Outcome of the COP27 climate talks in Egypt
At this year’s talks, Sweden stressed the urgency of the climate transition and the job and growth opportunities that the transition will create. The outcome of the talks was roughly the same as that of last year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow. However, one success was the creation of a new loss and damage fund.
In the climate talks, Sweden pursued a negotiating position set out by the Council of the EU. The major issues this year were climate adaptation, with a focus on the long-term Global Goal on Adaptation, the establishment of a mitigation work programme and the new long-term finance goal beyond 2025. The countries also agreed on establishing new funding arrangements for loss and damage caused by climate change.
Mitigation work programme
Sweden and the EU prioritised the creation of a mitigation work programme. This programme will help close the ambition gap between what the parties have previously agreed on and what science says we must do between now and 2030 to meet the 1.5-degree goal. The Mitigation Work Programme was adopted at COP27. During the first half of 2023, the Swedish Presidency will devote its energy to ensuring that the Mitigation Work Programme’s lofty ambitions are realised. The Mitigation Work Programme will continue until 2026.
New loss and damage fund
The countries also agreed on establishing a new fund to support developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The agreement to establish the fund is seen by many as a historic decision, and work is now under way on what form the fund should take.
The EU proposed the sharing of best practices on how countries can shift financial flows to be consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement. The EU believes it is important that climate conferences develop an understanding of how this can be achieved. The EU proposal did not, however, receive support. The EU will therefore focus its efforts ahead of COP28 and put the proposal back on the agenda.
What the research says
This year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the remaining parts of the Sixth Assessment Report. The report shows that urgent action is needed to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the need for greater resilience to climate change.
On these issues, countries have clearly different priorities as well as different ambitions. The IPCC believes that if the Paris Agreement is to be implemented, all elements need to work together on emission reductions, adaptation and implementation support, such as financing, capacity development and technology transfer.
The cover decision
The cover decision adopted at this year’s talks emphasises the political messages that the countries jointly want to highlight. The final COP26 agreement adopted in Glasgow clearly emphasised scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures, phasing down coal power and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. These policies are also included in the COP27 cover decision, but the EU tried to include the phrase “phasing out all fossil fuels” in the final text. This was not supported by all countries, however. One success of COP27 was the cover decision’s strong wording on respect for human rights.
Sweden will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January 2023 and will lead the EU’s efforts to build on the outcome of COP27.