Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership publishes checklist for governments attending COP27, arguing that focus should be on energy, adaptation, ambition, finance, and nature
Developed nations must work harder to build trust with their developing world counterparts at COP27 by meeting existing climate finance commitments and mobilising more funds to help poorer nations decarbonise their economies and enhance their climate resilience.
That is the headline conclusion of a new report from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), published just days before pivotal climate talks kick off in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
CISL's COP27 briefing sets out five key asks of governments attending the summit, across the areas of energy, adaptation, ambition, finance, and nature. It said it had collated the checklist off the back of its ongoing work with leading businesses and financial institutions around the world.
The organisation today urged governments to set stronger climate targets and establish the right policies and actions to reach them; accelerate the shift to renewables and scale up measures that reduce energy demand; and set the bar for meaningful action to jointly address the nature and climate crises.
The report comes just a few days after the latest UN Emissions Gap report warned countries' current 2030 climate goals were insufficient and would fail to hold global temperatures at safe levels even if met. The report noted there was "no credible pathway" to cap global temperatures at 1.5C, the lower temperature rise threshold agreed by all parties to the landmark Paris Agreement. It calculated that even if the net zero targets adopted by economies that account for more than 90 per cent of global GDP are met the world would still be on track for 2.4C of warming this century.
As such, CISL's report calls on the governments of industrialised nations to help mobilise capital to deliver the trillions of dollars that economically poorer counties need to decarbonise and build climate resilience that can protect people from the increasingly severe and frequent impacts of a changing climate.
"Governments, especially those in industrialised nations, need to increase their direct financing of the climate transition," said Nina Seega, research director of sustainable finance at CISL. "They also need to get smarter about using their financial resources to leverage private-sector capital for climate projects. The money is there: it just needs to be mobilised."
Negotiations on a climate financing package for 2025 onwards are expected to launch at COP27, alongside specific talks on proposals for a new Loss and Damage financing mechanism to help countries cope with the losses that result from climate impacts. The discussions are expected to be fraught, given that developed nations have collectively failed to meet their promise to deliver $100bn annually to poorer nations in climate finance from 2020 onwards and are reluctant to sign off on any new agreement that could be interpreted as an admission of liability for climate impacts.
Reports this week from Politico indicated the UK is currently $300m short on climate finance commitments made at previous climate summits. The news agency reported that the UK missed a September deadline for a promised $288m payment to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), while a separate $20.6m pledge to support an international Adaptation Fund is also still yet to be honoured. Several other leading industrialised nations are also thought to have fallen badly short of their previous climate financing pledges, with a recent analysis from Oxfam accusing the World Bank and governments of overstating the level of climate-related funding they are providing by billions of dollars. The high profile Just Transition Partnership that a group of leading industrialised nations brokered with South Africa has emerged as a case in point, with recent reports indicating it requires $46.5bn of investment to deliver on its decarbonisation goals - five times more than the $8.5bn pledged to date by Western governments.
However, there are some encouraging signs progress could be made in Egypt. Denmark recently followed Scotland in announcing it would provide funding directly for Loss and Damage focused projects. Meanwhile, the EU's draft negotiating position going in to the Summit reportedly acknowledges the need for support for climate vulnerable to be "scaled up" and signals a willingness to negotiate on proposed Loss and Damage plans.
Navigating the potentially combative negotiations over climate finance will be critical, according to CISL, which warned COP27 could set the tone and pace of progress for international climate negotiations and delivery mechanisms for the next decade.
Eliot Whittington, director of policy at CISL, said the Summit also offered a crucial opportunity for business and government to collaborate more intensitvely in pursuit of climate goals.
"The private sector will play a vital role in helping countries to meet these ambitions targets and adapting to the impact of climate change through instigating and implementing their own net zero and nature plans," he said. "COP27 also presents an opportunity to develop collaborations between business and government to support implementation and create synergies that make their impact stronger than what they could achieve in isolation. Doing so will accelerate the market shift across to sustainable systems, products, energy, and supply chains."
President-elect Lula's victory in Brazil's election and his promise to pursue a zero deforestation policy, combined with the recent US Climate Bill, the change of government in Australia, and the EU's advancing net zero strategy all provide some welcome momentum going in to next week's Summit. But as CISL's analysis emphasises, significant breakthroughs on climate finance, investment flows, and nature protection are urgently needed if the crucial next phase of the long-running climate talks are to get off to a good start.
* This article was originally published here