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.

15.11.2022

Multilevel action: Implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5°C alive

On Adaptation & Agriculture Day at COP27, the UK COP26 Presidency’s official Side Event was co-hosted with Climate Group, who are the Secretariat of the Under2 Coalition. 

We convened a discussion about the ways in which multilevel action can drive the ‘ambition loop’ to keep 1.5°C in reach and deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact.

COP26 President Opening Speech

COP26 President Alok Sharma opened the event, and paid testament to the power of the ‘ambition loop’: a ‘virtuous circle’ where multilevel actors from business, government and civil society drive climate action and in doing so push each other to go further, faster.  

He paid tribute to the role of civil society and youth, and the work of the High-Level Champions, saying that the Glasgow Climate Pact was “a testament to what is possible when all of us work together with one ambition”. 

The COP26 President also made clear that while progress has been made in the acceleration of renewables – despite a challenging geopolitical context – recent and severe droughts in China, the US and Europe were a reminder of the need to act now at both government and corporate levels to keep 1.5°C in reach.

First panel: The ambition loop in action

The first panel, moderated by Helen Clarkson, CEO of Climate Group, showcased the ambition loop in action across the world through its four high-level panellists: 

  • Faustin Munyazikwiye, Rwanda’s Chief Negotiator and Deputy Director General of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority; 
  • Eduardo Trani, Undersecretary for the Environment, São Paulo State; 
  • Secretary Karen Ross, Secretary for Food and Agriculture, California;
  • Prabodha Acharya, Chief Sustainability Officer, JSW Group.

Each panellist highlighted the importance of bringing together subnational actors around a shared agenda, along with civil society and private sector organisations, to develop inclusive and equitable solutions to reducing emissions. Eduardo Trani from Sao Paulo highlighted their newly launched Climate Action Plan 2050, which was open for consultation from civil society to identify 1.5-aligned actions for the Municipality of São Paulo. 

Secretary Ross and Faustin Munyazikwiye both spoke about the value of financial incentives and quality investments to drive action at an industry level. In California, for example, the state government has successfully supported its dairy industry with ‘dairy digester’ projects to capture methane emissions and convert them into renewable energy. This is part of an overall aim to reduce methane emissions – a short-lived but potent greenhouse gas – 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Meanwhile Rwanda has established fiscal incentives for zero-emission vehicles and has recently launched Ireme Invest: a new green finance facility to drive quality green investments.

Prabodha Acharya of JSW Group was emphatic about the need to act ‘here and now’ to reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors such as steel and concrete. This requires businesses to move away from a focus on short-term gains and expand their horizons to longer term planning. Such a culture change will demand considerable commitment from company leadership but will reap long term rewards for both profits and the climate. 

Second panel: Role of data in raising awareness & driving accountability

The second panel, chaired by Lekha Sridhar of ClimateTRACE, explored the role of data in raising awareness of climate issues and driving accountability. It consisted of:

  • Amaia Barredo, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Government of the Basque Country; 
  • Samanta Della Bella, Sustainability and Climate Superintendent, Government of Pernambuco; 
  • Sassan Saatchi, PhD, CTrees Founder and NASA research scientist.

Despite a number of challenges with data accessibility and deployability, particularly for monitoring emissions, the panel agreed that continuing technological advances are already helping to drive progress. 

They cited the Under2 Coalition’s ongoing States and Regions Remote Sensing project (STARRS), which is working with governments to identify highly-polluting sectors with a view to then reducing their emissions. Dr Saatchi highlighted the broader use of data in monitoring wildfires, deforestation and land degradation, and was optimistic about the evolution and increasing accessibility of the technology in this field.  

Overall, the panel was clear that by expanding access to data, and making emissions tracking integral to the way multilevel actors assess and act upon damaging emissions, we can scale the use of specific technologies to raise, and implement, climate action. 

Without measuring emissions it is not possible to mitigate them.

Conclusion

Helen Clarkson closed the event with a final word on the importance of COP27 demonstrating progress on last year. Although impressive commitments were made, it is now time to show meaningful progress – particularly in terms of using the Glasgow Climate Pact as a blueprint for real action in reducing emissions and accelerating the move to renewables. 

Together, both panels were testament to the ambitious action being driven across different levels of government and industry around the world, and the growing opportunities that lie ahead for those who act now. 

As Alok Sharma, COP26 President, said: ‘We all need to be part of this solution and, if we are, we will get there’.

