Geopolitical problems must not hamper progress at COP27

From: Chatham House
Published: Mon Nov 07 2022


With so many issues urgently needing attention, it is vital countries put aside their differences and fund the solutions to worsening global climate impacts.

Although global attention on COPs fluctuates from year to year, ultimately all of them are important, even those where big decisions are not expected. One of the reasons for this is that the coming together of all parties can act as push mechanisms for new political leadership on climate to emerge, in sometimes unexpected ways.

At COP26, the US turnaround on climate following the election of President Joe Biden provided hope and momentum. For COP27, it appears likely Brazil's president-elect Luiz Incio Lula da Silva of Brazil could be the star attraction, with the potential to inject new urgency into the process.

Brazil's narrow bucking of the global trend towards more right-wing, less climate-committed leadership - as seen in Sweden and the UK - has raised hopes for positive outcomes from the summit. It will be interesting to see if US and Brazilian leadership might be greater than the sum of their parts, especially in the context of souring US-China relations leading to the downfall of the surprising alliance formed at the last COP.

Although the negotiating framework of COP27 does not have a major delivery mandate, its overall success and impact will be judged on delivery in key areas.

Progress must be made on the politically sensitive issue of Loss and Damage. The Glasgow Climate Pact includes a specific section on the requirement for a two-year dialogue to discuss funding arrangements for this, and the Egyptian presidency of COP27 has highlighted it would like to see significant progress too.

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Company: Chatham House

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