20.11.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma’s Remarks at the COP27 Closing Plenary

Thank you Mr. President to you and your team for all your work. And I also want to thank the secretariat and the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies.

It hasn’t been easy. But I want to begin by recognising the progress on loss and damage. This is historic.

The decision that we have taken here has the potential to support and increase that support for the most vulnerable.

And I very much welcome that.

And the scale and the range of needs will require contributions from the widest range of sources and parties.

Of course the critical work now lies ahead to ensure that potential is realised.

But friends, and I have to say this, this is not a moment of unqualified celebration.

Many of us came here to safeguard the outcomes that we secured in Glasgow, and to go further still.

In our attempts to do that, we have had a series of very challenging conversations over the past few days.

Indeed those of us who came to Egypt to keep 1.5 degrees alive,

and to respect what every single one of us agreed to in Glasgow,

have had to fight relentlessly to hold the line.

We have had to battle to build on one of the key achievements of Glasgow.

The call on all Parties to revisit and strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions.

We have ultimately reiterated that call here.

And it is critical that commitment is delivered by all of us, including by the major emitters in this room who did not come forward this year.

But we also wanted to take a definitive steps forward.

We joined with many Parties to propose a number of measures that would have contributed to this.

Emissions peaking before 2025, as the science tells us is necessary.

Not in this text.

Clear follow-through on the phase down of coal.

Not in this text.

A clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels.

Not in this text.

And the energy text, weakened, in the final minutes.

Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degrees was weak.

Unfortunately, it remains on life support.

And all of us need to look ourselves in the mirror, and consider if we have fully risen to that challenge over the past two weeks.

Colleagues, I will not be in this chair at COP28, when our ambition, and our implementation, is tested in the Global Stocktake year.

But I assure you, indeed I promise you, that if we do not step up soon,

and rise above these minute-to-midnight battles to hold the line,

we will all be found wanting.

Each of us will have to explain that, to our citizens, to the world’s most vulnerable countries and communities,

and ultimately to the children and grandchildren to whom many of us now go home.

Thank you.

07.11.2022

World Leaders Launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership to accelerate momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030


Today at COP27 – World leaders to launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

  • 26 countries and the European Union – which together account for over 33% of the world’s forests and nearly 60% of the world’s GDP – will launch the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP).
  • This high ambition partnership of countries will build on the Glasgow Leaders Declaration for Forests and Land Use made by 140+ countries to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.
  • These 26 countries, including some of the most highly forested countries, have volunteered to lead high ambition efforts to drive delivery and accountability  through annual high-level events; during the FCLP’s first public meeting at COP27, an alliance of government leaders, companies, financial actors and Indigenous peoples’ will report on progress.
  • It will be announced that public donors have already spent $2.67 billion of the $12 billion committed last year to protect and restore forests. At COP27 a further $4.5 billion from public and private donors will be committed.
  • The UK Prime Minister and leaders of Colombia, Congo, Ghana, France and Germany will address the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Summit.

Today at COP27 world leaders will launch the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the fight against climate change and as promised in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The FCLP, launched at the inaugural Forest and Climate Leaders’ Summit, is a voluntary partnership of 26 countries committed to delivery, accountability and innovation following the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which was endorsed by more than 140 world leaders at COP26 last year to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation this decade. If achieved, this would deliver 10% of the climate mitigation action needed by 2030 to deliver on the Paris Agreement.

Chaired by the United States and Ghana, FCLP members represent a range of regions, major forest areas, and centres of commerce and finance. 60% of global GDP and over  33% the world’s forests are covered in this partnership.

All members of the FCLP are united by a common goal; each member must be committed to leading on at least one of the FCLP’s action areas. Through the FCLP, countries will lead the initiatives which will scale and drive delivery. The goal is to identify strategic areas where the FCLP can help implement or scale up both new and existing solutions, working closely with the private sector, civil society and community leaders.

As part of this, the United Kingdom has committed £1.5 billion finance for forests over 2021-25, as part of a wider £3bn ring fence for nature. As part of this, the UK is announcing a further £65m for the nature pillar of the Climate Investment Fund, which will place Indigenous people and local communities, who shoulder the burden of climate change, at the heart of forest protection across rainforests, cloud forests and island forests. The UK is also today announcing that we are working on a new programme of £90 million towards the protection of the Congo Basin as part of our promise to support this region. The Congo Basin is the world’s most efficient carbon sink, supports the livelihoods of over 80 million people, and is home to 10,000 species of tropical plants – as well as endangered species like forest elephants, chimpanzees and mountain gorillas.

For too long the world’s forests have been undervalued and underestimated. They are one of the great natural wonders of our world, and with the loss of our forests accounting for more than 10% of global emissions, protecting them is one of the best ways of getting us back on track to 1.5 degrees.

That’s why the UK put nature at the heart of COP26, and countries home to 90 per cent of the world’s forests committed not just to halting but reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

Let’s build on what we have achieved and together secure this incredible legacy for our children and the many generations to come

Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister

Forest loss can be averted. There is, however, the need for a dedicated space, globally, to provide the needed support and accountability checks to countries that are committed to delivering the Glasgow Leaders Declaration. The FCLP is a first and key step towards this goal, and Ghana supports and endorses, fully, the FCLP.

H. E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

Our joint global commitment to halt deforestation and restore forests needs to be translated into concrete and scaled action on the ground that will benefit people, biodiversity and the climate. Germany has joined the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership today since we are convinced that it provides a strong forum for international collaboration to progress on this front. To underpin our commitment, Germany will support the establishment of the partnership’s secretariat and is doubling its initial contribution to the Global Forest Finance Pledge to a total of 2 billion EUR.

Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany

At the inaugural Forest and Climate Leaders’ Summit, an alliance of government leaders, companies, financial actors and Indigenous peoples’ will report on progress. This includes:

  • Contributing countries demonstrating unparalleled levels of accountability and transparency. 12 countries will report a combined spend of $2.67 billion to support activities in developing countries, including restoring degraded land, tackling wildfires and supporting the rights of indigenous communities.
  • At least $4.5bn of newly-mobilised public and private sector funding will be announced.
  • Leading financial institutions from Japan to Norway to Brazil, all signatories to the Financial Sector Commitment on Eliminating Commodity-driven Deforestation have been moving forward with implementation through the Finance Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA) initiative. FSDA members have published shared investor expectations for companies, are stepping up engagement activity and are working with policymakers and data providers. New members joining in 2022 include SouthBridge Group, the first African financial institution to join the initiative, Banco Estado de Chile, London CIV and GAM Investments.
  • In their call to action, the GFANZ co-chairs and vice chair, including Mark Carney, are calling on all financial institutions to embed deforestation into their net zero transition plans.

The FCLP will hold annual meetings to encourage accountability, including leader-level events at climate COPs. Starting in 2023, the FCLP will also publish an annual Global Progress Report that includes independent assessments of global progress toward the 2030 goal, as well as summarising progress made by the FCLP itself, including in its action areas and initiatives.

At the Summit, those who spoke alongside Prime Minister Rishi Sunak included: President Emmanuel Macron of France, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, President Petro of Colombia, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

06.11.2022

UK Representative, COP26 President, Alok Sharma’s Ceremonial Opening Speech at COP27

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to declare open the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Friends, let me begin by thanking our friends here in Egypt for such a warm welcome.

My team and I know just how demanding hosting such a conference is, and how many people have worked incredibly hard to get us to this point.

So congratulations, and thank you again.

Now as the UK Presidency comes to an end, I want to reflect on what we achieved together in Glasgow,

and also what has happened since in our Presidency year.

Last November, the world gathered at COP26 against a fractured and fractious geopolitics, as a once-in-a-century pandemic dragged mercilessly on.

And yet, leaders recognised that, despite their differences, often profound, cooperation on climate and nature is in our collective self-interest.

And thanks to that spirit of cooperation and compromise, we forged together the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Collectively we achieved something historic, and something hopeful.

With your help:

We closed the Paris Rulebook.

We made unprecedented progress on coal, and on fossil fuel subsidies.

We committed to rapidly scale up finance, and to double adaptation finance by 2025.

We reiterated the urgency of action and support for loss and damage, and established serious work on funding arrangements.

We hope that this will pave the way for a formal agenda item and tangible progress here in Egypt.

And every Party, and I repeat this, every Party agreed to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reduction targets, to align with Paris.

I want to thank the 29 countries which have already updated their NDCs since Glasgow.

From Australia to Micronesia.

India to Vanuatu.

Norway to Gabon.

And we also made progress outside the negotiating rooms, with commitments from business, from finance, from philanthropy.

Friends, thanks to the work we did together, we achieved our objective, the goal at the heart of the Paris Agreement:

we kept 1.5 degrees alive.

Now, none of us could have anticipated the year that followed.

We have been buffeted by global headwinds that have tested our ability to make progress.

Putin’s brutal and illegal war in Ukraine has precipitated multiple global crises: energy and food insecurity, inflationary pressures and spiralling debt.

These crises have compounded existing climate vulnerabilities, and the scarring effects of the pandemic.

And yet, despite this context, there has been some progress in implementing the commitments we delivered in Glasgow.

Over 90 percent of the global economy is now covered by a net zero target, up from less than 30 percent when the UK took on the COP26 role.

The biggest companies and financial institutions in the world have committed to net zero and they have done so in force,

with a global wall of capital creating green jobs, and directing billions into the green industries of both today and tomorrow.

Countries and companies are making tangible sectoral progress,

from Zero Emission Vehicles to our Breakthrough Agenda,

and are accelerating the rollout of renewable energy across the world.

The Secretary General has been clear: our shared long-term futures do not lie in fossil fuels and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

Every major report published this year underscores the point that progress is being made.

Thanks to the commitments we garnered ahead of and at COP26, and indeed in our Presidency year, emissions in 2030 are expected to be around six gigatons lower.

That is the equivalent of 12 percent of today’s global annual emissions.

And with full implementation of all the commitments in place today, including NDCs and net zero targets, the reports suggest that we are heading to 1.7 degrees warming by the end of the century.

Not 1.5.

But still, progress.

So, to those who remain sceptical about the multilateral process, and of the COP process in particular, my message is clear:

as unwieldy and sometimes as frustrating as these processes can be, the system is delivering.

And there are many people to thank for that.

And certainly too many to name.

The Prime Ministers and Presidents who have sensed the changing wind, and indeed sought instead to harness it.

The Ministers to the miners who have recognised a just and sustainable future can only be delivered with a clean energy transition.

The civil society organisations, youth representatives and indigenous peoples who pushed us to consider and reconsider what was possible in Glasgow, have continued to do so since.

And, of course, the brilliant officials, the brilliant civil servants around the world, not least in the UK’s COP Unit, who have helped to deliver progress.

And yet, despite this progress, I fully recognise the scale of the challenge still in front of us.

Just as every report shows that we are making some progress, they are equally clear that there is so much more to be done in this critical decade.

Friends, we are not currently on a pathway that keeps 1.5 in reach.

And whilst I do understand that leaders around the world have faced competing priorities this year,

we must be clear,

as challenging as our current moment is, inaction is myopic, and can only defer climate catastrophe.

We must find the ability to focus on more than one thing at once.

How many more wake-up calls do world leaders actually need?

A third of Pakistan under water.

The worst flooding in Nigeria in a decade.

This year, the worst drought in 500 years in Europe, in a thousand years in the US, and the worst on record in China.

The cascading risks are also clear.

Entire economic sectors becoming unsustainable and uninsurable,

entire regions becoming unlivable,

and the strain on the global movement of goods,

and the pressure on people to relocate because of the climate crisis, becoming almost unimaginable.

So, this conference must be about concrete action.

And I hope that when the world leaders join us today, they will explain what their countries have achieved in the last year, and how they will go further.

It is very simply, a matter of trust.

Without its constituent members delivering on their commitments, and agreeing to go further, the entire system falters.

I will do everything in my power to support our Egyptian friends.

The UK is here to reach ambitious outcomes across the agenda, including on mitigation, on adaptation, and on loss and damage.