15.11.2022

UK COP26 Presidency Calls for Implementation at COP27 Energy Day

1.5C can only be kept within reach with the rapid transformation of the global electricity system from coal power to clean renewable energy. Making clean power the most affordable and reliable option for countries to meet their power needs efficiently is crucial to ensuring energy security and accelerating the clean energy transition.

At COP26 major steps were made towards consigning coal to history

One year ago at COP26, all countries came together and signalled the world is moving towards a renewable future by agreeing to phase down coal in the Glasgow Climate Pact, with 65 countries committed to phase out coal entirely. In 2021, growth of the renewable energy market was nearly 40% higher than forecast, putting wind and solar on track to match global gas capacity by 2022.

The UK’s COP26 Presidency has brought countries together to deliver tangible commitments, progress, and actions to consign coal to history, shifting international public support out of fossil fuels and into clean energy through the Clean Energy Transition Partnership, and strengthening the renewable power investment and assistance offer including spotlighting a just transition.

As part of this continuing effort, the UK joined other member countries at the G20 today in announcing the Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), a country-led initiative that will help Indonesia pursue an accelerated just energy transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources.

The JETP model was pioneered at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year, where South Africa and an International Partners Group (IPG) of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union announced a ground-breaking long-term $8.5bn JETP, setting a new precedent in the global just energy transition.

Indonesia is the second country to launch a JETP. Among the world’s ten largest greenhouse gas emitters, Indonesia is now accelerating its transition to clean energy through the JETP’s strengthened commitment to maximise the use of abundant renewable energy resources and a strong political commitment to phase down coal-fired power in the medium-term.

UK COP26 Presidency at Energy Day, COP27

As the world meets in Sharm El-Sheikh ahead of a difficult winter and major pressures on global energy security driven by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the fundamental issue of climate change must remain a top priority for all countries. The cost of renewables continues to fall. The coal pipeline continues to collapse. Finance is being directed towards clean energy. It is clear that energy security and climate security are inextricably linked and the illegal invasion of Ukraine is only a reason to move faster. Diversifying our energy supplies by investing in renewables and accelerating the shift to clean energy is economically right – creating jobs and growth – and is the most effective way to ensure energy security, and avoid the risk of future energy dependency.

On Energy Day at COP27 countries and organisations from across the world are illustrating how they have put their promises into practice. The UK COP26 Presidency is holding a number of events bringing together countries, development banks, investors and civil society to:

  • demonstrate how clean energy is the most attractive option of new power generation for any country;
  • strengthen the clean power investment and assistance offer; and
  • highlight the progress made across the globe to accelerate the energy transition and share best practice.

The energy crisis and the global situation since COP26 demonstrates that the rapid acceleration of renewable energy is not only essential to protecting our planet, but critical to the security of our energy supply and our economies. Countries and partners have continued to answer the call.

Speeding up implementation

COP27 is a time to prioritise implementation. In the past year, commitments have turned into policies, finance is flowing and renewable projects are being produced at a rate never seen before.

Shifting to clean energy and ending our reliance on fossil fuels requires a concerted and sustained policy and delivery effort across multiple sectors, alongside international dialogue on energy markets that draws on strong multilateral support. 

Members of the Energy Transition Council demonstrated ongoing progress in transitioning to clean energy through ministerial, national and local-level dialogues which seek to mobilise finance and assistance. The Council is also responding to 27 technical assistance projects through its Rapid Response Facility across nine ETC partner countries, including Morocco, Kenya, Philippines and Bangladesh.

At COP26, 39 signatories committed to shift international public support into the clean energy transition and out of the fossil fuel energy sector. This initiative has the potential to shift $28bn a year into the clean energy transition. 

The G7 reaffirmed their commitment to this initiative in June 2022. Since Glasgow, the US, France, the Netherlands alongside four additional countries, have enshrined their commitment into policy guidelines, with more expected by the end of 2022. Many of these policies include new products and measures to scale up support for renewable energy. UK Export Finance, for example, has transformed the way it does business to seize opportunities in the clean growth sector, building a pipeline valued up $7.5bn into 2024.  

This is an historic step and sends a clear signal for private investors to follow. This also represents a continued turning point on climate action. Following historical progress on ending international coal finance, prioritising international support for the clean energy transition and out of fossil fuels is now becoming the new norm.

On methane, the UK has adopted early and ambitious measures to tackle emissions. Between 1990 and 2020, UK methane emissions dropped by 62%, more than any other OECD country. The UK Government recognises the urgency to do more, and today publishes its methane memorandum as part of its commitment to the Global Methane Pledge launched at COP26. This Memorandum outlines how the UK has achieved world-leading reductions in methane emissions and will continue to explore and implement measures to secure further progress.At COP27, the UK joined other energy exporters and importers in supporting a joint declaration to reduce GHG emissions from fossil fuels.

