Climate conference begins in decisive second week

Updated on 11/14/2022 8:22 AM

  • The international climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, is entering its second and crucial week.
  • Hopes for breakthroughs were slim anyway – can the delegates still agree on common steps against global warming?
  • There is particular disagreement about the financing of climate-related damage in poorer countries.

More about the climate crisis

The international climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, is entering its crucial week. By Friday, the representatives of nearly 200 countries want to agree on further joint steps against global warming. For the important final days of the negotiations, Germany will become foreign minister Annalena Barbock and Environment Minister Steffi Lemke expected (both Green).

Minister of Development Aid Svenja Schulze (SPD) is officially launching a global protective shield against climate risks on Monday (8.30am) together with ministers from the group of particularly vulnerable countries (V20). The countries particularly affected by disasters such as hurricanes, droughts or floods organized a few years ago in the V20 now includes 58 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America.

The new pot of money is intended to be part of the response to the problem of climate damage and losses, which is being discussed for the first time at the UN conference as a central part of the negotiations. Germany provides 170 million euros in start-up financing. It is unclear which other countries are participating with how much money.

Dispute over the financing of climate-related damage

Halfway through the meeting, a dispute arose about the financing of climate-related damage in poorer countries. According to the environmental organization Greenpeace, several rich countries, including the United States, Great Britain and Australia, are holding back progress. According to the Guardian, US climate commissioner John Kerry said at a press conference that the US was “100 percent ready to talk”.

Greenpeace Germany executive director Martin Kaiser explained: “The people most affected by the climate crisis, those least contributing to global warming, are right to demand reliable support and demand from the wealthy super emitters to to combat their subsistence situation.” The international community must therefore agree before the end of the conference on its own well-stocked fund, from which it can compensate for future damage and losses, for example due to storms or floods.

“In order to counter the dramatically worsening climate crisis and still be able to meet the 1.5-degree limit, one of the key outcomes of the conference should also be to finally decide to phase out coal, oil and gas worldwide,” emphasizes Kaiser. . For Germany, this means, among other things, no further investments in new gas production projects abroad.

Companies such as Amazon and Nestlé demand compliance with the 1.5 degree target

For negotiators, the question of how to close the yawning gap between what states have promised in terms of climate protection measures and what is needed to meet the Paris climate targets remains at least as pressing as the financial dispute. Over the weekend, companies such as Amazon, Nestlé, Microsoft and Ikea, often criticized for their carbon footprint, called for compliance with the 1.5-degree target in a joint call with some 200 other companies and organizations. Every tenth of a degree counts, they explained.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s actions continue to amaze. After concerns that local security authorities were observing the climate conference, the German embassy complained to the hosts. The German press agency discovered this on Sunday in the margins of the conference. Egyptian guards observed and filmed events at the German pavilion, it said. The embassy then complained and asked the Egyptian authorities to stop these measures.

The German pavilion at the conference has hosted events on Egypt’s human rights situation in recent days, which critics have described as devastating. According to information from delegation circles, the German delegation has been made aware of possible security risks and has been given instructions on how to behave.

Egyptian security circles denied any surveillance of activists at climate conference events, including those at the German pavilion. (dpa/dh)
© dpa

Over the past two years, global CO2 emissions have fallen slightly. However, a recently published climate report paints an alarming picture for 2022.

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