And we know that we have reached a point where finance makes or breaks the programme of work that we have ahead of us.

So whilst I would point to some of the progress shown on the $100 billion,

I hear the criticisms, and I agree that more must be done, by governments and by the Multilateral Development Banks,

including on doubling adaptation finance by 2025, and establishing a post-2025 goal.

Ultimately though, I remain hopeful.

Look back to where we were before Glasgow.

Look back to where we were before Paris.

Indeed, as we mark the thirtieth anniversary, look back to where we were before Rio.

With thanks to all of you, the UK’s Presidency ends as a demonstration that progress is possible, is happening and is continuing.

Yes, we need to accelerate that progress in the remainder of this decisive decade.

But I believe fundamentally that we can.

We know what we need to do to keep 1.5 degrees alive.

We know how to do it.

And Sameh, you and your team have our full support.

So now friends, let’s make sure we delivery, let’s make it happen.

Thank you.


Ends.

17.10.2022

COP President: Looking Back and Stepping Forward, Wilson Center, Washington DC

At the Wilson Center, in Washington DC, the COP26 President delivers his final speech.

Good morning everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here.

I want to start by thanking Ambassador Green, and Ambassador Quinville, for the warm welcome that I’ve had here at the Wilson Center.

I want to reflect back to nearly a year ago when the world came together, and we forged together the historic Glasgow Climate Pact.

I have to say that what we agreed in that Pact went further than actually many people had imagined was possible.

Thanks to the commitments made, both inside and indeed outside the negotiating rooms, by both the public and private sector, we left Glasgow with what I described at the time as a fragile win.

The pulse of 1.5 degrees remained alive.

And we did this against the backdrop of an increasingly fractious geopolitics, and we had nearly 200 countries come together to join forces in the face of a shared global challenge.

Now almost a year on, it is just 23 days to COP27, the end of the UK’s COP Presidency, and the end of my time as COP President.

And the transition to Egypt’s Presidency is coming at a profoundly challenging juncture in our current geopolitics.

Vladimir Putin’s brutal and illegal war in Ukraine has precipitated multiple global crises: from energy and food insecurity, to inflationary and debt pressures around the world.

These crises are absolutely compounding existing climate vulnerabilities, and of course, then the scarring effects of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

But as serious as these crises are, we must also recognise a seismic structural shift that is underway.

Our global political economy, built on fossil fuels for the last century, is in a state of flux.

Concurrently, leaders and their citizens around the world are dealing with spiralling climate impacts.

Climate catastrophes are becoming more frequent, and  sadly they are becoming more ferocious.

In recent months, as you know, an area the size of the United Kingdom has flooded in Pakistan, with death, disease and the displacement of millions of people following in the water’s wake.

The reality is that these events are becoming increasingly connected.

Extreme drought and heat, for example, amplify the drivers of migration, of supply chain fragility, and with significant disruption to major economic sectors, not least global grain production.

And so I have to say this to you that this is no longer something that happens to other people, somewhere far away.

Right here in the US, in recent weeks, Hurricane Ian has battered the East Coast.

There are serious concerns about defending the Eastern seaboard, and the genuine possibility that entire cities will have to relocate away from the coast in our lifetimes.

Earlier this summer, the Colorado River, which generates power for tens of millions of Americans and is a lifeblood for agriculture, was placed in an unprecedented state of emergency, due to falling water levels.

So the future that scientists and climate activists have long warned us about, and which has frankly been a reality for some of the most climate vulnerable countries for decades, is now a reality for many millions. It is a reality for us in this room.

And as the science continues to tell us unfortunately: the worst is yet to come.

Catastrophe for many millions more lives and livelihoods.

Costs soaring into the trillions.

And entire sectors becoming stretched, and uninsurable.

There was a report from the Australian Climate Council Study that came out this June that concluded that 1 in 25 Australian homes will become effectively uninsurable by 2030. 1 in 25.

So friends, we are in a new world.

And navigating this context is our defining challenge.

And frankly, it is a challenge that we will rise to, or fall short of, in this decisive decade.

And so today, from the vantage point of the ending of my time as COP President, I want to take stock of where we are.

And I want to start by recognising, and indeed championing, the fact that, in some quarters, outstanding work is being done to cement the gains of the Glasgow Climate Pact, and to take us further.

We are now part of an irreversible direction of travel.

Yes, there is still oil, gas and coal in use and production around the world.

But around half a decade ago, we passed a tipping point, when annual newly installed power from renewables surpassed that from coal, across the OECD.

And estimates suggest that by the middle of this decade, renewable capacity is expected to be up 60 percent on 2020 levels.

And leaders are across the world increasingly turning to renewables to guarantee cheaper, cleaner, and more secure power for their populations.

We have the Inflation Reduction Act here in the US. Countries like Australia are back on the frontline of the fight against climate change.

India has published a strengthened emissions reduction target, its 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution.

And as you heard I was just in Kenya, whose remarkable geothermal potential is truly a vision of a cleaner future.

Now people in my country talk about nuclear or fossil as baseload, but geothermal is doing that job in countries like Kenya.

The plant I visited, Olkaria, was already producing 1 gigawatt of power. Kenya has the potential for ten times more geothermal power.

And indeed if you look along that rift, there are many other countries that have potential as well.

Now businesses are also stepping up. They are reimagining ways of working on sustainability, rather than plastics, pollution and waste.

Just last week you will have seen that the world’s biggest reinsurer and underwriter to nearly a quarter of the global economy, Munich Re, turned its back on oil and gas.

And civil society, represented in this room as well, is embracing the power of the collective, to make clear that it simply will not accept anything less than a net zero future.

Now, in all of this work, we are realising the growth story of this century.

A growth story that can deliver millions of green jobs in this decade, and economic development benefits.

A story in which collective action and rapidly increasing scale deliver vast benefits in terms of cost and innovation.

I mean just look at the extraordinary fall in the cost of renewables from which we are already benefiting.

Solar costs down 80 percent since 2010.

Wind power costs down by up to three-quarters since their peak just over ten years ago.

And all whilst we have experienced the largest ever annual increase in the price of wholesale gas.

And have a look at the sort of innovations that could see parked cars feeding energy back into the grid, or the electric cable cars I used to move around on my visit to Mexico City earlier this year.

And it is a future of hope, in which our cities become more liveable, and more breathable, our energy becomes cheaper, and cleaner, and our ecosystems become more robust.

But, despite all of this, I do find myself reflecting on three years in this role, and all the speeches and all the interventions I have given in literally every corner of the globe.

And I am reflecting on conversations I have had here in Washington over the past few days, and they bear remarkable similarity to conversations I was having three years ago, as a fresh-faced COP President-Designate.

And I’ve been reflecting on the G20 Climate and Environment Ministerial meetings in Indonesia, which I attended earlier this summer, where some of the world’s major emitters threatened to backslide on commitments they had made previously, in Glasgow, and indeed in Paris.

And this all whilst the extreme weather events that I spoke about earlier, continue to batter and devastate countries and continents across the world.

And indeed, these extreme climate events are impacting communities in the very G20 countries which were pulling back on ambition in that Climate Ministers meeting.

So I have to say this very frankly to you friends, that there does remain a big deficit in political will.

In that can-do spirit which is so badly needed.

And I am left wondering what further evidence, and what further motivation, global leaders could possibly need to act.

It is unfathomable to me that we are not doing everything in our power to respond to the inevitable structural changes that we are facing, and to prevent climate catastrophe.

And we should be under no illusions.

We are not yet doing everything in our power.

So we have to ask ourselves: why are we not going further? Why are we not going faster?

Competing priorities, and the need to do more than one thing at once

Now, I do understand that leaders around the world have faced competing priorities this year.

But you know, we cannot tackle any of the crises we face in isolation.

And we cannot allow cyclical crises, as painful as they are, to distract us from the net zero transition.

Or, as my friend Mark Carney has put it, we must not fall victim to the “tragedy of the horizon”.

Now that unfortunately happened amidst the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, just a year after hundreds of IPCC contributors were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. And frankly many decided climate action could wait for the future.

And so we lost critical momentum as a result.

We must find the ability to focus on more than one thing at once.

And I am reminded, when I was the UK’s Business and Energy Secretary.

My team and I worked to support businesses through the darkest and most challenging moments of the pandemic.

At the same time, the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce sat in my government department, and I chaired our Ministerial Investment Panel, deciding which vaccines to back.

So, working around the clock for months, and supported by a team of outstanding civil servants, we delivered the UK’s COVID vaccine portfolio.

And it was at the same time in that same year in my department we brought forward the UK’s ambitious 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution.

So the point I am making is that it is possible to take on multiple challenges, and to succeed, even in the most challenging times.

And indeed, as many climate vulnerable countries have been recognising for some time, we no longer have the luxury of choice. We have to try and do this simultaneously.

But I have to say I think we also have to ask ourselves some more fundamental questions.

We are approaching the 27th iteration of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. The COPs.

Over a quarter-of-a-century of work.

I am at the end of my own three-year journey in this process.

So I’m going to be frank.

I think we do have to question whether all our current international institutions have fully internalised the grave urgency of our climate situation.

And whether we are truly capable of delivering net zero, by the middle of this century.

So, is one of our fundamental drawbacks that we are coming up against the limits of our existing structures?

Now Prime Minister Mia Mottley, of Barbados, who is one of the world’s most powerful climate voices,

and whose country is very much on the frontline of this crisis, set out her views on this particular question at the United Nations General Assembly last month.

Her “Bridgetown Agenda” is a compelling call for an overhaul of our global financial architecture.

And actually I agree with much of what she has set out.

Institutions, like the World Bank, as admirable as their founding intentions are, were not set up with the purpose of tackling an existential climate crisis.

Today, climate must be at the heart of everything that we do.

The world cannot afford for such institutions to be cautious in how their considerable resources are deployed to tackle the climate crisis.

That, I think, is a matter of social justice as well as environmental security.

And yes, we also have to talk seriously about dealing with the debt crisis, in order to effectively tackle the climate crisis.

As a climate friend said to me last week, the road to an ambitious outcome in Sharm-el-Sheikh, and indeed to all forthcoming COPs, will pass through this city, it will pass through Washington.

And I know the sentiment of Prime Minister Mottley’s agenda commands much support.

Secretary Yellen has also spoken, incredibly powerfully, on the issue of MDB reform last week.

I was at Chatham House in London a couple of weeks ago, with some of the world’s biggest businesses, discussing the course to a 1.5-degree world.

And they too were talking about the world order being ripe for a “Bretton Woods II” moment.

So friends, the world is recognising that we cannot tackle the defining challenge of this century, with institutions that were defined by the last.

We have to incentivise every aspect of the international system to recognise the systemic risk of climate change, and to make managing it effectively a central task.

Whether that’s multilateral development banks or the private sector.

Central banks or investment banks.

Regulators or credit rating agencies.

Finance ministries or philanthropies.

There is frankly no logical reason why every single one of those institutions should not be adapting, to making tackling the climate crisis a fundamental part of their overall purpose.

And ultimately, this is going to be absolutely critical to our efforts to deliver public, private and multilateral finance, including concessional finance, which is so vitally important, at magnitudes that are far, far greater than we are currently achieving, and which we frankly need.

It will be critical to ensuring the multilateral development banks and the international financial institutions in particular show a willingness to innovate, and to stretch their balance sheets.

The G20’s Capital Adequacy Review suggests ways in which they can do that, and many of us are expecting an ambitious response to that review.

And it’s all going to be critical to ensuring the major philanthropies ramp up their contributions, particularly in areas of higher risk or lower return.

Now of course, whilst finance is absolutely central, our political institutions, whether that is the COP process, the G7, the G20, the G77, they also all have a role to play.

This is particularly true as we look for a genuinely effective multilateral approach to carbon pricing.

Right now, credible estimates suggest less than four percent of global emissions are currently covered by a direct carbon price at, or indeed above, the level we would need to limit warming to 2 degrees or less.

So that point, addressing one of the great market challenges of our time, is of course of particular importance.

So friends, this programme of work is the only way we will fully deliver on the promises made in Glasgow, and in Paris before that.