The UK and partners marked one year since the launch of the Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), to tackle the challenge of absorbing ever larger shares of variable renewable energy, while also meeting our rapidly growing global power needs securely, affordably, and reliably. The programme has developed an ecosystem of key partners, including governments, financiers, regulators, and the private sector, to accelerate green grid projects globally. 

Working with regional partners, the GGI-OSOWOG has established taskforces to accelerate development of key energy interconnection corridors in Southern Africa, create a toolkit to support energy trading and interconnectivity projects, such as the ASEAN Power Grid, and developed a knowledge sharing platform for Small Island Developing States to address the specific grid challenges. GGI Partners also launched a Working Paper on mobilising climate finance for grids, including initial findings from OSeMOSYS Global; a free global energy systems modelling tool to quickly identify least-cost pathways to decarbonise.

To make this transition a reality, the UK, alongside 46 countries representing over 70% of global GDP, launched the Breakthrough Agenda at the World Leaders Summit. Within the Breakthrough Agenda, the Power Breakthrough is working to strengthen international collaboration in specific areas where in doing so we can accelerate progress this decade towards decarbonising the global power system.  

Part of solving the energy transformation involves reducing demand and increasing the efficiency of how we use our energy. Since the launch of the UK-IEA Call to Action on Product Efficiency, which is being delivered through the Super-Efficiency Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative (SEAD), new members joining include Turkey, Panama and EBRD as an institutional member. Together these countries will work with the IEA to decarbonise their power systems through enhanced product efficiency. 

To fully realise this, the UK and IEA established a joint Call to Action on Product Efficiency. Endorsed by 14 countries, these governments will work with the IEA to double the efficiency of four key appliances (which together represent over 40% of global electricity consumption) by 2030, significantly lowering associated emissions from the fall in energy demand.   

There continues to be a firm sign that coal has been consigned to history. The Powering Past Coal Alliance has established a broad coalition with 168 members in total who share experience and best practice through its first global report. It is also engaging with emerging economies, including through a partnership with the South East Asia Energy Transition Partnership.

The PPCA will also launch revised private finance principles in Q1 2023, translating the coal phase out mission of the PPCA into state-of-the-art commitments for financial institutions to tackle private sector coal finance. More than $17 trillion USD assets under management is now committed via PPCA membership to phasing out coal.

Through the UN No New Coal Compact, countries continue to embark on setting the direction of their clean energy transition and have also demonstrated why there is no viable future for coal production as renewable energy continues to expand on a global scale. 

Events hosted by the UK COP26 Presidency on Energy Day at COP27 include:

Full programme here. The UK pavilion is located in Zone B, delegation section 8

  • Putting Promises into Practice: Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition: 09:00-10:30 EET in the Blue Zone, Climate Action Zone, Action Room 2 (Lotus), COP27.
  • Enabling a Just Energy Transition in Africa through Partnerships: 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • Bridging the gap from fossil fuels to clean energy: 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • Consigning Coal to History: 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • The Energy Transition Council’s RRF: A Rapid Response Facility for delivering technical assistance in the power sector: 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • Green Grids Initiative: Enabling grids to deliver the energy transition: Between 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 

12.11.2022

Implementing adaptation action: making progress to deal with climate impacts

Today, the world has warmed more than 1°C since pre-industrial times. It is no longer enough to stop further climate change: adapting and building community and ecosystem resilience to safeguard lives and livelihoods is necessary

At COP26, adaptation was made a universal agenda with the establishment of the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GlaSS). Loss and Damage was also given more precedence than ever before, with the establishment of the Glasgow Dialogue to discuss funding arrangements to avert, minimise and address loss and damage. 

COP27 provides an opportunity to show those most affected by climate impacts that the international community is prepared to build solutions and prioritise action on adaptation. On Adaptation and Agriculture day, the UK and Partners delivered a number of events during which countries and organisations highlighted progress made on adaptation planning, locally-led adaptation, early warning, and action-oriented research. 

This follows announcements during the World Leaders Summit to triple the UK’s International Climate Finance to adaptation, commit £5 million funding to the Santiago Network to deliver technical assistance for loss and damage; and deliver funding to the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund as pledged at COP26. 

The UK is investing over £13 million new funding to support vulnerable countries to adapt to climate impacts, and towards efforts to avert, minimise and address loss and damage. These will build on the more than £500 million of new funding for adaptation announced at COP26. 

