collaboration on the sustainable land use economy;
- Mobilising public and donor finance to support implementation;
- Shifting the private finance system;
- Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ initiatives;
- Strengthening and scaling carbon markets for forests; and
- Partnerships and incentives for preserving high-integrity forests.
- Mideast leaders launch the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’
Mideast leaders launch the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’
Middle Eastern leaders held the Middle East Green Initiative Summit on Monday as the oil-dependent realm increasingly seeks to transform and diversify green economies.
The initiative plans to plant 50 billion trees across the Middle East and restore an area equivalent to 200 million hectares of degraded land and aims to help reduce global carbon levels by 2.5%.
During the summit, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledged $2.5bn in funding towards the initiative and unveiled ambitious plans for Saudi Arabia to rely on renewables for 50% of its electricity generation by 2030, removing 44 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2035.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said the goals of the initiative were fully in line with Pakistan’s forest policy and the Pakistan Green Movement which focuses on the protection and management of forests and wildlife by 2030.
Shehbaz Sharif comments: “Pakistan expresses its full commitment to the goals of this initiative and looks forward to working closely with all member countries, in order to work to protect the planet from climate change”.
Roundtable discussions commence
Following the summit’s inauguration, the first high-level round tables for World Leaders began on Monday, focused on just transition, food security and innovative finance for climate and development.
The Indian Minister of Environment, Shri Bhupender Yadav unveiled details of the Early Warnings for All Executive Action Plan, a programme that will cover disaster risk knowledge, observations and forecasting, preparedness and response, and communication of early warnings.
Speaking at the event Shri Yadav said “With climate finance still scarce, climate adaptation in the form of early warning dissemination is key in safeguarding lives, and livelihoods. Early Warnings For All play a part in not just containing the immediate physical impacts, but also mitigating the far-reaching long-term socio-economics implications that follow.
“India has been working on strengthening end-to-end early warning systems for all hydro-meteorological hazards. This has led to concrete results: We have reduced mortality from cyclones by up to 90% over the last 15 years. On both east and west coasts, we have nearly 100% coverage of early warning systems for cyclones. Similarly for other hazards – such as Heat waves – we are making swift progress, leading to much greater resilience of our communities.”
DAY TWO HIGHLIGHTS
Climate finance dominates discussions
Climate finance has shaped much of the discussions during the World Leaders Summit. On Monday Rishi Sunak announced a major new package of climate support at COP27 whereby the UK Government has committed to triple funding for climate adaptation from £500m in 2019 to £1.5bn by 2025.
Day two discussions have been centred around the importance of private finance within developing markets to aid the transition to clean energy sources and other climate solutions.
Addressing the summit today, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called upon the global north to follow the EU’s example and commit to climate financing in the global south.
“Team Europe is providing its fair share of the $100 billion promise,” she said. “It is doable, and we call on others to step up too.”
Making the significant changes that are needed to halt climate change, in the short timescale in which they need to be made, will require substantial funding. Public finance will be needed to develop new infrastructure for a greener economy, and private finance will be required to fund innovation into new technologies.
Finance discussions will continue tomorrow, 9th November on Finance Day.
Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda announced
Together with the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership, the COP27 Presidency launched the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda today in response to the devastating impacts of climate change on vulnerable people and communities.
As part of the agenda, 30 Adaptation Outcomes will be developed by 2030 to enhance resilience for 4 billion people living in the most vulnerable communities to climate change. The outcomes provide global solutions that can be applied locally to address the climate context, needs, and risks of local communities, as well as deliver the transformation of systems necessary to protect vulnerable communities from climate hazards such as extreme heat, drought, flooding, and extreme weather.
Simon Stiell UNFCCC Executive Secretary says: “The Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda firmly puts key human needs at its core, along with concrete, specific action on the ground to build resilience to climate change. As the growing number of climate emergencies throughout the world clearly shows, focusing on adaptation is a crucial, pressing necessity. The Adaptation Agenda outlines multiple actions and combines the commitments of governments and non-Party stakeholders into a joint vision and a joint plan. We need all stakeholders on board to deal with current and future impacts of climate change, and this is a prime example of how that can happen.”
WE’VE GOT COP27 COVERED
Over the next two weeks, COP27 leaders will be discussing more key areas of interest for sustainability-focused organisations, such as how we will drive the global transition to net zero and how we can effectively decarbonise cities, regions and the built environment.
Inspired’s experts will continue to track what’s going on at COP27 and translate key announcements into practical advice for your business. Make sure you don’t miss out by signing up for our updates over on the COP27 Hub.