And yes, absolutely it is an overwhelming agenda of work.

But it is commensurate with both the scale of the challenge, and the scale of the environmental and economic opportunity.

And, as I reflect on the legacy of COP26, and the UK’s Presidency, I know that the world can rise to the challenge.

Now of course, it will soon be time for our friends in Egypt to pick up the baton.

COP is a process, and I want COP27 to build on the success of COP26, just as COP26 built on COP25, and COP24 before that.

And yes there is much work to be done.

At COP27, there will need to be serious conversations on mitigation.

Yes, we have seen 24 new or enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions this year, including from the UK.

But that is not enough.

All Parties agreed in Glasgow to step forward on this issue by the end of this year.

And as climate impacts spiral, loss and damage will of course again be increasingly part of the conversation.

A conversation that should go even further than our collective progress at COP26.

And there should be a new agenda item to consider how best to improve the global response, through funding and wider support, aligned with the Glasgow Dialogue.

And countries must get access to the technical help they need through fully operationalising the Santiago Network.

And we must also continue to set out precisely how the billions are going to be turned into the trillions, to go into climate-resilient infrastructure and to support a clean energy transition across the world.

And so we will continue to press on with our Just Energy Transition Partnerships, the first of which, for South Africa, we launched at COP26.

Now each of those partnerships will take on a different, country-specific shape, but they are, and will remain, a key legacy of COP26.

So, with this work ahead, I hope all Parties come to Egypt with the same spirit of urgency, of collaboration and indeed compromise, that underpinned our success in Glasgow.

I will be there as the UK’s negotiating minister.

And I can tell you that we will certainly be stepping forward.

So with that, friends, as we look ahead to COP27, and I look to the end of my COP Presidency, I want to end on a hopeful note.

The last three years have been a unique privilege.

I have been inspired by the urgency and the ambition I have felt in rooms like this one, around the world.

And I am certain that, if we can align all of the work that I have seen and that I have talked about today, and adapt the systems that underpin it, the 21st century will not just be the century we pulled the world back from the precipice of climate catastrophe, it will be the century we unlocked a just and sustainable path to prosperity for billions of people around the world.

Frankly what greater motivation could we need?

Thank you.


Ends.

13.10.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma to attend IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings

COP26 President Alok Sharma will travel to Washington, D.C. from 12 to 15 October.

  • The COP26 President will travel to Washington, D.C. this week to push for greater action on climate finance progress ahead of COP27
  • Mr. Sharma will urge multilateral institutions to extend their support for developing countries as they accelerate the move towards clean energy and away from coal
  • After the Annual Meetings the COP President will travel to Seattle to attend the Breakthrough Energy Summit and meet with US business leaders

COP26 President Alok Sharma will travel to Washington, D.C. from 12 to 15 October, to attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Annual Meetings.

With just weeks to go until COP27, Mr. Sharma will meet with senior representatives from multilateral development banks, finance ministers, private finance and civil society to urge them to turn climate finance promises made in the historic Glasgow Climate Pact into action. This will include pushing for further support from these institutions on Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs), the country-led initiative that aims to support developing countries’ transition away from coal or other fossil fuels to renewable energy.

While there, the COP26 President will also deliver a major keynote address at the Wilson Center think-tank, outlining key climate finance priorities ahead of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, next month.

In the speech, which will be his last in the role as COP President, Mr. Sharma will also address how the international system can support faster action in line with the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Climate Pact – as agreed by nearly 200 countries at COP26 last year. The speech will be available to watch online via the Wilson Center website at 3pm BST / 10am EDT on Friday, 14 October.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President said:

With less than a month to go until COP27, this week’s Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. are a critical moment for multilateral institutions to refocus their support for the many developing countries that are facing the devastating impacts of climate change.

Against the backdrop of ongoing global energy security challenges, organisations like the IMF and World Bank must do all they can to help developing countries move further and faster in tackling climate change, to support resilient economies powered by clean, renewable energy systems.

This includes extending support for Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs), country-led partnerships supported by G7 nations that will help decarbonise economies and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.

COP26 President Alok Sharma

During the Annual Meetings, the COP President will attend a roundtable on financing the energy transition with ministers from developing countries, address the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action on how climate finance can become more accessible, host a JETP roundtable with civil society and also attend a Sustainable Markets Initiative discussion, which will focus on how multilateral institutions are contributing to global mitigation efforts and key challenges on the road to COP27.

The COP26 President will then travel on to Seattle from 16 to 18 October, where he will attend the Breakthrough Energy Summit, a coalition of private investors established by Bill Gates in 2015, to highlight the importance of energy innovation opportunities in emerging markets and best practices for unlocking and accelerating deployment of clean technologies.

During his time in Seattle, Mr. Sharma will meet with business leaders from the tech and transport sectors to discuss the latest progress on their climate goals in line with the Glasgow Climate Pact. Mr. Sharma will also meet with officials, the private sector and other community stakeholders involved in tackling Washington State’s recent wildfires to hear how the State is managing adaptation and resilience in the wake of the worsening effects of climate change.

Image of COP President Alok Sharma

06.10.2022

Alok Sharma, COP26 President, to return to Kenya to advance African climate leadership ahead of COP27

  • Mr Sharma will meet newly-elected President Ruto and cabinet ministers to discuss Kenya’s continued climate leadership ahead of COP27
  • The COP President will visit wind and geothermal sites contributing to Kenya’s clean energy transition
  • Mr Sharma will also meet with youth, civil society and private finance representatives to discuss local implementation of policies that honour the Glasgow Climate Pact

COP26 President Alok Sharma will travel to Kenya from 5-7 October, following his attendance at Pre-COP in the DRC. The visit is an opportunity to engage with the new Kenyan administration on its commitment to maintain global climate leadership, and make a final call ahead of COP27 for countries to honour the Glasgow Climate Pact by accelerating their own clean energy transitions.

On his third visit to the country, Mr Sharma will spotlight key progress being made in this sector towards limiting global temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees. He will encourage President Ruto and his senior ministers to help build momentum for further change ahead of COP27 in the face of challenging global circumstances.

The COP President will travel to several renewable energy generation sites around Nairobi including Ngong Hills Wind Farm and Olkaria Geothermal Power Station, which has grown to the largest geothermal facility in Africa since being seed funded

by the UK Government in 1981. He will highlight this infrastructure as a model of how other countries can deploy renewables.

While in Nairobi, Mr Sharma will attend a roundtable with youth climate leaders and members of civil society to hear about how climate policy can be transformed into impactful local action.

The COP President will also engage with key figures in Kenyan finance at a climate finance event to understand how private capital is being mobilised in the country to combat climate change through green bonds, carbon credits, and climate-related financial disclosures.

COP President Alok Sharma said:

Kenya continues to set an example to the rest of the African continent and the world, demonstrating an appetite to pursue green economic growth and achieve a just, renewable energy transition.

I am pleased to see President Ruto reaffirm Kenya’s commitment to transition to 100% clean energy by 2030, and look forward to the positive impact this will have on growth, jobs and access to energy.

But the drought currently afflicting this country is a stark reminder that, in order to save and safeguard lives from the devastating impacts of climate change, we must all redouble our efforts to go further and faster in delivering on the promises of the Glasgow Climate Pact.

After his visit to Kenya, the COP26 President will travel to Washington DC to attend the 2022 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) from 14-16 October.

05.10.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma’s speech at pre-COP Congo Basin Forests Dinner

Firstly, a huge thank you to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for hosting us.

I’ve just come from a meeting with the President which was extremely constructive.

We discussed a whole range of issues including protection of forests.

What was clear to me in the discussions we had was that the government here clearly recognises the need for sustainable development, the understanding that of course what we have here in the Congo basin forest is one of the great lungs of the world, absorbing 4 percent of global emissions, every year.

A recognition of that was shown at COP26 where a number of us launched the Congo Basin pledge, $1.5 billion of support over a five year period.

So thank you to all the countries that are part of that, and of course a huge thank you to all the countries who are working with us in ensuring that those funds are used appropriately.

If you look at all the funds that have been deployed out of that commitment so far, $300 million has actually been spent.

And of course we all welcome that and we want to ensure that we continue to deliver on our pledges, both on this issue but indeed on all the other pledges that have been made on finance by developed nations.

I also want to say that I hope colleagues felt that in Glasgow, we did put the issue of forest protection and restoration very much at the top of the agenda.

And my friend and colleague Zac Goldsmith who is not here, I know that he will have interacted with many of you on this issue and has done a great job in helping to pull together the Glasgow Leaders Declaration signed by 145 nations covering over 90% of the world’s forests.

And you also know that what we will be doing at COP27 formally, is launching the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership.

It is up to us to show that when we make commitments, these are not just commitments made at one conference and forgotten at the next.

These are commitments that we work to deliver on next year, the year after and the year after that. It’s vitally important that we deliver on the overall commitment we made on the Glasgow leaders pledge on reversing deforestation by 2030.

So, a huge thank you friends for coming together for this dinner, I hope we will be able to have a formal dialogue on all of these issues.

And I also want to end by thanking the Government of Democratic Republic of the Congo for the very constructive discussions we’ve had over the last couple of days as part of pre-COP.

Many of us were in Milan at the pre-COP ahead of COP26 and that provided a positive momentum going into Glasgow.

I do feel from the discussions we’ve had over the last couple of days that we are building that same positive momentum going into Sharm-El-Sheikh

So, thank you for everything that you all do through your governments but also personally on your commitment and your drive of these issues.

I, and indeed the rest of the UK government will continue to engage with all the friends around this table in the days, weeks, months, and indeed years and decades ahead.

Thank you.


Ends.

Image of COP President Alok Sharma

03.10.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma to attend pre-COP negotiations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ahead of COP27

  • The pre-COP meeting in Kinshasa, hosted by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Egypt, is the final formal multilateral opportunity for ministers to shape climate negotiations ahead of COP27 in November
  • The COP President will represent the UK at the meeting to lay the foundations for a successful COP27 in Egypt that strengthens global climate commitments and builds on COP26
  • He will also highlight the importance of the Congo Basin rainforest as the Earth’s most efficient carbon sink, as he calls on countries to honour their COP 26 promises to halt and reverse forest loss, whilst supporting sustainable development

COP President Alok Sharma will travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for pre-COP, which runs from 3-5 October. Pre-COP is the annual preparatory meeting ahead of the UN Conference of the Parties (COP).  Ahead of COP27 in Egypt, the COP President will continue to work alongside Ministers to build the foundations for successful negotiations at COP27 and progress on adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage and finance. 

This year’s pre-COP is being held in Kinshasa, the first time in six years that the event has been held in Africa. The DRC is home to the largest proportion of the Congo Basin forest, which is the world’s second largest tropical rainforest region and part of the solution to climate change.

At COP26 in Glasgow, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon announced a donor pledge from 12 donors of $1.5 billion for the Congo Basin forests over 2021-25. Whilst in Kinshasa, the COP President will give an update on the progress of the pledge, ahead of its formal reporting on the Pledge at COP27. 

This pledge will protect and maintain the Congo Basin forests, peatlands and other critical global carbon stores whilst meeting local sustainable economic development needs. 

The COP26 Presidency recently invited world leaders to come together at COP27 to establish the Forests & Climate Leaders Partnership. This new Partnership will accelerate implementation of the unprecedented commitment made at COP26 by more than 140 countries to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation, while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.  

Pre-COP will be the last time that ministers collectively gather ahead of COP27.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said:

With just over a month to go until COP27, discussions here in the DRC take on an ever greater urgency.

As the impacts of climate change become more extreme, the focus must remain on implementation and action – driving progress on what was collectively agreed in Glasgow. And we should be clear: the Glasgow Climate Pact and Paris Agreement must be the baseline of our ambition.

Our hosts the DRC are the primary stewards of the second largest forest in the world. Forests are the lungs of our planet, absorbing one third of the CO2 which fossil fuel burning releases every year.

COP26 laid the groundwork for more ambitious action, with more than 140 leaders committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. COP27 must be a moment for delivering on these commitments made to protect and restore forests.