Adaptation planning 

Effective implementation of country priorities identified in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) helps to build resilience to climate impacts from local to national levels. 86 countries are now covered by Adaptation Communications (AdComms) or National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), with 65 published since the start of the UK’s incoming COP26 Presidency.

At COP27 we heard examples of developing countries’ NAP processes, including Eswatini, Liberia, St Lucia, Zimbabwe, with an emphasis on implementation of priorities, reporting progress and effective and inclusive planning. 

Accelerating adaptation action

Effective adaptation action requires cooperation across scales and sectors. Building on the UK and Egypt’s co-leadership of the Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC), this event focused on how countries can transition from adaptation planning to implementation. The AAC now has 39 country members working together to drive solutions through work-streams on locally-led adaptation (LLA), health, water, infrastructure and disaster-risk reduction.

The AAC’s sectoral workstreams are assisting countries to speed up and scale up implementation of national and local-level priorities outlined in National Adaptation Plans, NDCs and other relevant strategies. Sector-specific adaptation actions can be linked together to form a more cohesive approach that goes beyond project-based implementation.

The UK is also supporting the UN High Level Champions Race to Resilience, with £3m new funding, to catalyse a step-change in non-state actors’ ambition for climate resilience. The UK welcomes the collaboration between the COP27 Presidency and the Race to Resilience on the launch of the ‘Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda’ which outlines 30 adaptation outcomes to enhance resilience for 4 billion people living in the most climate vulnerable communities by 2030. 

Delivering at the frontline through locally-led adaptation

With over 100 endorsements to the Principles to LLA, locally-led adaptation is gaining increasing recognition around the world as an effective approach for ensuring that the most vulnerable people and communities are protected from the impacts of climate change. 

The UK highlighted renewed commitment to the Least Developed Countries Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR) and £45 million funding for the Asian Development Bank’s Community Resilience Partnership Program (CRPP), which was announced at COP26.

New country endorsements to the Principles for LLA include Uganda, Fiji, South Africa, Antigua & Barbuda, Norway, Finland, with many organisations also joining. The task now is to translate these principles into tangible action and scale up support for LLA across different levels of governance. 

Private sector mobilisation and climate resilient investment 

The Adaptation & Resilience Investors Collaborative (ARIC) is a partnership of development finance institutions working to address systemic barriers to mobilising private investment in adaptation and resilience. ARIC announced today that UNEP-FI will act as the Secretariat of the initiative, enabling ARIC to further implement its action plan. 

The Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) is a private-sector led initiative that is developing and piloting tools to direct investment where it is most needed in national infrastructure networks, and to help improve the integration of physical climate risks into investment appraisal. CCRI has over 129 members with over $27 trillion in assets under management. Today the UK announced a further £1.3m of funding for CCRI, in addition to the £1m we have already provided. 

Today’s CCRI session heard from governments, leading institutions and individuals representing investors in key industries and sectors in a discussion about the transformational potential of practical solutions, such as the Jamaica Strategic Risk Assessment Tool (J-SRAT) and the Physical Climate Risk Assessment Methodology (PCRAM), at both national and investment levels, redefining the narrative and practice around private investment in climate resilient investment.

Action-oriented research

Action-oriented research is key in informing effective adaptation to reduce the risks from climate change. The Adaptation Research Alliance now has 157 members – bringing together funders, academics, civil society, International Organisations – from 52 countries. 

Progress since COP26 includes the launch of a ‘Co-creation Space’ to scope new programmes, and a second round of grassroots action–research grants for local organisations in the global South. Announcements at COP27 included:

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agriculture Development programme is working with the ARA Secretariat to develop a co-creation process focused on smallholder agriculture.
  • UK Research and Innovation – Natural Environment Research Council (UKRI-NERC), in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the ARA, are scoping the design of a potential new international collaborative research programme focused on ‘nature-based solutions for equitable climate resilience’. 
  • The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Least Developed Universities Climate Change Consortium (LUCCC) are working with ARA to enable LDC Universities to support national adaptation plans, in areas such as assessments, implementation and reporting.
  • The ARA and members will collaborate to catalyse a comprehensive co-creation process aimed at new programme development on urban resilience in partnership with initiatives such as The Roof Over Our Heads initiative (ROOH). ROOH is aimed at delivering sustainable habitats for low-income urban residents in the global South.
  • The ARA launched the second round of Grassroots Action Research Micro-grants, a series of grants each totalling GBP £15,000 that support locally led adaptation by targeting action and research entities collaborating to unearth knowledge, ideas, and opportunities for climate change adaptation in the Global South.

