COP27: No deal to part out oil and gasoline, however the vitality transition continues

Local weather negotiations on the United Nations Local weather Change Convention, higher referred to as COP, are over for one more yr. What can we take away from its twenty seventh iteration?

With the backdrop of warfare in Ukraine and a world vitality disaster, expectations going into this yr’s convention, held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, have been decidedly low. 

Including to the stress have been experiences from the UN and Worldwide Power Company indicating that the world remains to be set to soar previous the 1.5C warming restrict set by the Paris Settlement. Mixed with a sequence of local weather disasters in 2022, the stakes (not like the expectations) have been excessive.

Now that COP27 is over and the mud has settled, we spotlight a number of the details of discussions and outcomes from the final two weeks—and what they imply for Canada. 

On the massive points, one step ahead and one step again

Two points loomed giant over COP27. 

The primary was “loss and injury,” the precept that rich nations ought to compensate susceptible nations for the rising prices of local weather disasters (along with the US$100 billion in local weather finance for mitigation and adaptation that developed nations have dedicated to). For the primary time, nations reached a deal to arrange a loss and injury fund, seen by some as a “historic” step ahead. 

Nonetheless, as this yr’s devastating Pakistan floods confirmed, the human and financial prices of local weather change are already important at simply over 1C of warming—and solely anticipated to rise. Decreasing emissions from burning oil, gasoline, and coal is the most affordable and only solution to restrict the long run impacts of local weather change. 

This was the second key difficulty that COP tried to grapple with and, sadly, didn’t make any headway on. Regardless of help from 80 nations—together with Canada, the EU, U.S., and India—COP27 failed to succeed in a deal to “part down” oil and gasoline alongside coal (agreed to finally yr’s summit). This consequence places the 1.5C goal, already in jeopardy, on life help. 

Our pals need clear vitality, not fossil fuels

Spoiling the rising narrative that Canada’s pals want extra of our oil and gasoline, the EU in impact mentioned “thanks however no thanks.” As a substitute, the EU’s local weather chief made it clear that regardless of the vitality disaster, it has no plans to backtrack on its local weather targets and can come armed with a strengthened goal at COP28 in 2023. 

In the meantime, greater than 80 nations at COP27 supported a proposal to part down using all fossil fuels. This could give Canada’s federal and provincial governments a lot meals for thought.

Indicators of progress too

We additionally noticed indicators that the world is inching in the suitable route:

  • A thaw in relations between the world’s largest polluters, the U.S. and China, who look like on talking phrases once more (at the least on local weather). And a promise from incoming president Lula that “Brazil is again.” 
  • On clear vitality, Indonesia reached a deal with the U.S., Japan, and a number of other different nations to offer US$20 billion (of which half can be personal finance) to transition its electrical energy grid off coal. That is the second deal negotiated below the Simply Power Transition Partnership. If profitable, it may catalyze future offers with different rising, carbon-intensive economies.
  • On transportation, the U.S. joined Canada and 15 different nations by committing to 100% zero-emission truck and bus gross sales by 2040. Progress in passenger EVs exhibits no indicators of slowing, with gross sales growing 60% to greater than 10 million in 2022. 
  • On heavy business, COP noticed numerous pledges to extend the availability of near-zero emission supplies whereas additionally scaling up demand. Canada has a key position to play in these initiatives as a lead member of the Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative and Cement Breakthrough
  • Barbados (chargeable for below 0.01% of world emissions) acquired widespread help for its plan to boost over US$1 trillion in local weather financing from worldwide establishments and by taxing oil corporations. 
  • As net-zero pledges by banks and personal corporations proliferate, so do issues round greenwashing and inconsistent lobbying. A UN group—led by former federal Surroundings Minister Catherine McKenna—issued a set of pointers to separate truth from fiction in terms of net-zero claims. 

Although simply forgotten amid the binary narrative of the general settlement’s success or failure, these multilateral, sub-global efforts present the COP course of at its finest.

Whereas the convention is over for one more yr, local weather change will take no such hiatus. It’s now as much as Canada’s governments to speed up the vitality transition right here at dwelling. In any case, actual international local weather progress is achieved by the accrued actions of particular person nations. 

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