What is COP27?

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held this year from 7-18 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The purpose of each Conference of the Parties (COP) is to bring together government negotiators, representing those nations who are a Party to the UNFCCC, to progress issues regarding the implementation of the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement. Non-State actor engagement at each COP is coordinated and led by the Climate Change High-Level Champions, with industry and civil-society side events taking place throughout the two weeks.

COP27 is expected to differ from previous COPs in that it will focus on implementation. Given this COP is taking place in Africa, it is also expected that it will focus on action critical to developing countries, in particular those issues facing African nations. While COP26 in Glasgow saw an emphasis on ambition and net zero commitments, as well as finalisation of the Article 6 rulebook, key priorities at COP27 include implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact, advancing adaptation efforts and scaling up climate finance.

This is the first COP that Australia will be attending since the Federal Government legislated Australia’s 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation targets, and we expect this will bring a different level of engagement and action. For an overview of the key themes, priorities and issues to expect at COP27, see our previous article - The Implementation COP: What to look out for at COP27.


  • By - Emily Morison, Ashleigh McCoach, Clinton Ducas and Brandon Zheng

    DAY 10 - 17 NOVEMBER 2022

    Solutions Day

    Day 10 of COP27, Solutions Day, was the final thematic day for COP27. Transportation was a major theme, featuring in several major announcements. For example, the COP27 Presidency launched the Low Carbon Transport for Urban Sustainability Initiative (LᶜO₂TUS), which aims to bring widespread systematic changes to transportation systems in order to decarbonise existing networks. LᶜO₂TUS seeks interventions on:

    • improved investment for e-vehicles and sustainable mobility infrastructure;
    • investment for informal transportation by providing salaried labour for those working in informal transportation and integrating informal modes with expanded public transport networks; and
    • net zero urban transport policymaking capacity building in low- and middle-income countries.

    Similarly, the Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next generation initiative (SURGe), also launched by the Presidency, has five objectives to assist in achieving the Paris Climate Goals and Sustainable Development Goals:

    • improving energy efficiency, the use of low-carbon materials and processes, and land use policies for building and housing;
    • advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency in cities;
    • enhancing urban waste management to enable ‘zero waste cities’;
    • encouraging the uptake of public transport and active mobility; and
    • improving access to potable water and management of water for households and public buildings.

    SURGe includes representatives from the national governments of Japan, Morocco, Egypt, and Nauru, and local government representatives from across the world.

    The Accelerate to Zero (A2Z) coalition was launched, comprising over 200 organisations across government, industry, and civil society. Its main purpose is to make all new car and van sales in leading markets zero emissions by 2035, with global conformity by 2040. The United States, meanwhile, launched its own campaign designed to improve zero-emission vehicle penetration in emerging markets. Named the Zero Emission Vehicles Emerging Market Campaign (ZEV-EM-C), the initiative will run for one year. The Collective for Clean Transport Finance, a coalition of five leading organisations, was announced, with the purpose of initiating finance projects aimed at investments in e-buses, road freight, and two-wheel electric vehicles.

    The finance necessary to fund these new transportation programmes featured throughout the announcements and in the draft text for the COP27 cover decision, which was released in a twenty-page ‘non-paper’. Notably, the text estimated a requirement of $4 trillion per year in renewable energy investment until 2030 to reach net zero emissions by 2050. A low-carbon global economy will itself require an estimated investment of at least $4-6 trillion per year until 2030. The text notes that these figures will require transformation of the financial system and cooperation between government, central banks, and commercial banks. It is also notable that the text begins by acknowledging the global challenges the international community is facing due to overlapping crises of food, energy, geopolitical and economic challenges, compounded by more frequent and intense climate impacts.

    In negotiations, Parties expressed diverging views on a number of aspects of the draft decision text, including its references to multilateral development bank reform, debt, and phasing down fossil fuel subsidies and use. A revised version of the draft will be released on 18 November.

    Meanwhile in other negotiations, facilitators from Australia and India indicated that draft text has been prepared on the New Collective Quantified Goal for Climate Finance that could provide an approach that will enable a decision on the new goal to be made in 2024. The facilitators are now expected to meet with Heads of Delegation to hear Parties’ views. As to Article 6 negotiations, revised decision drafts have been prepared, and technical-level negotiations were expected to continue into the evening.