Anticipating crises and taking Early Action

Early and anticipatory action helps to protect people from the impacts of extreme weather events. We need to see ideas for delivering and scaling-up more cohesive action between development, humanitarian, and climate leaders to reduce the disaster and climate risk of vulnerable populations. 

At COP27, the UK focussed on catalysing more cohesive action between development, humanitarian, and climate leaders by discussing the co-benefits of smarter investments in anticipatory action, resilience and adaptation, and explored ways to crowd-in sufficient and appropriate financial flows, including climate finance, to reduce the disaster and climate risk of vulnerable populations living in fragile and conflict affected settings.

The UK has committed £4m for Climate Risk Management including the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) to bring together the climate, humanitarian, and development communities to increase action to prevent or reduce the impacts of climate change, making a billion people safer from disasters.

11.11.2022

The Breakthrough Agenda

The Breakthrough Agenda was launched at COP26 by a coalition of 45 world leaders, whose governments collectively represent over 70% of global GDP. It is an unprecedented international clean technology plan to help keep 1.5°C in reach. It provides a framework for countries, businesses and civil society to join up and strengthen their actions every year in key emitting sectors, through a coalition of leading public, private and public-private global initiatives.

Leaders agreed at COP26 to review progress annually and explore priority international actions needed to accelerate towards the Breakthroughs informed by an annual independent expert report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and UN High Level Champions.

The inaugural Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022 was published in September, warning that an “international collaboration gap” threatens to delay net zero by decades. The authors made recommendations to strengthen collaboration between governments, business and civil society in areas such as common standards, technology R&D, trade, and improving technical and financial assistance.

The Breakthrough Agenda at COP27

At COP27, countries responded to these recommendations with a package of 28 Priority Actions to decarbonise the power, road transport, steel, hydrogen, and agriculture sectors, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

We welcome countries to contact Breakthrough.Agenda@beis.gov.uk if they are interested in endorsing the Breakthrough Agenda and supporting any of the Priority Actions under the Breakthrough Agenda sectoral goals.

Power Breakthrough

To make clean power the most affordable and reliable option for all countries to meet their power needs efficiently by 2030. Full details of the priority actions and what will be delivered before COP28 are here.

Countries supporting at least one of the Power Breakthrough Priority Actions: Australia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Canada, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America

Road Transport Breakthrough

To make zero-emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions.

Full details of the priority actions and what will be delivered before COP28 are here.

Countries supporting at least one of the Road Transport Priority Actions: Australia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Canada, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, India, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom

Steel Breakthrough

To make near-zero emission steel the preferred choice in global markets, with efficient use and near-zero emission steel production established and growing in every region by 2030.

Full details of the priority actions and what will be delivered before COP28 are here.

Countries supporting at least one of the Steel Priority Actions: Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Guinea Bissau, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Sweden, Türkiye, United Kingdom, United States of America

Hydrogen Breakthrough

To make affordable renewable and low carbon hydrogen globally available by 2030.

Full details of the priority actions and what will be delivered before COP28 are here.

Countries supporting at least one of the Hydrogen Priority Actions: Australia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Canada, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Guinea Bissau, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America

Agriculture Breakthrough

To make climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture the most attractive and widely adopted option for farmers everywhere by 2030.

Countries that have endorsed the Agriculture Breakthrough goal: Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Morocco, Nigeria, Sweden, United Kingdom

Full details of the priority actions and what will be delivered before COP28 are here.

Countries supporting at least one of the Agriculture Priority Actions: Cambodia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Morocco, Nigeria, Sweden, United Kingdom

Breakthrough Agenda Signatories

As of 11 November 2022, the following countries have endorsed the Breakthrough Agenda: Australia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Cabo Verde; Cambodia; Canada; Chile; China; Denmark; Egypt; European Commission; Finland; France; Germany; Guinea Bissau; Holy See; India; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kenya; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Mauritania; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Nigeria; North Macedonia; Norway; Panama; Portugal; Republic of Korea; Senegal; Serbia; Slovakia; Spain; Sweden; Türkiye; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States of America.


Links to documents

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets with leaders from other members of Just Energy Transition Partnership on the first day of COP27.

10.11.2022

12-Month Update on Progress in Advancing the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP)

Introduction

At the UNFCCC COP26 in November 2021, the governments of South Africa and France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union (the International Partners Group – IPG) announced a new ambitious, long-term Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). The JETP supports the Republic of South Africa’s (RSA) commitment, in the context of its domestic climate policy, to decarbonise its energy intensive economy and transition to cleaner energy sources and, in doing so, achieve the best possible outcome within its stated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) range. A critical distinguishing feature of the JETP is its emphasis on the centrality of a just transition in the structuring of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET IP), its financing and implementation.