Notes to editors

  • The UK committed £1.5bn over five years to support the forests pledge, including £350m for tropical forests in Indonesia, and £200m for the LEAF Coalition.
  • The UK will also contribute £200m, alongside 11 other donors, as part of a new £1.1 billion ($1.5bn) fund to protect the Congo Basin. The area is home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world which is threatened by industrial logging, mining and agriculture.
  • Last year’s landmark forest pledge at COP26 to end deforestation was the biggest step forward in a generation to protect the world’s forests. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/over-100-leaders-make-landmark-pledge-to-end-deforestation-at-cop26)
  • The Glasgow Climate Pact (GCP) kept alive the goal of limiting global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C degrees, while also cementing progress on finance for climate action, adaptation and loss and damage. The GCP sets out a clear framework for progress ahead of COP27 including:
    • The UK committed £1.5bn over five years to support the forests pledge, including £350m for tropical forests in Indonesia, and £200m for the LEAF Coalition.
    • Requesting that countries revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reduction targets as necessary to align with the Paris temperature goal by the end of this year.
    • Urging developed countries to scale-up climate finance, including delivery of the collective $100bn joint mobilisation goal as soon as possible and through to 2025, and to double finance for adaptation by 2025 on 2019 levels.
    • Underlining the central importance of adaptation, the dangers of loss and damage, and the need to scale-up action and support for both.

23.09.2022

Climate and Development Ministerial 2 Towards Transformational Change

15 minute read

The UK COP Presidency and Rwanda co-convened a Second Climate and Development Ministerial on 20 September 2022 in New York at the margins of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

The UK as COP26 Presidency and Rwanda co-hosted the second Climate and Development Ministerial on 20 September 2022. Leaders, ministers and representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, European Union, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Italy, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda, United States, Uruguay, UNFCCC, Adaptation Fund, African Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, Gates Foundation, Green Climate Fund, World Bank, and a Youth Climate Leader engaged in the meeting. 

Since its inception in 2020, the Climate & Development Ministerial (C&DM) process has focused on four priorities: Responding to Climate Impacts, Climate Finance, Access to Finance, Fiscal Space & Debt Sustainability.

In their opening remarks the COP President and the Minister from Rwanda emphasised that some good progress had been made since the first meeting, including the launch of the Climate Finance Delivery Plan and record new finance pledges, commitments to improved balance between mitigation and adaptation and alignment with the principles of locally-led adaptation, the launch of the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance and the establishment of the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust to enhance vulnerable countries’ ability to invest in climate action. 

It was recognised however, that climate impacts are growing, requiring responses to repeated major disasters. The meeting expressed solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they deal with unprecedented floods. It was noted that preparatory discussions between officials, experts and civil society had led to a proposal that focused on a small number of transformational shifts to catalyse progress across the agenda. 

To set the broader context, Ministers and high level participants heard from three guest speakers, including Vinzealhar Nen, Youth Climate Leader from Papua New Guinea, Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell. They noted the importance of today’s discussion and encouraged all leaders to be ambitious and clear in their interventions in order to identify practical actions and measures of success for building on previous progress made against the four themes. 

Transformational shifts

Participants recognised that a series of transformational shifts are needed to make progress. They agreed that there was a need for climate and development planning and finance to be integrated at all levels, clearly led by countries and their priorities, leveraging more and larger sources of finance whilst improving the sustainability of debt levels. Some noted however that the global financial system is outdated and often not fit for purpose for the volumes and agility of investment needed to address the climate and development challenges of today. They coalesced around three broad shifts – 

  • Platforms: shifting finance to investing behind national platforms that are designed and owned at the national level, to coordinate climate, development and nature resourcing behind programmes (instead of individual projects), and build capabilities to mainstream climate across economic planning. This will help improve access, move towards anticipatory finance, and ensure finance coherently addresses national and local priorities; 
  • Continued reform of the global financial architecture: enhancing the global financial architecture including MDBs, IFIs and the range of financing instruments to ensure they are able to mobilise the scale of finance needed to deliver on climate and development priorities, can disburse it efficiently and enable countries to maintain economic stability and fiscal space for climate action when crises hit.
  • Scale and composition of finance: shifting the scale and sources of finance available, including from the private sector, to ensure finance flows better match the level of needs, finding new sources for responding to impacts/loss and damage, while also improving the delivery mechanisms of finance already available and delivering on existing finance commitments, prioritising grant based finance for adaptation. 

Ministers identified specific actions needed across access to finance, responses to impacts, climate finance and debt and fiscal sustainability. Participants noted that many actions have been called for before and suggested a ‘forward plan’ be developed to steer action to deliver the shifts needed and enable a collective assessment of progress. 

Responses to climate impacts

Ministers noted the increasing severity and regularity of climate impacts affecting countries and the growing weight of scientific evidence underpinning the urgency for action. They noted the increasing links between climate change and development, including the ripple effects on migration, agriculture yields and other issues. Climate vulnerable countries noted the importance of ensuring climate justice is centred in the global response to climate change, including on how finance is mobilised and delivered. 

The discussion highlighted the need to scale-up and develop new and innovative sources of finance, particularly anticipatory finance aligned to country-defined priorities, for responding to climate impacts. Ministers suggested that progress could be measured in terms of actions that enable increased speed and agility of climate vulnerable countries’ responses to climate impacts. This is both dependant on improved finance and greater in-country capacity.  

Participants emphasised the importance of concerted mitigation action, particularly from major emitters, in reducing the severity of climate impacts. They noted the importance of countries delivering their Glasgow Climate Pact commitments, including to revisit and strengthen Nationally Determined Contributions before the end of 2022. The need for sustained adaptation action was also recognised in order to reduce   the scale of impacts. Some participants noted that operationalisation of the Global Goal on Adaptation should help catalyse effective support for the most vulnerable. 

The importance of leadership from national and local levels in guiding adaptation action was stressed. The knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) was recognised as critical to delivering effective climate action, and the need to meaningfully engage with and support the priorities of IPLCs and other local actors is essential. 

Participants raised the lack of coordination between institutions, funds and activities, including the development & humanitarian sectors, as a key challenge for developing countries. They encouraged funders to commit to longer term funding that is invested behind national platforms and their strategic objectives, these funds can then be channelled through national delivery mechanisms to ensure recipients have greater ownership and to build in the necessary flexibility to enable funding to adjust to changing circumstances. 

There was broad support for the idea of creating national platforms that enable better access, use and coordination of funding sources and that build better partnerships between provider and recipient countries to maximise the funding available, while ensuring that it supports nationally-determined priorities. This approach can also help to improve transparency and accountability for how finance is delivered, as well as ensuring that finance is used to address climate and development priorities coherently. Ministers from Rwanda and Tanzania spoke of their positive experience of implementing coordinated national platforms and other initiatives, while others noted that significant resource was needed to establish new institutions and that in some cases regional cooperation could be a better option. 

Participants noted with concern the rising number of climate impacts resulting in loss and damage and that the likelihood of a growing shortfall in funds to help avert, minimise and address loss and damage means that new and innovative sources of funds are likely to be needed. Some Ministers put forward the idea of a new financing facility and the meeting agreed that work needs to be started on how new sources of funds can be identified and used to assist countries and communities suffering loss and damage, over and above existing approaches. Participants mentioned the need to create a strong and meaningful Global Shield against climate risk. Ministers encouraged the discussions under the UNFCCC on funding arrangements for loss and damage, including a dedicated finance facility, and underlined that they need to drive practical action.   

The importance of responsive social protection programmes was raised by a number of participants, and Ministers talked about how they can be used to protect people on the ground. Participants recognised the need to scale-up these programmes and improve their responsiveness to climate impacts. In addition to this, countries highlighted that disaster risk needs to be built into budgets, noting that micro, meso and macro financial interventions are needed. Countries called for agreeing a comprehensive set of anticipatory and responsive financing instruments in advance of a climate shock, that also recognises the cumulative impacts of multiple shocks.

Access to finance

Participants noted that public finance remains unpredictable, difficult to access and that challenges remain around the transparency and accountability of funding. They noted ongoing problems with long waiting times between project proposal and release of funds, as well as complex and differing access modalities and systems between funders, and capacity constraints in-country. It was recognised by some that many of these issues can be attributed to inheriting an outdated financial system, and there was strong agreement on the need to modernise it. 

Ministers welcomed the progress made to date with initiatives such as the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, the NDC Partnership, the Climate Finance Access Network, and LDC Initiative For Effective Adaptation and Resilience, specifically by their work supporting a new nationally-led approach to access. It was noted that some institutions had made efforts to improve their access modalities but barriers included a lack of coordination at and between boards. It was also noted that the Taskforce and other initiatives had not yet led to significant system-level change and that not all finance recipients are noticing the effects of reforms that were being made. Some Ministers expressed frustration that challenges with accessing finance have been raised many times before yet progress to address them has been slow. Some countries highlighted their work on their systems, aligning themselves with the Taskforce’s Principles and Recommendations and encouraged others to do the same. 

Participants raised the need to address ongoing lack of transparency and easily accessible information on application processes, available funding, and previously successful bids. The lack of information was leading to an avoidable resource-burden on recipient countries and an insufficient response to climate impacts as a result. It was suggested that institutions could: provide increased certainty by committing to cap waiting times for finance recipients (and that this was an important indicator of success); streamline accreditation and application processes, and coordinate information to ensure funding opportunities were well-known and guidance was easily available. Ministers suggested measuring progress in terms of significantly reducing the waiting times to access finance.

Ministers noted that in order to address these issues there was a need for coordinated reforms from multilateral and bilateral climate finance providers, and that this must be clearly mapped for action over the coming 2-3 years. Reforms should include the prioritisation of grant-based finance (instead of loans) directed towards adaptation, a shift towards funding behind national platforms to support platforms and pooled funds (instead of project approaches), ensuring finance reaches those who need it most at the national and local level (and that they can directly access the finance), and that the finance is more anticipatory and responsive to national needs.

It was also noted that improved access required national coordination by developing countries and that modalities such as national platforms could be important for delivering better access to finance and enhancing transparency.

Climate Finance

Participants noted the ongoing financial challenges posed by the current geopolitical and economic climate, but emphasised the ongoing realities of addressing the causes and impacts of climate change and the critical importance of climate finance in making this happen. Ministers continued to highlight the need to reform a finance system that is no longer fit-for-purpose to ensure that finance flows better match the level of needs and deliver quality outcomes for development, climate and nature. 

Ministers welcomed the publication of the $100bn delivery plan at COP26 and the commitment made in the Glasgow Climate Pact to double adaptation finance from 2019 levels by 2025, but noted the critical importance of providing detail on how this would be delivered. Ministers from Canada and Germany confirmed the Delivery Plan Progress Report, which seeks to provide an update on progress made against the $100bn delivery plan, will be published ahead of COP27. Ministers agreed on the need to ensure all countries deliver on their commitments made at COP26.

Ministers welcomed this update, and it was also noted that the Progress Report may provide additional detail on adaptation finance without setting out a specific pathway to achieving the adaptation finance doubling commitment by 2025. In this context, Ministers called on provider countries to provide detail on how the doubling goal will be reached and a standalone plan to track and measure progress. Actions to increase transparency of finance to better understand how finance commitments are being delivered and where and who it is benefiting were also raised as essential. 

Participants recognised that despite the need for public finance, it cannot fill the needs gap. Nonetheless it would be a key component to mobilise and scale-up private finance, and it would also be key to identify new and innovative sources of finance for climate change and Loss and Damage. Ministers also recognised the critical role MDBs and other institutions could play here. 

Ministers welcomed updates from MDBs and multilateral climate funds on their efforts to address many of the challenges raised by countries. Ministers discussed the need to continue reforming the financial system to ensure the funding that is available, including through the MDBs and IFIs, is delivering quality outcomes for climate, development and nature. This included ensuring funding is aligned to national priorities, and it was suggested that the national platforms proposal discussed under Responding to Climate Impacts would help to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of MDB and IFI funding and strengthen partnerships.