    In the Australian Pavilion, the events highlighted ocean based climate solutions and the importance of climate action at the grassroots level. The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure called for action to be taken towards resilient coastal infrastructure, and discussed pathways that can be taken to strengthen disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in coastal areas.

  • By - Ashleigh McCoach and Lucy Burns

    Day 9 - 16 November 2022

    Biodiversity Day

    Day 9 of COP27 was Biodiversity Day, where discussions focused on the fostering of integrated responses, shared solutions, and defined pathways to address biodiversity loss and climate action. The Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for an Accelerated Climate Transformation Initiative (ENACT) was launched by the COP27 Presidency, the Government of Germany and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. ENACT is a voluntary coalition of both state and non-state parties that aims to coordinate global climate action to address biodiversity loss through the adoption and strengthening of nature-based solutions and partnerships. The initiative has committed to produce a State of Nature-based Solutions Report each year, which will be delivered to future COP Presidencies to inform future meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. ENACT’s key aims are:

    • to enhance the climate resilience of at least 1 billion of the world’s vulnerable people, including at least 500 million women and girls;
    • to secure and protect up to 2.4 billion hectares of natural agricultural ecosystems which are sustainable and healthy; and
    • to increase global mitigation efforts significantly through the conservation of carbon-rich terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

    The world’s oceans were a recurring talking point throughout Day 9. For example, discussions continued in relation to the High Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance, which were launched at COP27 by Conservation International and Salesforce. The principles and guidance focus on developing a robust, high quality blue carbon projects and credits system. The development of the principles and guidance is indicative of the high demand for blue carbon credits. Such demand is of significance to Australia, as it harbors 12% of the world’s blue carbon ecosystems.

    In the negotiations, the Parties agreed on the institutional arrangements to operationalise the Santiago Network of the Warsaw International Mechanism (Network), which is a body that will offer technical assistance to communities and countries that are impacted significantly by climate fueled natural disasters. It was agreed that, in providing technical assistance, the Network should take into consideration human rights, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, intergenerational equity, gender equality, and local and vulnerable communities. There was also agreement between the Parties on the draft texts relating to the Adaptation Fund Board, which encourage increased and continued contributions to the fund, and also state that financial pledges to the fund are welcome.

    Discussions regarding the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) were advanced in informal consultations, with a particular focus on how the CDM might operate beyond the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Conversations explored certified emission reduction (CER) issuance, methodologies, accreditation, afforestation and reforestation. It was also suggested that post-2020 CER units could be voluntarily cancelled, however that proposition was met with opposition from several parties who stated that, as decided in the Glasgow Agreement, issuance for post-2020 emission reductions is not possible and that temporary CERs do not exist.

    Meanwhile, the Australian Pavilion hosted events that continued building on the biodiversity theme of the day. For example, EarthWatch Australia ran an event that focused on ClimateWatch, a program in Australia that aims to address research gaps regarding the way that changes in rainfall and temperature affect biodiversity in Australia. Biodiversity issues will be the focus of the meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which will be held in Montreal, Canada from 7 – 19 December 2022.

    Co-authored by Amy Van Dongen

  • By - Emily Morison and Jim Power

    Day 8 - 15 November 2022

    Energy, Ace and Civil Society Day

    Day 8 of COP27 saw Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen MP present Australia’s National Statement to COP27 at the High-Level Segment, declaring that “Australia is back as a constructive, positive, and willing climate collaborator”. Minister Bowen used the speech to emphasise Australia’s domestic decarbonisation initiatives and plans to become a ‘renewable energy superpower’, noting that Australia’s first Annual Climate Change Statement will be delivered in coming weeks to provide a stocktake against how the nation is tracking against its climate targets. Australia’s support for climate resilience in the Pacific was also reiterated, along with an announcement that Australia will seek to host COP31 in 2026 alongside its Pacific neighbours. Interestingly, Minister Bowen also used his address to ask multilateral development banks to step up their support to developing countries, noting the need to increase the proportion of funding spend on climate, while also ensuring that such funding does not saddle countries with unsustainable debt.

    Outside of the High-Level Segment, energy and civil society engagement were the key themes of the day, with the launch of a number of initiatives focused on supporting renewable energy projects, and discussions centring around the importance of civil engagement in enhancing climate action.

