First draft of hoped-for COP27 deal kicks off critical talks By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises above a factory as the sun sets in Rugby, Britain February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/

By Kate Abnett and Gloria Dickie

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) – Government ministers and negotiators from nearly 200 countries began the hard work on Tuesday of finding common ground at the annual UN climate talks for a deal based on on a first draft in the hands of delegates at the summit in Egypt.

Released by Egypt’s COP27 presidency on Monday evening, the document lists two pages of bullet points outlining many of the issues that countries have asked to be included – including contentious points that deeply divide nations.

The document is titled a ‘non-paper’, making it clear that it was far from an official draft of what could be approved by countries at the close of the summit, scheduled for Friday, as a basic political agreement. of the two-week event.

“It all comes down to the last few days,” EU environmental policy chief Virginijus Sinkevicius told Reuters on the sidelines of the summit.

“It looks like we’re still quite a ways away from where we’d like to end up, but I’m sure as more and more energy is put into it, it will come down to the last few days and maybe the last few minutes. “, did he declare. .

A section of the draft on loss and damage – referring to funding for developing countries facing unavoidable damage from climate change – suggested that the agreement would address the “need for funding arrangements” to deal with it.

He gave no indication, however, as to whether the final deal will include a new fund for loss and damage – which developing countries are asking for in the negotiations, but which the European Union and the United States are wary of.

The burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change, but coal, gas and oil were notably absent from the draft agreement.

India surprised some countries last week by pushing for a deal at the summit to phase out all fossil fuels – rather than just coal, as countries agreed at the UN summit. last year. The COP27 draft text did not hint at the path that the final agreement will take on this issue.

The document mentions the urgent need for action to keep within reach the globally agreed goal of preventing global warming beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Tom Evans, policy analyst at non-profit think tank E3G, said the draft text was a “wish list”, but he did not reveal what might be in the final deal.

“Many of the issues raised in this document are being discussed live at the G20 leaders’ summit,” he said, adding that what the leaders of the Group of 20 countries decide when they meet Tuesday and Wednesday in Bali on issues such as phasing out fossil fuels could shape the final outcome of the COP27 summit.

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