Monday, November 14, 2022

One week of COP27: Important numbers in the World Climate Coachella’s first week

One week has passed after the launch of the meetings of the 27th session of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change “COP27” in Sharm El-Sheikh under Egypt’s presidency and there are significant numbers that were shared in those seven days.

The most important and alarming number of all is the annual global carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from fossil fuels and cement in 2022.

COP27 gate in Sharm El-Sheikh "AFP"
COP27 gate in Sharm El-Sheikh "AFP"

According to the Global Carbon Project’s “Global carbon budget 2022”, global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are projected to hit an all-time high in 2022.

The Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement have increased by 1.0% in 2022 and the new estimates suggest, hitting a new record high of 36.6 billion tonnes of CO2.

The report attributes the increase in fossil emissions in 2022 to be primarily driven by a substantial increase in oil emissions as global travel continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Well, one look at Sharm El-Sheikh airport and we can see why.

The Coal and gas emissions grew more slowly despite both having record emissions in 2022 from what I understood. You can read more in that report at the World Economic Forum.

It amazes me how this report is not front and centre in the discussions of COP27.

The top CO2 emitting countries in 2022 so far are China “32%”, the United States “14%”, EU countries “8%” and India “8%”

Africa, the whole continent produces less than 4%.

Historically the US is the biggest world pollutant with 21.5% of the emissions from 1959 to 2020. The US emissions caused losses and damages in other countries equal to $1.9 trillion between 1990 to 2014 only.

China is now the biggest world producer of CO2 because simply global north prefers it because of the cheap labour and its pollutant factories are away from the north as simple as it.

FYI, Egypt’s share in global CO2 emission is only 0.6%, nevertheless, we are paying an annually heavy price for real.

Our North Coasts and Nile Delta are threatened to be completely drowned by the end of this century and already our agricultural sector began to feel the impact of climate change with those sharp fluctuations and changes in weather.

For thousands of years, Egyptian farmers inherited from the time of the ancient Egyptians that calendar based on climate, farming, and harvest. In the past couple of years, farmers began to complain about how seasons began not to start on time and whether they are too short or too long or too hot or too cold and thus it impacts the whole harvest.

FYI, you should read this important feature from Bloomberg Green about Egypt’s fields in the face of climate change. It is available for free till the end of COP27.

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), African nations are losing 5% to 15% of their per capita economic growth due to the effects of climate change.

Moving to the climate change’s biggest debate: Loss and damage

In 2009, the rich developed countries agreed to present to the poorer developing countries $ 100 billion annually to face climate change starting from 2020 aka climate pledge 2020 came and nothing happened

African nations received around $18.3 billion in climate finance between 2016 and 2019 which is about 20% of the original sum according to what I read and understood.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the US and China must pay their share of climate damage.

The biggest achievement that the island nations and developing countries managed to achieve last was to include the Loss and damage on the agenda of the COP this session after decades of demanding so and that-as I said before- shows how things go in that big annual eco-gathering.

There are some frustrations as expected about the final pledges and I am not surprised.

In the first week of the COP27 those rich countries did the following pledges to  the loss and damage funding:

Austria announced that it would allocate Euro 50 million over the next four years to fund loss and damage in the world’s most vulnerable countries.

Belgium announced that it would allocate Euro 2.5 million to fund loss and damage in Mozambique out of a Euro 25 million package to support the African country from 2023 to 2028.

New Zealand announced that it would allocate USD 12 million to loss and damage globally.

Germany announced that it would allocate Euro 170 million to the Global Shield Against Climate Risks initiative — a fund dedicated to providing climate risk insurance and prevention support for at-risk nations.

Canada announced that it would allocate USD 18 million dedicated to the needs and priorities of developing countries.

Ireland announced that it would allocate Euro 10 million to the Global Shield Against Climate Risks initiative.

The United States announced that it would raise its previous pledge to USD 100 million to the “adaptation fund” for poorer countries as well as it would allocate USD 150 million to support climate change efforts in Africa.

Big banks and bankers did not show up at the COP27 so far except for HSBC Holding CEO.

Another interesting fact, the number of delegates from the fossil fuels companies jumped 25% in COP27 compared to COP26. 

Campaign group Global Witness found more than 600 people at the talks in Sharm El-Sheikh are linked to the fossil fuel sector and according to the BBC, that's more than the combined delegations from the 10 most climate-impacted countries.

It was found out that the UAE delegation got the biggest number of fossil fuel lobbyists in COP27 with 70 delegates.

UAE hosts the COP next year interestingly. 

I did not include the agreements Egypt announced to support its clean energy policies in this post.

You must remember "As humans, we have not been defeated yet" 

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