    Meanwhile in relation to carbon market developments, informal consultations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement continued, and in a side event, Ministers from Canada and Chile launched a Global Carbon Pricing Challenge initiative aimed at tripling carbon pricing emissions coverage at a global level, with support from the UK, New Zealand and Sweden.

    Negotiations on climate finance also continued. Australia was invited, alongside India, by the COP27 President, to lead ministerial consultations on finance, in particular, the new collective quantified goal.

    The energy transition

    Day 8 saw the launch of the Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative, which will target a 25% increase in electricity generation and an increase in use of clean energy end products by way of facilitation through technical and policy support across Africa. The initiative aims to provide access to electricity, clean cooking fuels and technologies to at least 300 million people by 2027.

    Meanwhile, two initiatives were launched that focus on supporting the renewable energy transition at a global level, being:

    • the Planning for Climate Commission, which aims to expedite approvals processes to assist renewable energy projects; and
    • the Global Renewables Alliance, which seeks to bring together expertise and technology of key players across the wind, solar, hydrogen, energy storage and geothermal energy industries to facilitate the accelerated transition to renewable energies and promote accountability through joint targets.

    The extent to which the launch of multiple alliances working towards similar goals represents progress or fragmentation of resources is yet to be seen. 

    With respect to wind energy, Australia announced that it will join the Global Offshore Wind Alliance, which was established at COP26, with the aim of achieving a minimum total offshore wind capacity of 380GW by 2030 and 2000GW by 2050. The announcement was complemented by events in the Australian Pavilion, where the Clean Energy Council discussed opportunities for Australia’s offshore wind sector.

    Hydrogen proved to be a key focus of discussions throughout the day, with the recently launched African Green Hydrogen Alliance publishing encouraging industry data with McKinsey on the potential for green hydrogen production to boost GDP across a number of African nations. Meanwhile, Egypt launched the first ever technical panel discussion on Global Renewable Hydrogen, and in the Australian Pavilion, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) addressed Australia’s potential to become a global leader in green hydrogen.

    Other events in the Australian Pavilion explored the role of youth in supporting climate action, and the centring of Indigenous-led initiatives in Australia’s responses.

    Civil society engagement

    Day 8 also saw a number of events focused around civil society engagement, including a high-level ministerial roundtable on the role of civil society in mobilizing and tracking climate finance, and a presidency event on best approaches to implementing the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Framework, which was adopted under the UNFCCC and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. The overarching goal of the ACE Framework is to empower society’s engagement in climate action through education, public awareness, training, public participation, access to information and international cooperation.

    Co-authored by Amy Van Dongen

  • By - Ashleigh McCoach

    Day 7 - 14 November

    Gender and Water Day

    Day 7 of COP27 focussed on gender and water, where the role of women in climate solutions, and the impact of global temperature increases on water supply, featured heavily. Meanwhile, the climate negotiations on issues including climate finance, adaptation and loss and damaged continued as COP27 entered its second week.

    The Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience Initiative (AWARe) was launched by the COP27 Presidency. AWARe will offer adaptation solutions for both the earth and people and has three main objectives:

    • to promote interlinkages between climate action and water in order to achieve Agenda 2030, and in particular Sustainable Development Goal 6 (which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation);
    • to improve water supply and decrease water losses worldwide; and
    • to propose and support implementing methods and mutually agreed policy for co-operative water-related adaptation action along with its co-benefits.

    During the Precedency’s consultations on loss and damage governance, Parties considered the governance of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM). One point of contention is whether the WIM should be governed only by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA), or governed by both the CMA and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP). It has been argued that the WIM could be governed under the COP, due to the COP establishing the WIM. However, Article 8.2 of the Paris Agreement provides that the WIM shall be subject to the authority and guidance of the CMA. It is of note that the Paris Agreement does not negate the existing relationship between the COP and the WIM. While all developing country Parties held the position that the WIM should be governed by the COP and CMA, multiple developed country Parties were of the view that the WIM is only governed by the CMA. Parties agreed to continue this discussion next year.

    In the High-level Ministerial Roundtable on Pre-2030 Ambition, the ministers all called for an urgent increase in ambition, with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary advocating for a mitigation work programme that would reduce emissions at a faster rate and secure pledges from Parties that they will raise their ambition. In addition, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report was presented by the UNFCCC Secretariat. This report provided a summary of current and updated NDCs, and noted that the implementation of these NDCs would see emissions raise by 10.6% by 2030.