It was also noted that to deliver the volumes of finance required it would be vital for countries to mainstream climate across financial, development, environmental and economic policy and make sure it was not treated as a standalone issue. Participants also stressed the importance of ensuring climate finance was aligned with the sustainable development goals. Ministers recognised the critical role of technical assistance in building capacity in-country to support this in practice. 

Fiscal space and debt sustainability

Participants noted the growing number of countries facing debt distress and fiscal sustainability challenges which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Some countries have faced climate-driven events whose costs far exceeded their national GDP, undermining their ability to respond to crises, and simultaneously invest in resilience and adaptation. The frequency and severity of the impacts are adding budgetary pressures to already highly indebted countries. 

Ministers highlighted opportunities for reforms to the global financial architecture, including International Financial Institutions to respond effectively and rapidly to crisis moments. It was noted that the current system falls short to deliver the finance to where it is needed. Some participants stressed the unique challenges that current ODA graduation criteria present for Small Island Developing States, which undermines their ability to cope with disasters and leads to further indebtedness. There were calls for multidimensional vulnerability indices to be considered in eligibility for concessional finance.

The  expansion of climate resilient debt clauses (which automatically defer debt service in response to climate shocks or other natural disasters), was clearly called for by a number of participants, with calls to expand the geography and encourage all creditors (bilateral, multilateral and private) to include this type of clause in new debt instruments going forward, and ensure a wider set of countries can access it. Some donors noted this was an obvious step as impacts increased in scale, frequency and severity. It was noted transparent milestones are needed to ensure progress is made on this in a timely manner. 

Participants talked about blended finance approaches that allow direct private sector borrowing and other forms of non sovereign borrowing. There is a need to look at practical examples and support for developing green local markets, as domestic mobilisation would be essential to invest.

It was noted that IFIs could have a role to play in providing direct budget support for climate and development finance. The role that guarantees could play to improve the ‘bankability’ of projects and platforms was raised by many participants, and guarantees as a way to refinance and reduce the sovereign debt burden was also explored. It was noted that climate finance should not be treated separately from national debt and fiscal space planning. 

Certain Multilateral Development Banks also encouraged the channelling of SDRs to MDBs to increase their financial capacity to support countries, in addition to SDR channelling through the IMFs Resilience and Sustainability Trust, in order to holistically deliver support for climate resilient development. Participants also pointed to implementing the recommendations from the Independent Review of MDB Capital Adequacy Frameworks to increase MDBs’ financing capacity.

Next steps

The UK Presidency and Rwanda will continue discussions with countries, institutions, civil society, and others on the issues and actions highlighted in this summary, in order to build consensus for practical action at  COP27.

Ministers expressed enthusiasm for continuing the conversation in this format, targeting development, climate and nature objectives jointly and working across ministries to mainstream them across economic and financial policy. Incoming COP Presidencies highlighted the importance of continuing this Ministerial process, using it to highlight and press for practical action and progress. The Rwandan Minister expressed their interest to take this forward with other partners next year

Participants agreed that a clear forward plan to deliver was required, so working with the C&DM Secretariat, the UK and Rwanda will set out some of the key milestones and moments raised in the discussion in an accompanying forward plan document to be published by COP27.

22.09.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma’s keynote speech to Columbia University World Leaders Forum

Entering Overtime: The Race to Deliver the Glasgow Climate Pact

Good morning everyone.

And can I first start by thanking President Bollinger and Alex for the very warm welcome I’ve had today.

I am now into the final weeks of my time as President of the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change, or COP26.

It has been a near-three year journey in the thick of international climate politics and the maelstrom of wider geopolitics.

And it remains an absolute privilege to have opportunities like this one,

to speak as part of your World Leaders Forum,

and to celebrate Columbia’s pioneering climate school, the first of its kind in the United States.

Your school has had an auspicious start.

Not least with your roundtable, at COP26, with President Obama.

I understand the former President, and of course Columbia alumnus, noted the energy, and remarkable potential, of participating students.

That is coming from a man who knows what it means to mobilise, and to inspire action.

I have felt that same force when I’ve met youth climate activists around the world over the past few years.

And I do understand the anger of young people.

It is your future most at risk.

You and your generation will have to live with the consequences of the actions, or inaction, of current world leaders.

I have been directly challenged by young people on the need to push the world to go a lot faster to tackle global warming.

I convened an international meeting for ministers, on implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact, in Copenhagen in May. We saw youth protesters make their feelings and frustrations plain.

Every Minister saw that as they came into the meeting.

And at the end of the meeting, I encouraged Ministers to leave the meeting with the voices of those young people ringing in their ears.

Hearing those voices every time they made government decisions affecting the future of the planet.

And that brings me to the focus of my address.

You all know this, but it sometimes needs to be repeated.

We are facing a climate crisis.

The scientific evidence is absolutely clear, it’s unequivocal.

We know that we are running out of time to avert catastrophe.

The reality is that if we do not bend the curve of global warming downwards, in this decisive decade – eight and a half years left – we will go beyond the limits of our ability to adapt.

Around the world, we are already seeing what that future could look like.

And that future is absolutely terrifying.

For some people across the world, it is here right now.

In recent weeks, an area the size of the United Kingdom has been flooded in Pakistan.

A monster monsoon bringing in its wake death, destruction and displacement of millions of people.

Hurricane Fiona has barrelled through the Caribbean.

This summer we have seen the US experience its worst drought in over a thousand years years.

Europe has experienced its worst drought in 500 years.

And China its worst ever drought, as record temperatures have dried up key parts of the Yangtze River.

I could go on.

You will all have examples as well.

I was with the new UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell earlier this week, and he made the point that the reality of these events is a cycle of disaster, rebuild, disaster, rebuild, for millions of people around the world.

We need to do better.

And we also know that the increasing frequency, and ferocity, of these extreme weather events is set to worsen.

So, in the context of the pressing need for more urgent climate action,

I want to talk about my role, and the COP Presidency.

Our drive to implement the outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The ability of global coalitions of the willing, including the United States, to deliver change.

And, most importantly, the capacity of the young climate leaders in the room this morning to hold governments and businesses to account.

The primary role of the COP President is to oversee a COP Summit, deliver a negotiated outcome, and then drive its implementation in the post-summit Presidency year.

I am proud that, when the world came to Glasgow last November, the UK Presidency shepherded nearly 200 countries to forge the historic Glasgow Climate Pact.

But the outcome of that Pact was not an inevitability.

There was huge scepticism in the international community at the start of the UK Presidency about whether we really could make progress on the road to, and at Glasgow.

And personally, COP26 was my very first COP – I had never been to one before.

But because of that, very early on, I sought the advice of past COP Presidents.

And from my very first day as COP President Designate, I sought to meet world leaders, ministers, chief executives, youth and civil society groups, and communities on the front line of climate change, around the world.

This was all about ensuring an open and neutral Presidency.

Underpinned by the principles of transparency, inclusivity, consistency of message and trust,

And trust, I have to say to you, is an incredibly fragile commodity in climate negotiations.

I wanted to ensure that those four principles would be the foundation on which we built an ambitious COP26 outcome.

But, having spent two years talking to governments around the world, trying to craft the key elements of the Glasgow Climate Pact, we almost fell short in the final hours of COP26.

We had an opacity in those one-minute-to-midnight negotiations.

China and India raised objections to key language on coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

We went behind the stage to negotiate.

As we negotiated, I wrote out word-by-word the minimum changes which China and India could accept.

I can tell you it was fraught.

I still have the marked up piece of A4 paper at home on which we wrote out the text.

For me, that is an eternal reminder that things could have turned out very differently.

Because there were critical moments in those final hours when I was really concerned that a global deal, effectively two years in gestation, was about to collapse.

For anyone watching, you will have seen me crossing the plenary floor, showing the proposed revised text to the Chairs of the UNFCCC negotiating groups.

Yes, I did become emotional, when I put the final text to the floor.

I was disappointed that, after such effort to run a transparent Presidency, the COP26 negotiating process was ending in hushed and rushed conversations.

But I was, and continue to be, incredibly proud of what my UK COP Presidency team achieved in delivering the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Our overall goal, right from the start, was to garner enough commitments to ensure that we were keeping alive the prospect of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

And we achieved that goal.

Prior to the Paris Agreement, scientists were telling us that the world was on course for 4 degrees of global warming by the end of the century.

Post-Paris it was 3 degrees.

After Glasgow, we were able to say with credibility that we had kept 1.5 alive.

And whilst 1.5 degrees was our North Star, we made critical progress on adaptation, on finance, on loss and damage, on empowerment, and on so many other issues.

In fact the Chair of the Climate Vulnerables Forum recognised the steps we had taken “on all the priorities of the most climate threatened nations”.

Yes, we achieved a Pact.

But frankly, the Pact is nothing but words on a page.

The pulse of 1.5 will remain weak until the Pact, every element of it, is implemented in full.

And we have to be frank that implementation is very

challenging.

First, we did all sign up to an ambitious programme of work.

And second, the world has changed markedly since last November, overshadowed by the Putin regime’s brutal and illegal war in Ukraine.

Countries around the world are facing perilous economic and geopolitical conditions, and threats to energy security.

We are grappling with soaring inflation, rising debt, and food insecurity.

For many, climate has not been front of mind.

But I do truly believe there remains cause for hope.

I see climate leaders doing remarkable work.

Take for example the Prime Minister of Viet Nam, who I saw again last month.

He is utterly relentless in driving his country’s economic transformation, based on clean energy.

And we as a G7 nation, and other developed nations, are supporting that effort with Viet Nam’s Just Energy Transition Partnership, which can be the gold standard for sustainable economic growth for developing countries around the world.

Businesses and financial institutions are radically reimagining what it means to be a responsible, 21st century company.

Bill Gates, who I spent time with earlier this week, rightly noted that COP26 was the COP where businesses came in force.

And you will have seen, just last week, the founder of Patagonia, dedicating his company’s fortune to the climate cause.

Now, where are we in this process?

We will get a clearer sense that when the UNFCCC publishes its latest Synthesis Report.

The deadline for countries to make submissions on their 2030 emissions reduction targets is tomorrow.

I am sure that the report will make clear that the job is far from done.

I was in Indonesia earlier this month at the G20 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers Meeting.

Unbelievably, our negotiators had to fight to simply restate commitments we have all previously signed up to.

Inexplicably, there were debates about the unequivocal science of the IPCC reports.

Some countries sought to push against language from the Glasgow Climate Pact, agreed just ten months ago, and the foundational Paris Agreement, on which that Pact is built.

And there was even rowing back on the collective agreement that was reached by G20 leaders last year to lead on climate action.

So my message here in New York this week has been frank.

The Glasgow and Paris language must be the baseline of our ambition.

We cannot retreat from that.

And this is a critical moment to redouble our efforts, resist backsliding, and ultimately go further, and faster.

Collectively, the world’s richest countries, and the biggest emitters, have looked too many climate vulnerable countries and communities in the eyes,

and promised too much action,

to step back now.

To do so would be a betrayal.

And the United States is a key player in all of these discussions.

It is the second biggest emitter, and the largest by capita.

The US therefore has a responsibility to lead on climate action.

In all my travels as COP President, and all my time speaking with the world’s most vulnerable countries and communities, that is a firmly held view.

They want to continue to see the US leading.

Thankfully, the US also has unparalleled resources, and expertise.

That was evident, as we all watched, with a mixture of hope and trepidation, the machinations surrounding the Build Back Better Bill,

and the ultimate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act,

the largest climate spending package in US history.

I congratulate President Biden, and my very good friend John Kerry for their roles in securing that historic achievement.

So now, I urge the Senate to now press home the advantage.

Match the domestic ambition with international action.

In particular, deliver the billions of international climate finance being asked of Congress for the coming years.

Finance, my friends, is a key ask of climate vulnerable countries and we must all, including the United States, deliver on our promises.

I want to turn now specifically to the role of the students in the room.

I know there is much talk of the midterms right now, and of the partisan nature of climate policy at federal level.

