COP 27 Agreement Rightfully Calls for Assistance for the Smallest and Poorest Nations but Misses Opportunities To Reaffirm 1.5C Limit
November 21, 2022 /3BL Media/ - As the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 27) ends, Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber reacts to the final agreement:
“At COP27, the issue of helping small developing countries mitigate, adapt and recover from the devastating effects of climate change was rightfully at the top of the agenda. The poorest countries in the world did not cause the climate crisis but they are bearing the brunt of its devastation. We are pleased to see the final COP 27 cover decision includes terms for establishing a loss and damage fund to help the most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged countries.
We also agree with its call for reform of the priorities and processes of multilateral development banks to fit the purpose of addressing the climate emergency, align with the global goal of net zero emissions, and better facilitate private climate investment in developing countries by providing de-risking mechanisms. Private capital will follow. Achieving our collective global climate goals necessitates that the entire globe be included in solutions and benefits and that all countries move jointly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that will bring climate stabilization.
However, climate stabilization will not happen if countries abandon the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. While we are relieved that the governmental negotiators reaffirmed the need to keep global warming within the 1.5 Celsius limit, we are disappointed that they did not agree to pathways or means to achieve it. Ceres stand with 200 businesses, investors and other nonprofit organizations in affirming our commitment to 1.5 C as a limit that must be achieved – and we are working towards it. Thousands of companies, investors, cities and states have committed to net zero emissions by 2050 and are working on meeting interim targets by 2030 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – including 290 of the world’s largest asset managers. We need governments to join us in this commitment and enact policies that facilitate capital flows and infrastructure investment towards a net zero emissions future.”
Ahead of COP27, more than 600 large institutional investors managing a combined $42 trillion in assets called on world governments, through the 2022 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis, to implement the policy actions needed to address the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to a net zero emissions economy, including stronger 1.5 degrees Celsius aligned Nationally Determined Contributions with domestic policies to support those goals and emphasis in setting and meeting 2030 targets.
Specifically, the signatories call for:
- Developing mechanisms to price carbon
- Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and the use of thermal coal and establish plans and targets to peak and then phase out the use of other fossil fuels.
- Developing transition plans for affected workers, communities and individuals
- Supporting the Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions 30% by 2030 and reduce all non-CO2 emissions.
- Ending deforestation globally.
- Strengthening climate disclosing, including mandating disclosure of climate risks and opportunities for all large companies and financial institutions; require climate transition plans and drive for consistency across global financial regulation on disclosure.
- Delivering on their promises of significant climate finance for developing countries to allow for a clean energy transition, mitigation and adaptation as they grapple with climate intensified weather disasters.
The global economy’s transition to net zero emissions provides huge opportunities for investors and companies, including in developing nations. Ceres is working with investors to help them seize the opportunities unleashed by the global transition and is encouraging companies to utilize the incentives from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act to accelerate their shift to clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation.
Across the globe, effective policies in line with limiting global warming are essential for accelerating and scaling up private capital flows needed for a climate resilient, net-zero transition. These can include repurposing fossil fuel subsidies, efficiency standards, enhancing climate disclosure protocols, or implementing carbon pricing.
Lubber added, “Negotiators are right to recognize that realizing our collective climate goals must include helping those countries most vulnerable to the climate crisis and least responsible for causing it. We are pleased to see terms for establishing some form of a loss and damage fund to help small island and equatorial nations cope and recover from with the extreme weather disasters that are pummeling their lands.”
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
Media Contact: Barbara Grady