Having struck “a hard political bargain … across significant areas of climate action,” countries agreed to recognize the need for finance to help vulnerable countries respond to loss and damage, which arise when natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt.
While agreement on loss and damage funding marked a major milestone, “with many other policy priorities competing for their attention, leaders made few new, transformative announcements”.
Concluding more than 39 hours after the scheduled close, the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference agreed new funding arrangements for assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in responding to loss and damage – an historic milestone in climate talks. Having adopted 60 decisions in total, parties made progress under the work programmes on urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA).
The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference convened against the backdrop of multiple crises spanning energy, cost of living, indebtedness, nature loss, and geopolitical tensions among major powers. Yet, as the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting underscores, “the need to act in the face of the climate crisis has never been clearer.”
Having struck “a hard political bargain … across significant areas of climate action,” countries agreed to recognize the need for finance to help vulnerable countries respond to loss and damage, which arise when natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt. Operationalization of the new funding arrangements established in Sharm El-Sheikh will be worked out over the coming year.
While agreement on loss and damage funding marked a major milestone, “with many other policy priorities competing for their attention, leaders made few new, transformative announcements,” the ENB analysis of the meeting notes.
On the work programmes on urgently scaling up mitigation ambition, countries agreed to a process that will explore topics, which are to be decided, and identify opportunities and gaps to reduce emissions. According to the ENB, several countries expressed concerns that the COP 27 outcome on mitigation may not be enough to “keep 1.5°C alive.”
On the GGA, parties agreed to a long-term, structured effort that will help countries to collectively achieve the global adaptation goal. This framework, to be reviewed before the second Global Stocktake in 2028, is also expected to generate information that can help to enable and capture progress.
Parties also adopted two overarching cover decisions, together forming the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan. Cover decisions, the ENB explains, “are not associated with a specific agenda item and therefore do not have a specific mandate, unlike most decisions.” Cover decisions “are open-ended and, in recent years, have been used to capture the progress made in the negotiations and various events held adjacent to the negotiations.” Highlights from the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan include:
- retaining the call to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, as adopted in the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact;
- urging parties that have not yet communicated new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) or long-term low-emission development strategies (LEDS) to do so by the next meeting;
- establishing a work programme on just transition to discuss pathways to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement;
- launching the Sharm El-Sheikh dialogue to enhance understanding of the scope of Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement (ensuring finance flows are consistent with low-emission, climate-resilient development), and its complementarity with Article 9 of the Paris Agreement (climate finance); and
- calling for multilateral development bank (MDB) reform, including in their practices and priorities and to define a new vision, operational models, channels, and instruments that are fit for adequately addressing the global climate emergency.
The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference took place in Egypt from 6-20 November 2022. It included concurrent meetings of five bodies:
- the 27th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27);
- the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 4);
- the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 17);
- the 57th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 57); and
- the 57th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 57).
The meeting also featured the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Summit, where more than 100 Heads of State and Government attended. [ENB coverage of Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference]