Success or failure: what are the climate talks like this year?


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dated: 2022-11-20 09:34:46 .

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt – After two weeks of haggling, officials on Sunday welcomed the conclusion of this year’s UN climate talks in Egypt, which led to the creation of a fund to help poor countries suffering from disasters caused by global warming.

Expectations of key agreements from the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh were low, but recent floods in Pakistan and Nigeria have now increased the number of calls for emergency help.

The geopolitical fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine and simmering tensions between the US and China provided a difficult backdrop for the talks.

Here’s a look at what was and wasn’t achieved at the Red Sea Climate Conference:


Countries around the world are already seeing the effects of climate change, from wild weather to hotter summers and rising sea levels. Poor countries that contributed the least to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions are the most affected. Cheers, then, when the idea of ​​the “Loss and damage” fund first made it to the official agenda of the discussion.

Developed countries have long resisted such a fund, fearing it would saddle them with billions of dollars over the decades as they pumped carbon into the atmosphere. An unexpected offer from the European Union on Thursday set the ball rolling and within 48 hours a deal was in place. The details have yet to be worked out, but the most vulnerable nations can expect to receive money to help deal with climate disasters in the future.


Donor countries have demanded that the money going to poor countries must be balanced with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Some developing countries have resisted it, fearing it would distract from discussions about money that rich nations have promised – but have yet to deliver – to help them adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions. Negotiators in Sharm el-Sheikh failed to reach agreement on the issue and it will now be revisited in Dubai next year.


Scientists warn that the chances of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) as stipulated in the 2015 Paris Agreement are diminishing. Instead of falling, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

But there is progress. Before Paris, the world was headed for 4.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times. Recent forecasts put the temperature down to around 2.6C thanks to measures already taken or firm commitments from governments.

Activists hoped that the meeting of countries in Egypt would encourage countries to set more ambitious goals. You are disappointed.

Negotiators agreed to reaffirm commitments made at last year’s climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, but little else. There were no calls for big polluters in developing countries like China and India to cut their emissions sooner.

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Last year’s talks ended with an agreement to phase out coal, the first time a fossil fuel has been explicitly named, shamed and publicized internationally. India, displeased with the move, made a surprise call earlier this year to also phase out oil and gas, but the proposal failed to secure a final cut.

In the past few months, several agreements have been made between rich and developing countries to accelerate this clean energy transition, the most recent being a $20 billion deal with Indonesia. But there was disappointment among environmentalists that the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh included “low carbon” energy – which some argue is natural gas, a fossil fuel – in a resolution on the clean energy transition.


Also in Glasgow, a new alliance of countries, including the United States, came together and pledged to cut the amount of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – released into the atmosphere by a third by 2030.

The list of countries backing the pledge has grown to about 150 this year. Even China has said it will work to reduce methane emissions.


Human rights issues came to the fore at COP27 due to Egypt’s history of oppression and the high-profile case of jailed activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah. His fate was discussed by numerous foreign leaders in meetings with their Egyptian colleagues, but the activist is still in prison. His family said he was “very, very thin” after ending a hunger strike that had sparked widespread concern about his health.


Long discussions on emissions trading rules did not progress.

Climate activists have criticized existing loopholes in already weak emissions trading market rules could allow polluters to continue pumping carbon into the atmosphere while claiming to meet international targets – simply by paying others to offset their emissions.

Experts say the current rules hinder transparency and water down key language protecting human rights, raising fears that indigenous peoples could suffer from the carbon market, for example by being forced off their ancestral lands to make way for the sale of previous forest projects in order to offset emissions.


Success or failure: what are the climate talks like this year?

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