In fact because of this,

I encourage you to run towards the heart of the climate debate, on both sides of the aisle, at national and subnational level.

Of course I know that many of you will be considering the 30-minute hop on the 1 train, to Wall Street.

That work will be pivotal too.

All of the climate action I have talked about today, all the promises that have been made, has one thing in common: it requires us to turn the billions currently flowing in climate finance, into trillions.

We need advocates like you in the boardrooms and on trading floors here in New York, and around the world.

And there are similarly catalytic roles in civil society, particularly recognising climate justice is completely interlinked with economic and social justice for so many people around the world.

In all of this work, I am heartened to know that you will be joined by colleagues from the increasing number of climate and sustainability schools,

in the US and around the world.

From the students who hosted me just up the coast at Tufts in March, to those I met last month at Can Tho University, in the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam.

I had the privilege of attending on Monday, the State Funeral of our Late Monarch, Her Majesty the Queen.

In a moment of quiet reflection in Westminster Abbey, I thought back to Her Majesty’s words, delivered to world leaders attending COP26.

She said:

“It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in the history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations.”

That history is still to be written.

And I hope that the leaders of today, in my own country, in the United States, and across the world will heed the late Queen’s wise words.

To those of you setting out on your own leadership journeys.

Make them count.

And whilst my formal role ends at COP27, I will be there with you, continuing to champion the cause of climate action, which is so vital.

Thank you.


Ends.

21.09.2022

Leaders will build on Glasgow legacy to establish Forests & Climate Leaders’ Partnership at COP27

  • The COP26 Presidency is inviting world leaders to come together at COP27 to establish a new Partnership, which will accelerate implementation of the unprecedented commitment made at COP26 by over 140 countries to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation, while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation 
  • The new Partnership will unite action by government, business and community leaders, and shine a spotlight on global progress at COP27 and every year up to 2030 
  • President Ali Bongo of Gabon, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and COP26 President Alok Sharma among those to call for the Partnership at the UN General Assembly today, building on commitments made at COP26

COP26 President Alok Sharma is calling on world leaders to join the launch of the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership at COP27, to scale up action to protect, conserve and restore the world’s forests while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation. He is also calling on future COP Presidencies to join the UK in maintaining momentum on forests year on year.

Participating countries will meet annually to enhance collective efforts to maximise the contribution of forests and sustainable land use to  global and national climate goals.

With the first meeting of the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership taking place at COP27 in Egypt this November, member countries representing a range of regions, forest areas, and economic and financial centres will focus their combined support on transformational areas of action. These include cooperation related to high integrity carbon markets for forests, building robust forest economies that contribute to a net-zero world, securing and protecting applicable forest tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, and scaling efforts to conserve and sustainably manage high integrity forests. 

Members will work closely with the private sector, civil society and community leaders to implement and rapidly scale up solutions on deforestation, reforestation and sustainable forest and land use management, that reflect each members’ national context and priorities as well as the urgency of the global climate crisis.

At COP26 in Glasgow, more than 140 Heads of State from countries with over 90% of the world’s forests committed to work together to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.

These actions are fundamental to adapting to climate change and have the potential to deliver up to 10% of the emissions reductions needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, while securing global biodiversity, economic prosperity and food supplies.

This was backed by over $19.2 billion in public and private funds, and ground-breaking commitments to shift global systems of production, supply chains, finance and land tenure in favour of forests and forest-dependent people.

The Forests & Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) will offer a way to enhance cooperation on delivery of these commitments, to scale ambition and to find innovative solutions to ongoing problems. By joining, countries are committing to lead by example in the implementation of their national goals and striving to be more ambitious over time. They are also committing to work together to advance global forests and climate efforts, and to meet annually to take stock of progress. 

Every member country will commit to play a leadership role to drive forward at least one of the FCLP’s action areas, which include:

  • Scaling up sustainable land use enterprises, forest positive economies and supply chains; 
  • Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ initiatives and applicable tenure rights; and
  • Mobilising forest-positive public and private finance.

At the inaugural meeting at COP27, member countries will take stock of progress since COP26 and discuss key insights, successes, challenges and priorities for future collaboration. The meeting will include a public event at which member countries will speak alongside business and community leaders to highlight the most ambitious commitments and the strongest examples of progress since COP26.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, said:

Gabon is proud to be part of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership. As a climate pioneer, net absorbing over 100 million tons of CO2 every year into our forests, Gabon has already achieved and indeed exceeded the Paris objective of carbon neutrality. We have achieved this through development solutions that build a forest positive economy and provide employment, thereby giving our forests true value and ensuring that they remain standing. For these climate services to be maintained, we need to dramatically scale up action and investment, to deliver for people, for our climate and for our forests. The Partnership provides us with a forum to address these major challenges and enact real change before it is too late.

President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of Guyana, said:

Ambition to protect the world’s forests has never been in short supply in forest communities and countries. What has been missing is the means to realise that ambition. The FCLP can rapidly change this situation – by bringing Heads of Government together to focus on practical solutions. Guyana will play its part in highlighting leadership from forest communities and countries. We will put forward solutions that we know can work because of our own experience. The world’s people do not need more talk, they need action that converts ambition into results, and I hope the FCLP will be the platform to achieve this.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway, said:

We will not reach the goals of the Paris Agreement without halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030. Achieving this will require unprecedented leadership and collaboration from governments, business, civil society and indigenous peoples. Norway joins the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership committed to work together with tropical forest countries and other like minded countries in pursuit of this goal.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President, said:

I’m proud to be calling for this important Partnership today. Forests are a precious resource that support sustainable livelihoods and act as the lungs of the world. At COP26 we saw incredible ambition with more than 140 countries committing to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. This partnership is a critical next step to collectively deliver on this promise and help keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C alive.

John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, said:

We know forests are a fundamental component of the solution set we need to deploy if we are to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. The FCLP provides us with a new opportunity to spur even greater action to addressing our shared challenges with committed partners, and to holding ourselves accountable for meeting our commitments.

Gustavo Manrique Miranda, Minister of the Environment and Water, Ecuador, said:

This alliance is an opportunity to implement solutions that reduce deforestation, that increase forest restoration and strengthen the livelihoods of people living in forest areas. Ecuador understands that we must act strategically in our forests at the local and global levels.

Sung-hyun Nam, Minister for Korea Forest Service, Republic of Korea, said:

I believe that the FCLP will become a significant global partnership that calls on countries to help to address forest and land use issues as well as climate change with robust political support. Therefore, we, at the ROK, would like to take the opportunity to join the FCLP. Also, as a founding member, Korea will actively participate in activities of the partnership, and join forces with the global community to support forest restoration of developing countries using Korea’s know-hows and experience.

21.09.2022

Second Climate and Development Ministerial takes place to bring ministers and partners together to discuss priorities of climate vulnerable countries 

  • Hosted by the governments of the United Kingdom and Rwanda, the meeting saw constructive discussion from global ministers and international institutions on initiatives to tackle climate and development challenges ahead of COP27
  • COP26 President Alok Sharma and Rwandan Minister of Environment Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya co-chaired the Ministerial meeting on 20 September 2022
  • Outcomes from the discussion will be published in a chairs’ summary in the coming days

The second Climate & Development Ministerial (C&DM) saw decision makers convene to discuss priorities of climate vulnerable countries and chart a path to make tangible progress on them. 

Building on the successes of the first C&DM in 2021, COP president Alok Sharma and Minister for Rwanda Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya led a constructive discussion with more than 25 countries and institutions in attendance, the results of which will be published in full in a forthcoming chairs’ summary.

Held in the margins of the UN General Assembly at the Microsoft UN Affairs Office on 20 September 2022, the discussion centred on practical solutions for assisting climate vulnerable countries in four key areas – responding to climate impacts, access to finance, climate finance and fiscal space and debt sustainability.

The Ministerial followed a series of successful workshops held prior to the event, where officials from more than 35 countries and institutions set out transformational shifts and key actions for both the climate and development system.

These shifts and actions served as a basis for discussion at the second C&DM and included: focus on shifting to a global financial architecture that allows countries to invest in protecting and progressing climate and development goals and mainstreaming of climate and nature objectives across economic and financial policy. Calls were made to deliver a concrete pathway to demonstrate how action will be taken on these areas to make progress over the coming years.

COP President Alok Sharma said:

As with our first Climate and Development Ministerial last March, it was very good to see such a broad cross-section of climate, development, finance and other Ministers in one room and to have such a productive discussion.

We have made some progress ahead of this year’s COP27 and it is clear that we collectively hold the levers to make the changes required.

This Ministerial injected fresh momentum and we agreed on concrete ‘transformational shifts’ and actions which need to occur to drive real progress on tackling climate and development challenges.

Now we must accelerate commitments made in the Glasgow Climate Pact into urgent action if we are to protect those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Co-chair Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya said:

Since the first Climate and Development Ministerial, we have registered progress on all fronts.

However, we are just getting started and very real challenges remain. While levels of finance are rising, the impacts of the climate crisis are increasing faster. We need to reverse this trend and scale up the quantity and quality of the investments that will build resilience in a warmer world.

Today’s Ministerial showed us once again that when countries come together in the spirit of collaboration, we can achieve tangible outcomes that benefit both people and our planet.

Details of the discussion will be issued by the co-chairs in a chairs’ summary including key areas of consensus and any new commitments made.

Notes to Editors

  • The Climate & Development Ministerial process, launched in 2020, is a gathering of a representative group of countries charged with identifying areas for progress beyond the core UNFCCC system.
  • Since its inception, the Climate & Development Ministerial (C&DM) process has focused on identifying and driving practical action to tackle climate and development challenges. The focus has been on four key priorities for climate vulnerable countries: Responding to Climate Impacts, Climate Finance, Access to Finance, Fiscal Space & Debt Sustainability.
  • Following the Ministerial meeting in March 2021, and the stocktake during the 76th session of UNGA in September 2021, the UK and Rwanda, as co-hosts, reconvened to continue this vital discussion in the margins of the 77th UNGA on the 20 September 2022. 

20.09.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma calls for urgent climate action ahead of COP27 at UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC

  • Mr Sharma will represent the UK government together with Prime Minister Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Minister for the UN Lord Ahmad and Minister of State Lord Zac Goldsmith
  • The COP President will participate in a range of UN and Climate Week NYC events, where he will urge climate leaders from governments, businesses and civil society organisations to accelerate more ambitious climate action
  • Mr Sharma will also co-chair the second Climate and Development Ministerial alongside the Rwandan Minister of Environment on 20 September

COP26 President Alok Sharma will travel as part of the UK delegation attending the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). He will also participate in Climate Week NYC events, held alongside UNGA, engaging with businesses, financial institutions and civil society to support greater progress on the Glasgow Climate Pact ahead of COP27.

While in New York, Mr Sharma will emphasise the critical importance of sustained action to limit global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees, particularly from major emitters. Mr Sharma will make clear that G20 nations must demonstrate leadership by delivering on the commitments collectively made in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

As part of UNGA, the COP President will attend the UN Secretary-General hosted leader-level Climate Roundtable and also welcome the UN Secretary-General’s Early Warning for All initiative at a side event, where attendees will take stock of progress on addressing gaps in early warning systems for climate impacts and the need to scale up early action efforts.

The Governments of the United Kingdom and Rwanda will co-host the second Climate and Development Ministerial meeting on Tuesday 20 September from the Microsoft UN Affairs Office. Building on the successes of the first Ministerial meeting in 2021, the COP26 President and Rwandan Minister of Environment will bring countries together to discuss the priorities of climate vulnerable countries, and chart a path to make tangible progress on them.

COP President Alok Sharma said:

Since last November when we met at COP26, the world has faced multiple global crises, precipitated by Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which need immediate attention.

However at the same time the chronic threat of climate change has worsened with the devastating floods in Pakistan, which have left a third of the country underwater, one terrible example of our changing climate.

