Day 7 – “Gender and Water Day”

Monday 14 November 2022 was gender and water day at COP 27. Events and meetings focused on one hand on the role of women in dealing with the challenges presented by climate change, and on the other hand with impacts of climate change on water systems. Highlights on these subjects included:

  • African Women’s Climate Adaptive Priorities (AWCAP) – Egypt launched the AWCAP initiative, with the goal of promoting a gender-sensitive approach to adaptation, just transition and climate responses. The initiative aims to ensure that African women benefit from the $500 billion that are to be spent in the next 10 years to qualify employees for the green transition and that African women in science, as well as African women leading green start-ups, receive the necessary support and funds.
  • Action for Water Adaptation and Resilience (AWARe) – the AWARe initiative was also launched on Monday, in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization. The initiative aims to promote cooperation between water and climate action, to reduce water loss and to foster political efforts and technical knowledge in order to include adaptive water management systems in the climate adaptation agenda.
  • Climate Adaptation for Water Sector in Africa – the meeting explored the solutions to improve African water systems resilience to face climate change, with the help of Public Private partnerships, sustainable financing and communities’ engagement. During the session, existing solutions for water systems adaptation were mentioned, including Smart Irrigation, flood protection and rainfall harvesting.

In addition, Monday 14 November saw the opening of G20 talks in Indonesia, where climate talks will also be on the agenda, as demonstrated by the announcement made by US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping that the two countries will resume cooperation on climate change.

Progress of the negotiations

The second week of negotiations opened with COP 27 President Sameh Shoukry outlining the work ahead and in particular the 13 agenda items (regarding mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, agriculture, gender) that were left outstanding from the Subsidiary Bodies.

COP President Shoukry warned that, in order to “achieve meaningful and tangible outcomes of which we can be proud” the negotiations must “now shift gears“. Technical discussions are coupled this week with political ones, with ministerial consultations set to begin on Wednesday 16 November.

During the informal stocktaking plenary, UNFCCC executive secretary Simon Stiell urged countries to use the time left to “build the bridge needed” to make progress on the goal of keeping global warming within 1.5 °C, an issue over which, according to Stiell, not enough progress has been made so far. Due to the pace of the negotiations and to the disagreements still existing between the parties, Alok Shama, the former UK cabinet minister that presided over COP 26 in Glasgow, has expressed fear that “this could be the COP where we lose 1.5 °C“.

Loss and Damage

On Monday, discussions on loss and damage, one of the most discussed topics at COP 27, continued. Parties debated whether governance of the existing Warsaw International Mechanism (a mechanism that promotes the implementation of approaches addressing loss and damages associated with climate-related adverse impacts) falls solely under the authority of the Paris Agreement or under the join authority of the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC (the latter being the preferred solution by developing countries).

A first draft on loss and damage finance has emerged, containing a reference to the possible establishment of a fit-for purpose, UN-administered fund – although the draft is expected to be subject to substantial changes.

On Monday, G7 countries also announced the launch of the Global Shield against Climate Risk, agreed upon with the Vulnerable 20 (V20) group. The Global Shield, whose initial funding would amount to more than $200 million ($170 million from Germany and $40 from Denmark and Ireland), aims to provide a rapid access to insurance and disaster protection funding after climate-related events such as droughts, hurricanes and floods.

To achieve this goal, the Global Shield would rely on insurance companies active in the climate risk and prevention sector. Pakistan, Senegal, Ghana and Bangladesh would be among the first recipients of the Global Shield.

Activists and some developing countries have criticised the Global Shield as being a means to delay the implementation of a loss and damage financial mechanism under the UNFCCC.

Brazil, Indonesia and DRC sign Rainforest Protection Pact

On November 14, during talks at the G20 meeting that opened on Monday in Indonesia, the world’s main rainforest nations, Brazil, Indonesia and Democratic Republic of the Congo, struck a strategic alliance to coordinate their rainforest conservation strategies.

Pursuant to this agreement, the three countries would act in a coordinated manner during COPs and other UN climate talks on tropical forests, and will focus on finance, management and restoration, with the goal to prioritise the implementation of a results-based payments mechanism to reduce deforestation.

The announcement built on the launch, at day 1 of COP27, of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, an initiative aimed to boost action for the implementation of commitments made at COP 26 to halt forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

On a side note, on Monday Brazil’s former environment minister Marina Silva announced the country would welcome the opportunity to host COP 30 in 2025. Brazil’s incoming president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is expected to attend COP 27 on Wednesday.

India’s proposal to phase down fossil fuels

On Monday news emerged that India has called for the Egyptian presidency to push for the inclusion, in the final decision of COP 27, of expanded language on a commitment to phase down fossil fuels – an extension of COP 26’s commitment to phase down coal.

On day 7 India also published its Long-Term Low Emissions and Development Strategies (LT-LEDS), detailing the country’s strategy to reach net zero by 2070. All parties to the Paris Agreement are required to submit an LT-LEDS in order to explain how they plan to contribute to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C above preindustrial temperatures. So far, only 56 parties (out of 198 parties to the Paris Agreement) have released their LT-LEDS.

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