    Aspects of Article 6 were considered in informal consultations. These discussions included the agreed electronic format (AEF) under Article 6.2 and the Supervisory Body’s recommendations for Article 6.4. On the AEF, the Parties differed on their views regarding the specificity of the information required in the AEF. One developing country group stressed that Parties should first test the usability of the tables given the limited experience in this area and also suggested provisionally approving the AEF at this CMA. Others noted that multiple countries intend to use internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) in 2023 and that AEFs are required for other components of Article 6.2. On the Supervisory Body’s recommendations for Article 6.4, there was broad support for the proposed rules regarding share of proceeds and procedure. However, several Parties raised concerns on removals and environmental integrity and also made calls for ensuring that language on environmental and social safeguards and Indigenous Peoples’ and human rights is aligned with previous decisions.

    Informal consultations also continued on the draft text for the guidance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Several Parties noted that the draft decision texts needed a lot of work. Concerns were also raised against an outcome that sees the GCF being micromanaged and that the current structure of the GCF renders it unable to address loss and damage.  Consultations will continue, and Parties were requested to submit written submissions for the next iteration of the draft text.

    On the transition of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), in informal consultations Parties expressed differing views on the time frames for temporary and transition processes. These processes included Certified Emissions Reduction (CER) issuance, approvals for methodologies and accreditation of operational entities. Parties also disagreed on whether afforestation and reforestation activities should be subject to the temporary measures, and whether to allow the voluntary cancellations of post-2020 CERs.

    In the Australian Pavilion, events centred around the themes of gender and water, including events on how the Murray-Darling Basin Plan can be used as a climate adaptation tool and how First Nations knowledge of water can be utilised in our approach to water management.

    In other news, a collaboration between Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, CSIRO, and Google Australia has also been announced at COP27. The ‘blue carbon’ collaboration will work together to map seagrass ecosystems and to understand how they can support climate resilience, particularly at Australian and Indo-Pacific coastlines.

    Co-authored by Shanae Streeter

  • By - Ashleigh McCoach and Shay Kiriakidis

    Day 6 - 12 November

    Agriculture and Adaptation Day

    Day 6 of COP27, Agriculture and Adaptation Day, saw discussions focusing on adaptation related issues, agriculture and loss and damage. With the agriculture sector and food industry together accounting for approximately 32% of the Earth’s total greenhouse gas emissions, significant attention was given to climate-resilient agriculture.  Key announcements of the day included:

    • the launch of the Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) by the COP27 Presidency, which aims to increase both the quantity and quality of climate finance contributions to transform agriculture and food systems by 2030. FAST aims to do so by focusing on the following deliverables: (1) access to climate finance and investment, (2) supporting knowledge and capacity development, and (3) ensuring agrifood systems are fully embedded in climate change policies;
    • the launch of the Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition (I-CAN), a collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, Egypt’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. I-CAN’s main objective is to increase awareness on malnutrition and encourage state and non-state actors to increase their investment and support on the issue of malnutrition;
    • the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate’s announcement of increased investment of more than US$8 billion (up from US$4 billion at COP26); and
    • the joint announcement of the African Food Systems Transformation Initiative and 70 African-owned agri-businesses of an action plan to direct financial flows to food supply chain in Africa.  

    Day 6 marked the close of the first week of COP27, with many expressing disappointment in the unresolved issues. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell warned that “if we create a logjam in the process, we will not create an outcome that is deserving of this process”.  Closing plenaries were held by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation. Parties adopted the draft reports of SBSTA 57 and SBI 57.

    Informal consultations were held on long-term finance, where concerns were raised by developing country Parties regarding the gaps in fulfillment of pledges and between needs and delivery, and a common definition of climate finance. Developing country Parties also opposed references to ‘donors’, noting the provision of finance is a commitment, not a donation.

    The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance was also discussed in informal consultations. There was a broad agreement to make the ministerial dialogues more interactive. Parties also discussed the level of the new goal, transparency and accounting arrangements for the new goal, principles of the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change and grant-based and public finance.