Therefore at this critical juncture less than two months before COP27, and just days ahead of the UNFCCC Synthesis Report deadline, it is more important than ever that all countries deliver on the commitments we made, collectively, in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The COP26 President will use sessions at Climate Week NYC to call for maximum ambition and accelerated progress from non-state actors. He will particularly focus on mobilising private finance institutions – through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) network – to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from investment and lending portfolios, advancing progress of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use agreed at COP26.

Speaking at the Hub Live opening on 20 September, Climate Week NYC’s flagship event, the COP26 President will underscore the need for further, faster transitions in key sectors including energy and transport initiatives. He will address the link between energy security and climate security, highlighting that the commitments made at COP26 to urgently scale-up the deployment of clean power and phase down fossil fuel usage are more relevant than ever in the present global context.

Mr Sharma will also underline the need for ambitious action across the transport sector by announcing the intention to launch the Accelerating to Zero Coalition. The coalition will build on the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Declaration launched at COP26, which aims to reach 100 percent zero emission cars and vans by 2035 in leading markets, and 2040 globally.

The COP President will chair a roundtable to promote the Breakthrough Agenda Report, an independent progress assessment of the Breakthrough Agenda launched at COP26. He will encourage countries to implement an action plan the UK – as current secretariat of the Breakthrough Agenda – has developed based on the assessment, focusing on clean technologies and sustainable solutions in high emissions sectors to deliver the net zero transition.

Following his attendance at UNGA and Climate Week NYC, the COP26 President will continue to work closely with Egypt’s incoming COP Presidency and other global partners to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact and secure an impactful COP27 outcome.

Background

During UNGA and Climate Week NYC, the COP26 President will be speaking at the following events:

Tuesday 20 September

  • Climate and Development Ministerial, co-hosted by the UK and Rwanda governments
  • ZEVs: Are we there yet? Steering the global market towards EV100
  • Hitachi organised event: Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy and a Green Industrial Revolution
  • Breakthrough Report Launch Roundtable

Wednesday 21 September

  • UNGA Side Event: UN Global Early Warning Initiative to Implement Climate Adaptation
  • Energy: The New Climate Reality – Energy Certainty in an Uncertain World
  • UN Secretary General’s Informal Leaders’ Roundtable on Climate Action

Notes to editors

The Glasgow Climate Pact was agreed at COP26. Nearly 200 countries agreed to keep 1.5C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement. The Glasgow Climate Pact, combined with increased ambition and action from countries, means that 1.5C remains in sight, but it will only be delivered with concerted and immediate global efforts.

The Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) brings together existing and new net-zero finance initiatives into a single, sector-wide coalition and provides a forum for leading financial institutions to accelerate the transition to a net-zero global economy.

The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use was signed by 142 countries at COP26, and now has 145 signatories. This commitment is to work collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.

The ZEV Declaration is accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans. It is working towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission globally by 2040, and by no later than 2035 in leading markets.

At the COP26 World Leaders Summit, over 40 countries accounting for over 70% of global GDP endorsed the Breakthrough Agenda, committing to work together to make clean and sustainable solutions the most affordable, accessible and attractive option in each of the emitting sectors before the end of this decade.

Image of COP President Alok Sharma

16.05.2022

COP President Alok Sharma marks 6 months to COP27

10 minute read

Mr Sharma’s speech at The Scottish Event Campus, reflecting on the progress made since COP26 and what more is needed ahead of COP27.

“If you could stop climate tragedy unfolding further you would, wouldn’t you?”

That question, which we have just heard Emi Mahmoud ask so articulately, hung over COP26. 

It was the question world leaders faced as they entered the plenary rooms. 

It was the question negotiators grappled with through the nights. 

The question to which the world was waiting for an answer. 

And on the final day countries gave their response. 

Here, at the SEC, they agreed the historic Glasgow Climate Pact.

This forges a path to a clean global future,

it keeps alive the possibility of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees celsius, 

and it told a watching world that leaders could and would stop tragedy unfolding before their eyes.  

As I said at the time, in doing so, countries demonstrated what the world had come to doubt, 

that nations can rise above their differences to unite against a common challenge; 

And that the international system can deliver. 

That is why, as Peter has just said, although those two weeks in November were intense, and they were difficult, 

it was an extraordinary privilege to play my part at COP26, in the role of Shepherd-in-Chief. 

And I in turn want to thank Glasgow Council, the Scottish Government, and Peter and his team for all their efforts in hosting the event, 

and of course our principal partners for their support. 

And I will always be grateful to the people of Glasgow for the warmth of their welcome; 

which was commented on by so many ministers and negotiators from across the globe. 

This great City has earned its name as the “Dear Green Place” in the hearts of delegates from around the world. 

And so it is right that we are donating items from COP26 to support the local community. 

6000 items of furniture have been given to charities and community groups. 

Miles of carpet have been divided up between 1800 families. 

And over 600 laptops will support local people who need them, including Ukrainian refugees. 

This is a fitting final act for a summit that met the highest standards of sustainability, as our Sustainability Report, published today, demonstrates. 

Six months have now passed since Presidents and Prime Ministers came to Glasgow, 

since the SEC held the biggest international summit the United Kingdom has ever hosted. 

And in that time, the world has changed. 

The clouds have darkened over the international landscape. 

War, has returned to Europe. 

The tectonic plates within our geopolitics have shifted. 

Inflation is spiking around the world.

Debt is mounting.

Energy prices are rising. 

And globally, people are struggling to feed their families, all as we continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic. 

Now as a result, climate is understandably no longer on the front pages as it was in the lead up to, and at, COP26. 

Yet the current crises should increase, not diminish, our determination to deliver on what the world agreed here in Glasgow.

Because they show with devastating clarity, why it is imperative to do so. And to do so now.

In January, at Chatham House in London, I spoke about the fact that economic opportunity is now driving climate action. 

Wind and solar are now cheaper than coal and gas in the majority of the world. 

Investing in fossil fuels will only risk stranded assets. 

And the potential of renewables is extraordinary. 

On a recent visit to Brazil I was told that the country could, with investment, generate up to 700 gigawatts of power from offshore wind every year.

And in Mexico, I heard that the state of Oaxaca has more offshore wind potential than the entire North Sea. 

Increasingly, unleashing such potential is a matter of security, as well as economics.

Putin’s illegal and brutal invasion will define this year, and indeed many years to come. 

The brave people of Ukraine, who continue to suffer at his hands, remain in all our thoughts.

And, of course, the actions of the Putin regime have pushed-up fossil fuel prices globally. 

That has thrown our situation into stark relief. 

We see clearly the dangers of energy systems powered by foreign fossil fuels.

We see the benefits of low cost, homegrown renewables, the price of which cannot be manipulated from afar. 

In short, we see that climate security is energy security, 

that we must break our dependency on fossil fuels.

And governments are responding. 

Yes, they are taking action to deal with immediate supply issues. 

Yet they are also accelerating the move to clean power. 

The European Commission has announced that the European Union will increase renewables deployment to help reduce dependency on Russian hydrocarbons.

And here in the United Kingdom, we have recently published our Energy Security Strategy, to accelerate our deployment of wind, of solar, of nuclear, and of hydrogen. 

This could see 95 percent of our electricity come from low carbon sources by 2030. 

And we aim to fully decarbonise our power system by 2035. 

The forces driving us towards a clean future are building. 

Increasingly, it is clear that net zero means security. 

Net zero means prosperity. 

And net zero means preventing the problems of the present growing inexorably. 

Because many of the challenges we face today would intensify as global temperatures rise. 

Look at food security. 

One of the most moving conversations that I have had as COP President was with women in Madagascar on the brink of famine, 

women who were enduring the unimaginable. 

And it is a terrible truth that their experience is shared by many millions around the world. 

Acute hunger is at unprecedented levels. 

A recent report by the “Global Network Against Food Crises” found that hundreds of millions of people experienced food insecurity last year, 

with acute food insecurity rising almost 25 percent since 2020, which was already a record year. 

That is many millions of people whose lives, or livelihoods, are in peril because they cannot eat. 

 Millions of individual tragedies. 

And of course, those figures predate the Ukraine crisis, which has rocked global supply chains and driven-up prices. 

Now, the World Food Programme expects acute hunger to rise further, by tens of millions of people if the conflict in Ukraine continues unabated.

We know that climate change inflames food insecurity.

It is inflaming food insecurity right now. 

And every fraction of a degree makes a difference. 

A rise in average global temperature to 2 degrees, compared to 1.5, would mean a doubling of the reduction in yields of maize, a staple crop, in the tropics, 

and fisheries losing twice as much of their catch. 

And whilst the UN projects the world’s population will increase by around 20 percent by 2050 from current levels, 

Chatham House estimates that crop yields could decline by 30 percent by then unless we drastically reduce emissions, 

including from agriculture.

So we must accelerate the transition to fairer, more sustainable, more resilient food systems and supply chains.

The problems we face today underscore why it is vital that we do so, 

and why we must honour the commitments made at COP26. 

Failure to do so would be an act of monstrous self-harm. 

And over the past six months, we have had grim reminders of the urgency of our task. 

The United Nations body on climate science, the IPCC, has released two major reports,

each agreed by almost 200 countries and synthesising thousands of research papers. 

These reports conclude unequivocally that the window of time we have left to act is closing fast, 

And that we must urgently adapt and reduce emissions, 

and that climate change is already, wreaking havoc:

ecosystems are being irreversibly destroyed, 

people are being forced from their homes, 

and water insecurity has increased. 

But it is not only the science that tells us our situation is critical. 

We see the evidence all around us. 

In the short film we watched just before I spoke, we saw the effects of Hurricane Irma that I witnessed on the island of Barbuda. 

We saw the visit I made to the sea wall in Jakarta, which is literally being added to every few years to keep protecting the City. 

On that same visit to Indonesia, I saw homes being relocated to save people from those same rising seas.

In Bolivia, Indigneous leaders told me how, longer and harder rains are causing flooding in their lands. 

And this year, India and Pakistan have already experienced unbearable temperatures: a billion people exposed to extreme heat in some of the hottest months since records began. 

And hundreds are reported dead in South Africa, where floods have swept the province of KwaZulu-Natal, destroying buildings and claiming lives. 

This is the reality of climate change. 

And it is a reality that will get far worse as temperatures rise. 

Climate change is a chronic danger. 

A danger that will be with us for generations to come. 

And so we must continue to confront it, as we also deal with the pressures of the present.

That is why it is imperative we deliver the Glasgow Climate Pact. 

As I say, this is a historic agreement.

It calls on countries to phase-down unabated coal power and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

It requests countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reduction targets, as necessary, 

to align with the Paris temperature goal by the end of this year.

It urges developed countries to scale-up climate finance, and specifically to double finance for adaptation by 2025.

It underlines the central importance of adaptation, the dangers of loss and damage, and the need to scale-up action and support for both, 

and the Pact charts a way forward to do so. 

Outside the COP26 negotiating rooms we heard significant commitments from countries, companies and financial institutions too. 

They pledged to clean-up vital sectors like power and transport, to end deforestation, and to work together to accelerate the clean transition. 

Altogether, if the commitments made around COP26 are honoured on time, we can limit the rise in global temperature to below two degrees.

That was the conclusion of the International Energy Agency at the time. 

And this analysis has been backed-up by a recent study in the respected scientific journal, Nature. 

Since delegates left the SEC for a final time last November, work to deliver on the commitments made here in Glasgow has purposefully continued. 

We have had some countries submit new emissions reduction targets, or NDCs. 

And of course the UK is considering its own response to the Glasgow Pact. 

That includes reviewing the evidence to ensure our NDC remains aligned with the Paris Agreement, and looking at ways to strengthen it, 

all as we focus on delivering and building on our Net Zero Strategy.  

We have had new adaptation communications,

work has kicked-off to get the Santiago Network up and running, to provide technical assistance on loss and damage.

And the Glasgow Dialogue and the Glasgow to Sharm el Sheikh Work Programme will get going in June. 

On finance, the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance has launched five trial projects in Bangladesh and Fiji, Jamaica, Rwanda, and Uganda. 

And the IMF has launched the Resilience and Sustainability Trust, to support developed countries to channel their Special Drawing Rights to climate action in developing nations. 

