Young activist Lamis El Khatieb will be following COP27 and narrating the main points of this important annual moment
Hello everyone, this is Lamis El Khatieb a 2020 Environmental Architecture and Urbanism Graduate who is studying MSc Environmental Futures with Climate Change this year to try and understand how policies affect our decisions when implementing environmental projects. I believe that COP27 this year is a good opportunity to understand and try to find answers on how this implementation can happen through our talks here on Rethinking Climate. I believe that it will give us an opportunity to initiate different ideas and let our voices reach the COP. Let me share my thoughts with you and please feel free to share yours!
The Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony yesterday started with Alok Sharma’s speech, the UK COP26 president talking about the progress that has been achieved throughout the year with the Paris Rulebook, the progress on coal and fossil fuel subsidies, and the commitment to scale up finance and to double adaptation finance by 2025 with strengthening on the importance of the parties to revisit their 2030 emissions reduction targets. Adding “over 90 percent of the global economy is now covered by a net zero target, up from less than 30 percent when the UK took on the COP26 role”. Coming to one of the essential tools of implementation which is finance Alok said “Finance makes or breaks the work in front of us…we know what we need to do and how we do it” and ended his speech with “let’s make it happen”. Finance is one of the tools and yes it is an important one, but also if the skills and knowledge associated are put into the right place it can double the progress and raise the ambitions of the nations at the end of this COP.
President Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s COP27 president said that most finances are based on loans and we need to listen to the concerns of other parties and understand them and have the political will to work together. Additionally that we need to transfer the political commitments into agreements that can be implemented. Personally, I believe that it needs to be transferred more into laws so that it is binding for countries to act upon because honestly, we need to stop making new pledges every year and instead act upon developing them. Every year we go to the starting point again because of the new pledges, leaders need to continue the progress instead of destroying and rebuilding it again and again.
Simon Stiell, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary said, “Those who still refuse to act unless others do, will not be allowed to slow down the collective process, let’s not let positioning block progress”. He mentioned three critical lines of action:
“1. Demonstrate this transformation shift to implementation, putting negotiations into concrete actions…look closer at how the global financial architecture can be made fit for purpose” and also make sure that it is the right purpose that needs to be prioritized.
“2- We must cement progress on these critical work streams; mitigation, adaptation, finance and crucially loss and damage.”, he also added “there are areas of commonality which we can lean into and build bridges…” collaborations are certainly needed to have this implementation but which ones and how this is the critical choice that needs to be done wisely this year to understand the financial mechanism and attract countries indirectly towards the transition process through circular economies.
“3- Enhance the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability throughout the process”, maybe when we are thinking about this we need to get back to open source data policies and technology availability and integration.
He talked about the environmental integrity and the reliability of the commitments made, looking to the 25 countries that tightened their national plans out of 194! He also added, “…women and girls have to be placed at the center of climate decision-making and action, their empowerment leads to better governance and better outcomes…”
Changing “Matters relating to funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage” to “Matters relating to funding arrangements responding to loss and damage associated with adverse effects of climate change including a focus on addressing loss and damage: The outcomes thereof are without prejudice to the consideration of similar issues in the future”, the outcomes of this agenda item are based on cooperation and facilitation and do not involve liability or compensation.
In this COP…finance is a tool, capacity building and technology are targets and loans are barriers that need to be considered!