    In further informal consultations, funding arrangements responding to loss and damage continued to be discussed. Multiple developing country Parties restated their call to launch a finance facility for loss and damage at COP 27/CMA 4 and to establish a roadmap to ensure the operationalisation of such a facility by 2024. There was also broad acknowledgement of funding gaps, the diversity of challenges related to loss and damage, and the urgency to address loss and damage.

    Following the agriculture and adaptation theme of the day, the Australian Pavilion hosted a number of events that were centred around the agricultural sector. This included the showcase of the Climate Services for Agriculture program  – a program which develops agriculture specific climate information services that directly address on farm decision-making – as well as an event on insights from the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research on tangible ways we can progress climate-resilient food system changes.

    In other news, Australia has endorsed the Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda on Agriculture which aims to accelerate clean technology transitions through strengthened international co-ordination, co-operation, and collaboration. The goal of the Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda on Agriculture is to make sustainable, climate-resilient agriculture the most widely adopted and attractive option for farmers worldwide by 2030.

    Co-authored by Shanae Streeter

  • By - Anneka Thomson and Adam Sibum

    Day 5 - 11 NOVEMBER 2022

    Decarbonisation Day

    Day 5, Decarbonisation Day, saw discussions focused on encouraging and facilitating the transition towards a low carbon economy, with specific attention given to hard-to-abate sectors such as oil and gas, steel, concrete and fertilisers.

    The “Breakthrough Agenda” was announced, a master plan to accelerate decarbonisation of five major sectors: power, road transport, steel, hydrogen and agriculture. The Breakthrough Agenda contains 25 collaborative actions to be delivered by COP28 (November 2023) to assist in making lower-carbon technologies cheaper and more accessible. Building on the commitments made by the 122 countries under the Global Methane Pledge introduced at COP26, Decarbonisation Day also featured the release of the Sharm El-Sheikh Methane Roadmap, a comprehensive guide for reducing emissions with a particular focus on short-term action.

    In informal consultations, the extent of guidance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was considered, with many developed countries calling for high-level guidance only to avoid micromanaging the GCF Board. Discussions continued on funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage with developing countries calling for new, additional and adequate financing, as well as the establishment of a dedicated operational entity. On the Adaptation Fund, Parties debated whether to require developed countries to double their climate finance provision for adaptation in developing countries, while noting the general financing issues suffered by that fund.

    The Work Programme for Urgently Scaling up Mitigation Ambition and Implementation was considered in informal consultations, where diverging views between developing country Parties and developed country Parties became clear, particularly with regards to attributing the carbon budget as well as push back from some developing countries on the concept of “major emitters” as a new category of developing country. Elsewhere, draft conclusions were introduced for the first Global Stocktake, with the objective of agreeing a plan for 2023 in order to reach the first Global Stocktake’s goals. 

    Day 5 saw the US launch a major support package of over US$150 million, as part of implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) across the African continent, as well as US$20 million to facilitate PREPARE’s work in small island developing states.  US President Joe Biden also announced that the US would double its pledge to the Adaptation Fund to US$100 million.

    In the Australian Pavilion, the role of collaboration in decarbonisation, and in particular Australia’s contribution, was a key theme. The events included panels on how industry, government and other stakeholders can work together to address climate change, as well as how Australian science and technology is supporting the African continent in responding to climate change.

    Co-authored by Shanae Streeter.

  • By - Ashleigh McCoach and Claudia Russo

    Day 4 - 10 NOVEMBER 2022

    Science Day 

    Day 4 of COP27 was Science Day, where the significance of scientific initiatives as well as research and development in the battle against climate change was highlighted. One of the key takeaways was that scientists need to make their data more publicly accessible and understandable in order to facilitate the development of climate change policies.

     Science Day saw the launch of Egypt's inaugural Vulnerability Assessment Map and the "One Health for All: One Vision and One Response" initiative (One Health)  – a joint initiative by the Egyptian Presidency, the WHO, UNDP and FAO which affirms Egypt's commitment to improving the health of all humans and animals in the wake of the climate change health crisis. One Health considers the impact that COVID-19 has had on lower and middle income countries and utilises this analysis to plan for, and mitigate the risks, which the climate change health crisis poses for these countries.