I have supported and championed this initiative, and I want to thank Kristalina Georgieva, for all her, and her team’s dedication, in delivering the RST, 

and for responding to the calls in the Glasgow Climate Pact, championed by Small Island Developing Countries, to do so.

We have made some progress on critical sectors. 

And action from business continues. 

Around 2,000 international firms have joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign since COP26, which commits them to reach net zero by 2050 at the latest.

That takes the total to over 7,000.

And civil society has kept-up the pressure on business and governments to deliver. 

Last week the COP27 President Designate, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Shoukry and I, co-chaired a meeting of ministers and representatives from over 40 governments around the world.

This May Ministerial was hosted in Copenhagen by Minister Jørgensen and the Danish Government.

This focussed not on what countries need to do, but how they will do it. 

How individually and collectively they will honour the commitments made here in Glasgow on emissions reductions, on adaptation, on loss and damage, and on climate finance.  

And what we heard was encouraging.  

We did make progress in these key areas. 

There was a high degree of consensus on what we must do to deliver in each of these areas. 

We heard positive signals about countries looking again at their 2030 NDCs, including considering how they can strengthen their sectoral targets.

The German and Canadian governments have agreed to coordinate a Progress Update on the $100billion Delivery Plan, which was published last year. 

This Update will be based on the ten collective actions agreed last year, and it will cover the commitment to double adaptation finance, as well as access to finance. 

We also announced a new, Independent High-Level Expert Group on investment in climate action, to be co-chaired by Lord Nick Stern and Vera Songwe.

The Group will develop policy options to encourage and enable the investment and finance necessary for delivery of the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The May Ministerial was productive in helping to build momentum towards delivering the Glasgow Pact. 

Now this progress is of course welcome. 

But frankly we need to up the pace. 

Leaders have not done enough to deliver on their Glasgow commitments. 

And that must change. 

This November, when countries meet in Sharm-el-Sheikh for COP27, the spotlight will be back on climate. 

And the world will look to see whether they were right to put their doubts aside, and to cautiously place their confidence in the multilateral system.

Whether they were right to take leaders at their word. 

We must show them that they were. 

And that means moving much faster over the next six months than we have over the last six. 

And setting ourselves up to deliver, over this vital decade. 

In the final moments of COP, I described the Glasgow Climate Pact as a fragile win. 

And unless we accelerate delivery, citizens will look-on at Sharm-el-Sheikh and see that cracks have emerged. 

That leaders have allowed that historic and hard won agreement to fracture. 

We cannot allow that to happen. 

So the UK COP26 Presidency is working hard, with our Egyptian partners, to drive delivery.

Every country must respond to the call to revisit and strengthen their NDC. 

And they must do so in 2022.

The Glasgow Pact calls on countries to look again at their NDCs, not at some vague point in the future, but this year, in 2022. 

And the major emitters must lead from the front, particularly those G20 countries with little or no increase in ambition since Paris. 

We need them to submit more ambitious NDCs, where they are not currently aligned with the Paris Agreement. 

We need all countries to submit long-term strategies aligned with net zero.

And this needs to be done before the UNFCCC’s Synthesis Report deadline of 23rd September. 

We also need plans to turn these targets into action. 

And we need developed countries to be delivering on finance to support developing nations’ ambition,

and to help them access the benefits of climate-resilient investments: from growth, to jobs, to clean air and competitive advantage. 

The agreed $100billion Delivery Plan update needs to show progress on delivery, particularly the goal to double adaptation finance by 2025.

Thus far, too little has been achieved on doubling adaptation finance, and that must change. 

So we need countries to clearly set out their plans. 

We also need more progress from countries and financial institutions in aligning with the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance principles. 

And we need to drive Just Energy Transition Partnerships forward. 

In technical terms these are financial mechanisms that tailor support to individual countries’ energy transitions, in alignment with national plans. 

In human terms, they are about the many thousands of people who still rely on fossil fuels for their livelihoods, 

about supporting them to retrain and reskill, 

and about helping countries transition away from fossil fuels, 

whilst keeping the lights on and cleaning-up the air by moving to green technologies. 

We announced the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership at COP26.

And now, we are working towards others, and I am hopeful we will be able to announce them by COP27. 

On adaptation and loss and damage, we need to have made practical progress on the Global Goal on Adaptation by COP27, 

as well as having operationalised the Santiago Network.

And we also must also make further progress in critical sectors. 

We need more commitments to end coal power, to put a stop to international fossil fuel finance, and to accelerate the shift to renewables. 

We need a greater share of the global market covered by commitments to end the sale of polluting vehicles. 

We need countries to agree on the steps that they will take to accelerate clean technologies, including in sectors like steel and hydrogen, through the Breakthrough Agenda.

And we need leaders to show they are delivering on their commitments to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

On every one of these issues we will use the G7, the G20, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the United Nations General Assembly to urge action. 

And we will host a second climate and development Ministerial in September to drive progress on the issues that matter most to climate vulnerable countries, 

because championing their needs remains critical for me. 

If you think this sounds like a hefty programme of work, you are right. 

But it is vital to achieving the change we have agreed is necessary. 

The United Kingdom remains an unapologetically high-ambition COP presidency. 

But ultimately, it is up to all world leaders to step up and deliver.

Just as they promised here in Glasgow six months ago. 

I learnt a lot in those two weeks here at the SEC. 

I learnt I could survive on three hours sleep,

I learnt to love Tunnocks teacakes. 

But principally I learnt that though this international system, the COP process, is imperfect and it is unwieldy, it can work, 

it can deliver, 

and it is the best chance we have of tackling climate change. 

But it is only as strong as the sum of its parts. 

So we need every nation to pick up the pace. 

We need every leader to show that their words were not hollow, 

that their commitments were made with integrity, 

and that they recognise, though the immediate challenges we face are grave, we will only inflame them if we falter. 

Because it is leaders who made promises,

and it is leaders who must honour them. 

So when countries meet in Egypt in six months time,

they must show a global audience that the confidence we inspired in the international system was not misplaced,

that though the world has changed, our resolve has not, 

and that the historic agreement forged in this “Dear Green Place” is taking the world towards a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous future.

Ladies and gentlemen, earlier this morning we heard Emi Mahmoud ask whether: 

“If you could stop the next tornado from hitting your home, 

the next hurricane from wiping out your city, 

the next drought from starving your people,

wouldn’t you?”

Here in the SEC last November, the world said it would. 

Now, leaders must show that they will.

Thank you. 


Ends.

22.02.2022

COP President’s letter of appointment to the co-chairs of the ad hoc work programme on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance

5 minute read

To: Ms. Federica Fricano, Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh

Pursuant to the CMA.3 decision relating to the new collective quantified goal on climate finance and consultations held by my team since COP26, I am writing to appoint you to serve as the first co-chairs for the ad hoc work programme on the new goal throughout the UK’s Presidency year.

The decision made in Glasgow concerning the new goal outlines at a high-level how Parties will conduct their deliberations over the next three years in order to set the goal in 2024. The period between now and then provides a historic opportunity for the global community to agree a goal which is fit for purpose for mobilising the finance needed to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact and in so doing accelerate global climate action. 

The work you will facilitate as co-chairs  over the coming year will play a formative role in this crucial process. Its results will provide the technical basis for the political deliberations that will set the direction for future discussions and, ultimately, agree the goal itself under the CMA.  

In addition to our extensive engagement with Parties on the issue of deliberations on the new goal over the past two years, the COP26 Presidency has also engaged widely with development finance institutions, civil society, including youth, gender, and indigenous peoples constituencies, and the private sector. These stakeholders have a huge amount of knowledge and experience, which should continue to usefully enrich deliberations going forward. I encourage you to ensure that Parties are able to benefit from these insights throughout your work.

Drawing from that engagement, and as you work with the UNFCCC secretariat to organise the work programme, I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise several important elements for you to bear in mind: 

  • Inclusive participation: before and at COP26, we heard a clear and consistent message from Parties and non-Party stakeholders that deliberations should be conducted in an open and inclusive manner. It will be your role as co-chairs to ensure that space is provided in deliberations under the work programme for a wide-range of voices and perspectives to be heard.
  • Broad-based inputs: in line with the decision taken at CMA.3, you should organise your work in a way that actively seeks inputs from a wide range of sources and stakeholders from inside and outside the UNFCCC process, including current or future relevant initiatives. 
  • Substantive topics: it was also clear in Glasgow that Parties expect the deliberations to be rooted in the parameters set out in the previous mandates concerning the new goal, in particular the decisions pertaining to the goal made in Paris and Katowice, as well as the one made in Glasgow. 

For completeness, I have annexed to this letter a document with further details on each of these key points.

I recently set out the UK Presidency’s priorities going forward across a number of areas. As the COP President, I am clear that the successful implementation of this work programme is key to delivering what was agreed at COP26. Its outcomes will be integral for achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. I therefore ask that, in taking on this role, you provide regular updates on your work and the work programme’s progress to the Presidency team throughout the year. My team look forward to working closely with you and colleagues in the UNFCCC secretariat to support the delivery of your work. As we approach COP27, I also request that you work closely with the incoming Egyptian COP Presidency team to help ensure successful discussions in Sharm El Sheikh. 

COP26 demonstrated that the world can work together to improve our common future, to address major global challenges and to seize opportunities. I believe that you as co-chairs are well placed to ensure that this work programme can build on that legacy, creating the space for collective self-interest to turbocharge a truly global transition. 

Yours sincerely,

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

COP President

Annex – Key points for the organisation of the ad hoc work programme on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance

Inclusive participation

Before and at COP26, we heard a clear and consistent message from Parties and non-Party stakeholders that deliberations should be conducted in an open and inclusive manner. It will be your role as co-chairs to ensure that space is provided in deliberations under the work programme for a wide-range of voices and perspectives to be heard. As such, I ask you to work with the UNFCCC Secretariat to ensure that the four technical expert dialogues to be organised this year are as representative and inclusive as possible, making full use of in-person and virtual facilities as appropriate. Furthermore, I would encourage you to consider undertaking your own additional outreach to Parties and negotiating groups in order to better understand their perspectives.

Broad-based inputs

In previous discussions about the new goal, we have also heard about the wealth of expertise, literature, and evidence that exists with regards to financing climate action. You should organise your work in a way that allows you to build on this knowledge and any current or future relevant initiatives, actively seeking inputs from a wide range of sources and stakeholders from inside and outside the UNFCCC process, in line with the decision taken at CMA.3. The COP26 Presidency is encouraging as wide a range of relevant organisations as possible to respond to the calls for submissions made in the Glasgow decision. You as co-chairs should do the same. The Glasgow decision also notes the importance of regular consultations with the constituted bodies. I believe it will also be important for you to engage regularly with the other UNFCCC processes and work programmes active during this year (particularly the Standing Committee on Finance and the co-chairs of the Global Stocktake’s technical assessment), to ensure complementarity and join up discussions about finance.

Substantive topics 

It was also clear in Glasgow that Parties expect the deliberations to be rooted in the parameters set out in the previous mandates concerning the new goal, in particular the decisions pertaining to the goal made in Paris and Katowice (Decision 1/CP.21, paragraph 53 and Decision 14/CMA.1). As we summarised in our informal notes issued with the COP25 Presidency ahead of COP26, these include, inter alia, that: 

  • the new goal should be from a floor of USD 100 billion per year in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency of implementation; 
  • the new goal must take into account the needs and priorities of developing countries; 
  • the deliberations on the new goal must consider the aim to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development; 
  • as part of a global effort, developed country Parties should continue to take the lead in mobilising climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels, noting the significant role of public funds, through a variety of actions, including support for country-driven strategies; and 
  • the future mobilisation of climate finance should represent a progression beyond previous efforts. 

Additionally, through the decision taken in Glasgow, Parties were clear that consideration of the new goal should include quantity, quality, scope and access features, as well as sources of funding, of the goal. There should also be consideration of  transparency arrangements to track progress towards achievement of the goal. This is of course without prejudice to other elements that will also be considered as the deliberations evolve in the coming years.