COP27 produced a landmark climate fund. COP28 must do more, say experts

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Hello and welcome to The Climate 202! In case you haven’t spent the whole weekend glued to the live stream of the COP27 climate negotiations in Egypt, we have what you need:

COP27 ended with a historic agreement on “loss and damage”. COP28 must do more, experts say.

After two weeks of tense negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt, known as COP27diplomats from nearly 200 countries reached a final agreement on Sunday that helped vulnerable countries deal with climate-related disasters, the Washington Post reported. Sarah Kaplan reports.

Beyond that breakthrough, however, the deal made little headway on measures to accelerate emissions reduction efforts or phase out fossil fuel burning, a key driver of the climate crisis.

The double-edged outcome increases pressure on negotiators at next year’s United Nations climate summit in Dubai, known as COP28, to secure meaningful new action to alter the trajectory of global warming, according to experts in international climate diplomacy.

Here’s what to know about how the COP27 deal paved the way for the clashes expected at COP28:

Discuss the details of a “loss and damage” fund

Wealthy nations agreed on Sunday to create a fund to compensate vulnerable countries for the costs of rising seas, stronger storms and other disasters fueled by rising global temperatures, The Washington Post said. Evan Halper, Timothy Puko and Sarah Kaplan report.

The agreement on a “loss and damage” fund has broken an impasse on one of the most contentious issues in the UN climate negotiations. The United States has long resisted the idea of ​​such payments, fearing unlimited liability for its role as the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases.

Still, negotiators must spend the next year figuring out many of the details surrounding the fund, including who would contribute money and which countries could draw from it. Already one the debate broke out whether China – a developing country that has become the world’s largest annual emitter – should provide the same financial support as developed countries.

“We have the fund but we need the money to make it worthwhile,” mohamed adouexecutive director of the Nairobi-based think tank Power Shift Africa, said in a statement. “What we have is an empty bucket. Now we need to fill it so that support can be given to those most affected who are suffering right now because of the climate crisis.”

Review of the progress of the Paris agreement

At last year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, nations pledged to accelerate their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this year. But the COP27 agreement does not oblige countries to set stricter emissions reduction targets, despite pressure for greater ambition from the European Union and other nations.

US climate envoy John F. Kerrywho was sidelined in the final hours of the summit with covid-19, said in a statement that the deal leaves the world on track to warm by a dangerous 1.7 degrees Celsius (3 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

Under the Paris climate accord, which aimed to limit warming to a safer threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), countries must commit to a “global stocktake” every five years to assess their collective progress towards this goal. The negotiators will have the crucial task of carrying out such an assessment at COP28.

“We need to work closely with the United Arab Emirates, which will host COP28, to ensure that the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement delivers a meaningful outcome paving the way for even greater climate ambition in the years to come,” Kerry said.

Fighting for fossil fuels at a major oil producer

India had led a campaign for the COP27 agreement to call for the phasing out of all fossil fuels, including oil and gas. But the final text merely reiterated the language of the pact at the Glasgow summit calling for a “phasing out of coal”, disappointing many anti-fossil fuel campaigners.

Some diplomats are already gearing up to ensure that COP28 does more to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. But as one of the world’s largest oil producers, the UAE has made it clear it sees a continued role for oil and gas in the energy transition, potentially threatening that push.

The United Arab Emirates plans to “extract and export every molecule of fossil fuels” left in the ground, Karim Elgendyresearcher on environmental issues in the Middle East at the London-based think tank Chatham Housetold Le Climat 202.

At the same time, the UAE has set itself the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and has increasingly invested in nuclear power, green hydrogen and solar power, said Karen Youngprincipal researcher at Colombia Universityit is Center on Global Energy Policy.

“The UAE intends to be in the energy business in many forms for a long time,” Young told The Climate 202. “Oil is just the start.”

Senate Democrats call on Postal Service to fast-track electric vehicle projects

As the nation prepares for gift-giving season, Senate Democrats are calling on the US Postal Service to bolster its adoption of electric delivery trucks, which they say could simultaneously improve service on roads across the country and reduce global-warming emissions.

In a letter sent Monday morning, the senators urged the agency to commit to electrifying 95% of its delivery fleet, instead of 40% as planned, using the $3 billion it received from the Inflation Reduction Act for electric vehicles and related infrastructure.

“With funding from the Cut Inflation Act, the USPS should aim higher and strive to have at least 95% of an electric mail delivery fleet that will reduce dangerous gas emissions to greenhouse effect. [and] help usher in an era of ubiquitous clean automotive technology,” the senators wrote.

The letter was directed by Senator Edward J. Markey (Mass) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Thomas R. Carper (Delete). Signatories include Meaning. Sheldon White House (RI), Jeff Merkel (Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Martin Heinrich (NM).

The push comes after the Postal Service pledged in July to electrify at least 40% of its new delivery fleet in response to lawsuits from 16 states, the District of Columbia and four environmental groups seeking to block the plan to The agency’s original purchase, which primarily involved gas-guzzling trucks.

The Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

Twitter helps officials share information about climate disasters. What if he dies?

Government officials often rely on Twitter to quickly share information about extreme weather events with tens of millions of Americans. But the app’s future is now uncertain, with the site’s new owner, Elon Musk, laying off about half of the company’s employees and issuing an ultimatum that resulted in the departure of hundreds more, The post office Reis Thebault, Brianna Sacks and Mark Berman report.

A dozen local, state and federal officials across the country told the Post they’ve used Twitter to save lives during disasters made worse by climate change, such as raging wildfires and swooping hurricanes. intensified.

In Santa Barbara County, the fire department responded to two of the worst disasters in California history – the Thomas Fire and the deadly mudslides that followed. The agency uses a variety of methods to communicate with the public, including radio broadcasts and Facebook.

But Twitter is “our primary vehicle for delivering real-time coverage,” said Mike Eliason, one of the department’s information officers. “If Twitter goes bankrupt, we will have to rethink the way we deliver our urgent messages.”

As it becomes a major food exporter, the Netherlands is betting on clean technologies

The Netherlands has become a world leader in producing food with less impact on the planet, spearheading innovations focused on reducing water consumption as well as carbon and methane emissions, Laura Reley reports for La Poste.

Over the past two decades, the Dutch have made significant advances in advanced cell-grown meat, vertical farming and seed technology. The country has also dedicated nearly 24,000 acres — nearly twice the size of Manhattan — to crops grown in greenhouses that use far less land, fertilizer and water than traditional soil-based agriculture.

But there are challenges: Greenhouse energy costs are rising as Western Europe faces an energy crisis amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, a conservative governing coalition promised this summer to halve nitrogen emissions by 2030, which would require a sharp reduction in the number of animals that can be raised in the country.

Alternate caption: Delegates wake up after dozing off during the COP27 closing plenary.

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