In line with the Political Declaration issued in November 2021, the IPG undertook to mobilise an initial amount of $8.5 billion over the next 3-5 years to advance the JETP. It was determined that the partners would within six months and twelve months provide a progress update to leaders.  This update records progress since the six-month Leaders Update, which is annexed hereto. 

The key milestone achieved during the last six months was the development of the JET IP by South Africa with the following key features:

  • It has been developed through a country-led and country-owned process building on national knowledge base from public and private sector, civil society, academia and trade union inputs.
  • It is rooted in South Africa’s plans and processes around decarbonisation and gives expression to these long-standing plans through the lens of three priority sectors, and a proposed portfolio of investments and other interventions. 
  • It is complementary to, and not separate from South Africa’s broader long term development agenda, aimed at tackling unemployment, inequality and poverty, and thus be in support of economic growth and job creation efforts.
  • It is focused on “justice” in South Africa and the financing needs to recognise the social costs associated with achieving the updated NDC targets, and the broader climate response. In this context, the just transition aims to improve the quality of livelihoods, particularly those directly impacted by the transition, and ensure shared benefits, risks, and responsibilities from the transition.

The JETP Secretariat, under guidance of the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team (PCFTT), and IPG, developed the JET IP, which was endorsed by the Government of South Africa and the governments of the IPG in October 2022.

The Just Energy Transition Investment Plan

The JET IP was developed over the course of 2022, in a dynamic context along with several supportive policies and processes being launched, including the Just Transition Framework adopted by Cabinet in August 2022 and far-reaching energy sector reforms that are unlocking investment in renewable energy. The JET IP was developed through a country-owned, country-led engagement process, which drew on South Africa’s extensive knowledge base amongst policymakers, academia, civil society, and business. This was complemented by engagements with technical working groups and stakeholder discussions with youth, labour, business, civil society, local government, and faith-based organisations. The South African government has undertaken to maintain an open dialogue with the stakeholders to enhance the efficacy and impact of the JET IP, especially during the implementation phases ahead.  

The JET IP supports the goals of energy security, just transition and economic growth, in terms of clarifying its priority investment requirements over the next five years in the electricity, new energy vehicles (NEVs), and green hydrogen (GH2) sectors. Just transition initiatives (particularly arising from the electricity sector transition in Mpumalanga) are elaborated within these sectors, and two cross-cutting priorities have been identified for skills development and municipal capacity as key components of the JET IP. 

The JET IP articulates the need for R1,48 trillion (USD 98 billion) investment in the three priority sectors categorised into infrastructure, planning, skills, economic diversification, social, and monitoring investments over a period of 5 years. The JET IP is not exhaustive of all the transition needs in South Africa. It sets out the guiding principles for implementation, considering the Just Transition Framework.

Recent policy developments 

South Africa has an ongoing process of electricity sector reforms to ensure long term energy security in the context of developing a clean, inclusive and sustainable energy system. More recently, the President of South Africa announced several urgent interventions to address its electricity supply crises towards attaining energy security. These interventions support the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan. These reforms include accelerated procurement of new generation capacity, enablement for a large increase in private investment in generation capacity, enablement for business and households to invest in rooftop solar, and further steps in the transformation of the electricity sector. In particular, the President announced that: 

  • The licensing thresholds for embedded generation are removed completely, enabling private investment in large, utility-scale generation projects. 
  • Bid Window 6 for wind and solar power will be doubled from 2 600 MW to 5 200 MW. 
  • Further requests for proposals will be issued for battery storage and gas power generation. 
  • The IRP is to be reviewed to reflect the need for additional generation capacity and South Africa’s climate commitments. 
  • Special legislation is being developed and expedited to address legal and regulatory obstacles to new generation capacity, and regulations are being streamlined or waived where possible, including for solar projects in areas of low and medium environmental sensitivity. 
  • Environmental authorisations have been waived for the development of new transmission and distribution lines and substations in areas of low and medium sensitivity and within strategic electricity corridors. 
  • A pragmatic approach will be taken to local content requirements for near-term renewable energy investments, with the designated local content for solar panels reduced from 100% to 35% for Bid Window 5. 
  • There will be incentives for rooftop solar, Eskom will develop feed-in tariffs for the purchase of surplus electricity from residential customers. National Treasury is undertaking further work on tax incentives for investment in small-scale embedded generation. 
  • A law-enforcement team is working with Eskom to address crime and corruption. 
  • Eskom restructuring into three entities will be enhanced with the appointment of boards for the transmission and generation entities. The transmission grid will remain state-owned. 
  • The Minister of Finance outlined a sustainable solution to the Eskom debt in the Medium-term Budget Policy Statement in October 2022. 
  • Government will use climate funding provided through the JETP to invest in the transmission grid and repurpose coal power plants that have reached end of life.
  • Eskom to recruit engineers and experts, including former employees, to ensure it has the required skills to rehabilitate its fleet of power stations.
  • Information will be shared with private investors to guide their investment in the national grid.
  • The establishment of a new National Energy Crisis Council (NECC), to be chaired by the Director-General in the Presidency’s Office, will strengthen Presidential oversight of delivery against announced reforms.