    In negotiations, funding arrangements responding to loss and damage were discussed in informal consultations. There was broad acknowledgement amongst the parties that there is a gap between the availability and the need of loss and damage finance and that the gap must be addressed urgently. Parties had different views on what the nature of funding arrangements should be. Some developing country groups called for a loss and damage facility and detailed a number of options including a loss and damage window under the Green Climate Fund and risk insurance facilities.

    The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance was also discussed in informal consultations. There was agreement that the technical expert dialogues should be more outcome focused and also focus on specific topics. Potential topics were discussed, such as the specific vulnerabilities of small island developing states and Least Developed Countries and the challenges that contributors and recipients experience. Developing countries called for discussions regarding the focus of the goal itself, stating that the goal should address loss and damage finance in addition to mitigation and adaptation finance.

    In the Australian Pavilion, the role of nature based climate solutions and supporting climate action within the Indo-Pacific region continued to be key themes. The events centred around supporting our Indo-Pacific neighbours to ensure a consistent regional response to climate change, the potential opportunities and challenges of nature based solutions, and data based approaches to coral reef conservation and climate change adaptation.

    In other news, Australia will join the Mangrove Alliance for Climate, which aims to increase and accelerate conservation, restoration and plantation efforts of mangrove ecosystems to help combat climate change and support adaption. The initiative was launched at COP27.

  • By - Emily Morison

    Day 3 - 9 November 2022

    Finance Day

    Day 3 of COP27 was Finance Day; the first of eleven thematic days to take place over the course of the conference. Pledges by developed countries to assist developing countries to combat climate change, and discussions on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance, featured heavily throughout the day’s events.

    In negotiations, developing countries expressed their frustration over previous failures by developed countries to deliver on their pledges to provide climate finance. Meanwhile, outside the negotiations, a number of developed countries made new pledges of assistance, including the United States, who launched the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) to help developing nations invest in renewable and low-carbon technologies. Similarly, Austria and New Zealand announced $50m and $20m respectively to go towards climate-related loss and damage in developing countries. In addition, the United Kingdom announced that its export credit agency will be the world’s first to include ‘climate resilient debt clauses’ that pause debt service payments for low-income countries and small island developing states in the event of a climate disaster.

    At the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance, calls were made to set this new goal at a level that reflects the funding needed to meet the temperature objective of the Paris Agreement. UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell, underscored the importance of transparency and accountability in delivering on the new goal once it is finalised in 2024. Significantly, several developed countries called for the private sector to be included as contributors to delivering on the new goal, recognising the vital role that private sector actors will play in mobilising the $trillions of investment required to keep 1.5 degrees in reach.

    In further acknowledgment of the role of the private sector, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions published a report on ‘Assets to Flows’, summarising the work and key insights gained from a series of multidisciplinary forums on what it will take to convert financial assets into flows. The report lists over 100 projects, including 19 projects in the Asia-Pacific region, that would support emissions reduction and climate adaptation in developing countries, and estimates the required financing for these projects at approximately $120 billion. The report notes the importance of engaging the private sector early in projects, and emphasises that private actors should be viewed as a pool of expertise, and not just a source of capital.

    In recognition of Finance Day, several Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) sector alliances published reports on the progress of their members in implementing net-zero targets. However, some groups raised concerns regarding the credibility of approaches used to set these targets. The concerns follow the release of a report by the High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities (HLEG), which was established by the UN Secretary General last year. The report sets out ten recommendations for preventing net-zero commitments from being undermined by greenwashing, including:

    • that net-zero commitments include ‘stepping stone’ targets for every five years and establish ways to achieve net-zero in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or International Energy Agency net zero greenhouse gas emissions modelled pathways;
    • that high-integrity carbon credits should be used for beyond value chain mitigation but not towards interim emissions reductions required by its net zero pathway; and
    • that net-zero plans must not support new supply of fossil fuels.  

    In the Australian Pavilion, finance and nature continued to be a key theme, with the day’s events including a session on challenges and success stories relating to unlocking finance for nature-based solutions, and a panel discussion on advancing the development of innovative financing structures and economic linkages to achieve a rapid and just energy transition.

    In other news, the Federal Government signed up to the Green Shipping Challenge: an international pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry.  

