Letter to all Parties From the COP26 President and COP27 President-Designate Ahead of the May Ministerial on Implementation

To: Parties, Observer Organizations and Non-Party Stakeholders, 12 May 2022

Dear Friends,

Six months have now passed since the world came together in Glasgow last November to show that we are committed to tackling the climate crisis. Despite the impacts of a global pandemic, we came together at COP26 and found solutions to complete the Paris Rulebook and agree the Glasgow Climate Pact.

We now have six months until we meet again at COP27. As you will have seen from the Egypt-UK Joint Statement, the COP26 Presidency and the incoming COP27 Presidency are determined to work in close collaboration to deliver on the goals and objectives of the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and the outcomes of previous Conferences of Parties including most recently the Glasgow Climate Pact, with a view to accelerating climate action and building towards a successful COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

This week as we mark the 30th Anniversary of the UNFCCC, it is more important than ever that we show the commitment and solidarity needed to achieve our shared goals. The recent IPCC reports have laid out starkly the urgency of our task and the need for immediate and sustained political action and cooperation. This week – with thanks to Minister Jørgensen and the Government of Denmark – we will be meeting in Copenhagen with a broad group of ministers to follow up on and accelerate the implementation of commitments in this critical decade. We all know that much more needs to be done to ensure we keep 1.5C in reach, protect the most vulnerable, and ensure that finance flows at the necessary scale. But we also know it is possible to get there if we act quickly and act together.

Delivering on commitments made

COP26 was a historic moment. The Glasgow Climate Pact and the completion of the Paris Rulebook if fully implemented will accelerate progress on mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage. This represents a significant contribution to keeping 1.5 in reach, supporting the most vulnerable, and delivering on the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC.

The Glasgow Climate Pact is anchored in the science which underpins our obligations. It requests countries to revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their NDCs as necessary, and submit ambitious long term strategies to align with the Paris temperature goal – the UNFCCC Secretariat has since communicated a deadline of 23rd September for such revisions to be considered in the mandated synthesis reports. The Pact established a work programme to urgently scale mitigation ambition and implementation across this critical decade to keep 1.5C in reach, and agreed to hold annual ministerial round tables on pre2030 ambition. It sets out an important work programme to drive action and support on adaptation, including through the Global Goal on Adaptation. It acknowledges that climate change has already caused and will increasingly cause loss and damage, and that as temperatures rise impacts from climate change will pose an ever greater social, economic and environmental threat. It called specifically for more action to address loss and damage, through the Glasgow Dialogue and for practical action through the Santiago
Network. It confirmed the importance of the adequacy and predictability of adaptation finance, urged developed countries to rapidly scale up climate finance, in particular to meet the $100bn/yr goal, and to double finance for adaptation by 2025, it emphasised the need to mobilise climate finance from all sources to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. In addition, it calls on countries to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and recognises the need to ensure just transitions that promote sustainable development and eradication of poverty.

Furthermore, beyond the intergovernmental negotiations, Heads of State and Government, businesses and financial institutions made substantial commitments and pledges to net zero, agreed to clean up sectors such as power and road transport, to put an end to deforestation, to build more resilient supply chains and businesses, to accelerate the pace of new technologies through the Glasgow Breakthroughs, and to support developing countries in the transition. We welcome the appointment of Dr Mahmoud Mohielden to join Nigel Topping as High Level Champion and drive practical action.

The May Ministerial Meeting on Implementation

The May Ministerial represents an opportunity to follow up and promote implementation of the key commitments and pledges made in Glasgow.

The meeting will cover four tracks:
1) Adapting to climate impacts
2) Averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage
3) Reducing emissions and keeping 1.5C alive
4) Mobilising finance.

Attached is a brief background on the May Ministerial and the topics under discussion.

During the Ministerial, we will be focusing on practical implementation rather than negotiations which will commence shortly at the Subsidiary Bodies meetings in Bonn. UNFCCC observer groups and the High Level Champions will be present to support an all-of-society approach.

Negotiations process – looking ahead to Bonn

As we approach the 56th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies in Bonn next month, we must also ensure that we make progress across the suite of issues needed to drive our process forward. As we move to implementation mode, it is vital that all Parties arrive in Bonn ready to actively engage, find solutions, and move things forward.