Additional important policy actions initiated in September 2022 supportive of the JET IP portfolio are:

  • The government announced the procurement by Eskom of 1000MW of renewable power from IPPs and appointment of a new Board. 
  • The Minister for Trade and Industry announced reform of the automotive incentives regime to orientate the industry to electric vehicles. 
  • Adoption by Cabinet of ‘A Framework for a Just Transition in South Africa’. The Framework, which goes beyond the JET IP, informed the development of the JET IP and is intended to guide implementation, so as to ensure that the principles of restorative, distributive and procedural justice are adhered to.

Financing Package

The JET IP expresses South Africa’s needs from 2023 to 2027 of R1.5 trillion with the IPG offer contributing US$8.5 billion package of grants, concessional and commercial funding from France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America, and the European Union is provided in the table below. 

The IPG funding will be geared towards supporting the urgent needs expressed in SA’s JET IP, being the i) strengthening and expansion of the transmission and distribution grid; ii) decommissioning and repurposing of coal plants; iii)  accelerating renewable energy investment; iv) energy efficiency measures and v) preparing and laying the social infrastructure to enable a just energy transition for affected workers, communities, and related locations, including job creation opportunities in affected coal mining regions.

US$ millionsGrants / Technical AssistanceConcessional loansCommercial LoansGuarantees
Commercial Loans
CIF/ACT (£500m to leverage an additional $2.1bn)502,555002,605
European Union – EIB351,000001,035
France2.51,000001,002.5
Germany19877000968
United Kingdom2405001,3001,824
United States20.1501,00001,020.17
Total (instrument)329.75,3251,5001,3008,455.7

Potential private and third sector support to the Investment Plan

The remaining financing need is going to require significant investment from a range of sources including the private sector and third sector to deliver on the JET IP in a just and inclusive manner. The catalytic use of concessional and grant funding, as well as guarantees from government, DFIs (in addition to the IPG pledges), climate finance institutions, and philanthropies, will need to be deployed in a way that mobilises additional local and international private sector capital.

Consequently, the PCFTT and the IPG have begun engagements with philanthropies on the potential and specifics of their support, especially on the ‘just’ components of the transition. A number of international and domestic private sector organisations have also been engaged. 

The PCFTT are also commenced engagement with other countries interested in supporting South Africa’s transition journey through providing catalytic capital for the JET IP. 

The Way Forward

The PCFTT and the IPG are committed to continued engagement via [a joint secretariat] as well as regular formal meetings with senior officials and ministers as part of continuing to give effect to the Partnership. They commit to bring in a broader set of parties to increase financing, including philanthropies, multilateral development banks, Development Finance Institutions, NGOs and other donors. 

The next key deliverable is the development of the Implementation Plan for first five-year JET IP (2023 – 2027), the cornerstones of which will be: 

  • Strong governance arrangements for ensuring leadership, oversight, transparency, safeguards, and accountability at various locations of JET IP delivery. 
  • Robust management arrangements for planning, performance, reporting, and communications, at various locations of JET IP delivery. 
  • A Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Framework for the measurement of success and continuous improvement; and 
  • A Risk Management Framework for identifying potential risks and implementing mitigation measures to reduce material risks to the JET IP. 

These will be developed in collaboration with the IPG as the financing agreements are being concluded and executed for each JET IP programme and project. Importantly, the Implementation Plan will be grounded in existing South African institutions and systems and will adopt global best practice in the identified disciplines.  

The indicative timeline for the presentation of the Implementation Plan is late February 2023. 

The partners re-affirm their shared commitment to ensuring that the principles of distributive, restorative and procedural justice, as set out in ‘A Framework for a Just Transition in South Africa’ are embedded within implementation of the JET IP and the JETP, with particular regard to under-served and vulnerable communities. In doing so, we also re-affirm our commitment from twelve months ago at Glasgow to leave no one behind as South Africa moves onto a path of sustainable and climate resilient economic growth.
Joint updates to leaders will be provided on an annual basis. In doing so, the government of South Africa and the IPG will share key progress against the JETP, and lessons learned, to inform our and other countries’ pursuit of a Just Energy Transition and our global commitment to net zero and a greener, cleaner future.