    Co-authored by Shanae Streeter

  • By - Emily Morison

    Day 2 - 8 NOVEMBER 2022

    World Leaders Summit

    Day 2 of the World Leaders Summit saw repeated calls from World Leaders, particularly those from developing countries, for progress on the mobilisation of climate finance and the need for a global response to address the threat of climate change. The COP President also launched the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, which will focus on boosting world climate resilience by 2030 through collaboration among state and non-state actors.

    In formal negotiations, work commenced on the item of long-term climate finance which will be looking at what lessons can be learned from the US$100 billion goal and what more can be done to deliver on this goal. On loss and damage, appropriate funding arrangements were a focus of COP/CMA discussions, with some calling for a multilateral loss and damage response fund under the Financial Mechanism to be operational by 2024. One suggested approach was that the fund operates ex-post, becoming accessible to states for rebuilding purposes within 24-48 hours of a climate event, while another Party noted the need to address slow onset non-economic loss and damage.

    Discussions around Article 6 of the Paris Agreement featured strongly on Day 2, with the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) holding informal consultations on Article 6.4 modalities and procedures, and the Glasgow Committee on Non-Market Approaches commencing its second meeting on the framework for Article 6.8 non-market approaches. With respect to Article 6.4, Parties discussed (among other things) how reporting duplication could be avoided between Articles 6.2 and 6.4; the need for interlinkages between the Article 6.4 registry and Article 6.2 international registry; and how credits generated under Article 6.4 can deliver ‘overall mitigation in global emissions’ (OMGE). Over the course of the CMA meeting, Parties will also need to consider whether to adopt recommendations from the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body.

    Of note, immediately prior to COP/CMA, the Supervisory Body adopted recommendations on the requirements of greenhouse gas removal activities that are to receive credits under Article 6.4, which clarified the definition of ‘removals’ under Article 6.4 as processes or the outcome of processes to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through anthropogenic activities and durably store them in geological, terrestrial or ocean reservoirs, or in products. The recommendations cover monitoring requirements for these activities, the contents of monitoring reports and requirements for participants to minimize risks of reversal, leakage, and negative environmental and social impacts when undertaking these kinds of activities. It remains to be seen whether the CMA will adopt or amend these recommendations.

    In the Australian Pavilion, events centred around Pacific climate priorities, the importance of First Nations Peoples’ perspectives on climate change and use of ancestral cultural practices to care for land, and the role of nature-based climate solutions. We expect Indigenous-led climate solutions, nature and supporting climate action among Australia’s Pacific partners to be strong themes at the Pavilion over the next two weeks.

    Day 2 also saw ministers announce that Australia has become a founding member of the new ‘Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership’, a UK-led initiative which aims to accelerate the contribution of forests to global climate action and progress the work of the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use.

    Co-authored by Amy Van Dongen

  • By - Shay Kiriakidis and Anneka Thomson

    Day 0 and Day 1 – 6 & 7 NOVEMBER 2022

    Opening Ceremony and World Leaders Summit 

    COP27 kicked off in Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday with Egyptian Foreign Minister and COP27 President H.E. Sameh Shoukry acknowledging that the conference comes at the end of a year that has seen political turmoil resulting in rising energy prices and food, water and cost of living crises.  Despite these challenges, Shoukry urged nations to not use this as a reason to delay efforts to fight climate change.  These sentiments were reinforced by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who proclaimed that “we are on the highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator”.

    The conference follows a year of climate disasters, including the devasting floods in Pakistan that killed more than 1,700 people.  The World Meteorological Organisation on Sunday stated that the planet had likely witnessed its warmest eight years on record.  The stark realities of the impacts of climate change seen in recent years, and particularly in 2022, have increased calls for loss and damage funding to be on the agenda.  At the eleventh hour, the Conference of the Parties agreed to include it in the final agenda adopted on Sunday for the first time since the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

    At the World Leaders Summit on Monday, governments were called upon to provide concrete actions and plans to further raise ambition on climate change and emissions reduction.  Developing countries reiterated calls for the delivery of US$100 billion in climate finance, noting that failure to act would be more costly.  Plans were also made to set up new joint energy partnerships to aid the energy transition in developing countries as well as partnerships to protect ecosystems in countries with significant biodiversity to ensure continued carbon storage potential.  Not least, Monday saw the commencement of negotiations in relation to various issues, including guidance for the operation of cooperative approaches under Article 6.2 as well as the commencing the Glasgow Climate Pact work programme to scale up mitigation ambition and implementation.