The UN published an updated draft of the proposed deal of the climate summit in Egypt on Saturday. It makes no mention of the need to phase down all fossil fuels, one of the key demands this year, and reiterates the Glasgow Pact language on coal.
Negotiators, however, said they have reached a tentative deal on the creation of a fund to address loss and damage, a term used for irreparable destruction caused by climate change-fuelled disasters.
The success of the talks hinges on a separate loss and damage fund, the primary demand for COP27 from developing nations.
The deal, however, is part of the larger agreement and has to be voted on by negotiators from nearly 200 countries. The Presidency consultations on the tentative deal were scheduled for 6:30pm (Egypt time), which means the closing plenary is now likely to take place on Sunday morning.
Experts said no reference to oil and natural gas — on which developed countries depend — in the text is not in the interest of climate action and makes it convenient for the fossil fuel lobby to press ahead. They expected COP27 to give a better message.
The overarching decision document leaves out India’s call for phasing down all fossil fuels and not just coal.
It instead refers to phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, making no progress from the deal struck a year ago.
Experts said it was surprising that the call for phasing down all fossil fuels, the COP’s second-most discussed new element, didn’t find a place in the draft text despite most developing countries and some developed nations, including the US and the EU, supporting it.
The document reaffirms the Paris Agreement temperature goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels — the same language was used in the deal last year in Glasgow, the UK.
Experts said it was ironic that the rich nations which claim to be fighting for “keeping 1.5 degree Celsius alive” have plans for massive oil and gas production expansion.
The climate talks this year are being held in the shadow of the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the related energy crisis which has strained the capabilities of countries to urgently tackle climate change. A successful outcome will reinforce the global resolve to fight climate change.
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