PRESIDENTIAL CLIMATE FINANCE TASK TEAM AND THE INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS GROUP

09.11.2022

UK COP26 Presidency reinforces urgent need to transform financial system to deliver Glasgow Climate Pact ambition

UK COP26 President Alok Sharma will today chair a ‘COP26 One Year On’ panel event, to mark Finance Day at the COP27 UN Climate Change Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

This panel event will explore the roles of public and private finance in the climate transition and discuss how actions through international partnership can catalyse greater outcomes. In particular it will highlight that the whole international system needs to go further and faster, making the case that every institution should be adapting to making combating the climate crisis a fundamental part of their overall purpose.

At COP26, almost 200 countries came together to agree to the Glasgow Climate Pact, keeping alive the ambition of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees. Governments, institutions and investors committed to mobilise more finance than ever before, setting out a vision for turning the billions of climate finance into trillions in low carbon, resilient investment and support for those on the frontline of climate change.

Today, we find ourselves in a world facing multiple global crises, threatening economic, food and security for many. Despite these challenging conditions, progress is being made.

The global financial system’s direction of travel remains clear. Economic opportunity is driving climate action. Wind and solar continue to become cheaper than coal and gas while the economic risk of inaction becomes starker.

Faced with these challenges, developed countries are showing their continued commitment to support developing countries, setting out more detail in the $100bn Delivery Plan Progress Report, including on doubling adaptation finance by 2025. The UK has underlined its commitment to providing £11.6bn in climate finance, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing that the UK will triple support for adaptation to £1.5bn in 2025. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also announced a significant increase in the UK’s financial support to African countries on the frontline of climate change, confirming that the UK will provide £200 million to the Africa Development Bank (AfDB’s) Climate Action Window (CAW).

We are supporting new approaches to help vulnerable countries access the finance they need as demonstrated through the Task Force on Access to Climate Finance’s first Annual Report. We are pursuing financing solutions to support long term preparedness for countries’ challenges such as, climate loss and damage, including through innovative new Climate-Resilient Debt Clauses (CRDCs); supporting the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust; and through the Global Shield. Overall these innovations represent tangible progress increasing the ability of countries to retain their fiscal space and be protected when faced with climate disasters. This is the beginning of the effort to give countries the tools they need to ensure their economies are climate resilient.

We have brought together international support behind country platforms, like the $8.5bn South African Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) where G7 partners are mobilising $8.5 billion. Hopefully soon more will be announced including in Viet Nam and Indonesia. These are demonstrating a model for country owned, coordinated, catalytic international support to help accelerate just transitions away from fossil fuels and mobilise investment at scale. The UK has recently announced $5.75m for Egypt’s Nexus of Food, Water and Energy platform.

The UK used the Presidency to drive innovations across the development system to scale private finance, including to help countries issue green and sustainability bonds and guarantees to share risk. The UK’s Room to Run guarantee became operational earlier this month, and will unlock $2bn of climate finance for African countries in a partnership between UK, the African Development Bank, and City of London insurers.

The UK used its Presidency to influence across the international development finance system to finance and mobilise investment in climate and nature with most implementing. In Glasgow MDBs launched a seminal Joint Nature Statement and this week they announced a collective update at the Forests and Climate Leaders Summit.

Momentum is gathering behind efforts to build an increasingly sophisticated, better coordinated and more innovative financial system. The High-level Expert Group on Climate Finance (Songwe-Stern), endorsed by the UK and Egyptian COP presidencies, have published their recommendations; with Rwanda we convened the second Climate and Development Ministerial, where three transformational shifts were proposed. While COP26 President Alok Sharma joined calls from others, such as Prime Minister Mia Mottley, for deeper reform of the financial system, including through implementing the recommendations of the G20 Capital Adequacy Framework (CAF) Review.

To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, these actions to enhance international support must go hand in hand with efforts to transform the financial system to make it fit for purpose for a net zero, resilient world. That is why the UK is committed to becoming the world’s first net zero aligned financial centre, and the Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) Disclosure Framework and Implementation Guidance to be launched today, are an important step towards giving businesses and financial institutions the tools and certainty they need to meet their targets.

The world must harness this momentum to accelerate the transformational systemic shifts needed to ensure finance flows towards addressing global development, climate and nature needs. The threat of climate change is turning ever more acute, impacting every country across the world. The benefits of action are only matched by the terrifying cost of inaction.

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.