As the COP26 and the incoming COP27 Presidencies, we are committed to working with the Chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies and the UNFCCC Secretariat to support an inclusive, transparent and Party-driven process to ensure we maintain the necessary urgency and momentum as we approach COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

We all have a responsibility to deliver. The world is now watching us. We must show that we are responding to the science with the necessary urgency. Reaching shared solutions at COP26 was only possible because of your determination to make things happen. We will continue to work closely with all of you to ensure our collective efforts take us closer to achieving our shared goals and priorities for people and the planet.

As Egypt accelerates preparations for COP27, we are confident of your continued support and renewed commitment to ambitious outcomes and impactful implementation. This will be vital to ensure the success of our collective efforts at Sharm el-Sheikh and beyond that to confirm our continued and highest political commitment to tackle climate change.

Yours Sincerely,

Signature of the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP
COP26 President

Signature of Sameh Shoukry

Sameh Shoukry
COP27 President Designate

Annex – May Ministerial Meeting on Implementation, 12-13 May, Copenhagen, Denmark

The May Ministerial Meeting on Implementation will focus on the practical action needed to drive progress on implementation going forward, including in response to commitments from the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement, previous Conferences of the Parties and most recently the Glasgow Climate Pact and related declarations and pledges from COP26.

Ministerial discussions will be structured around four break out group sessions, focusing on implementation and action across the following topics:

  1. Adapting to climate impacts
  2. Averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage
  3. Reducing emissions and keeping 1.5C alive
  4. Mobilising finance

Discussion questions for these four sessions are set out below.

Ministers are encouraged to engage in open and frank discussions, avoiding the use of scripted interventions and focusing on maximising progress towards shared solutions. For all discussions, Ministers are encouraged to consider ways to implement inclusive climate action, including consideration of gender responsiveness, indigenous peoples and youth, and just transition.

Session 1: Adapting to climate impacts

The IPCC AR6 Working Group II report has delivered a clear message that climate impacts are worsening and the window of opportunity for action is closing rapidly, posing risks to sustainable development for all, with over three billion people living in global vulnerability hotspots, particularly in developing countries. Adaptation and sustainable development are inextricably linked and mutually reinforcing. Despite progress on adaptation planning, widening gaps persist between planning and implementation. Adaptation action remains fragmented and incremental, unequally distributed among regions and takes place at small scales and short time horizons.

Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, including at COP26, state and non-state actors have galvanised adaptation action through initiatives (e.g. Race to Resilience), coalitions (e.g. Adaptation Action Coalition) and financial commitments (including to double adaptation finance by 2025 and mobilise record amounts for the Adaptation Fund and Least Developed Countries Fund). We must deliver on pledges and implement commitments and decisions under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, as well as those agreed in Glasgow and at previous COPs, and drive further support and action.

  1. How can countries move beyond incremental progress to achieve “transformational adaptation”? What is needed to translate NDCs, adaptation communications and national adaptation plans into coordinated adaptation action at scale, at local, national, regional and global levels and across borders?
  2. What steps are you taking to ensure implementation of individual and collective adaptation commitments and pledges? What progress and cooperation is needed by COP27 to drive practical action?
  3. What is needed to close the adaptation finance gap and how can this be better linked to local and national planning, access to finance, capacity building support as well as broader public and private investment?

Session 2: Averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage

The IPCC AR6 Working Group II report has also demonstrated the urgent need for scaled up action and support to address loss and damage, particularly in developing countries. Successive decisions under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, including most recently through the Glasgow Climate Pact, have called for enhanced and additional support for activities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage,
acknowledging a number of sources that provide funds in this area. Commitments must be implemented to deliver practical action.

  1. What is needed at the national and local levels to enhance practical action to avert, minimise and address loss and damage?
  2. How can action on loss and damage, including across the broader development, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian communities, be made more coherent? How can we use a build back better approach to reduce future climate impacts and related losses?
  3. Recognising ongoing discussions in relation to the Santiago Network and the Glasgow Dialogue, what is needed to enhance the mobilisation of technical and financial support to avert, minimise and address loss and damage?

Session 3: Reducing emissions and keeping 1.5C alive

In Paris Parties agreed to hold the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5C. The IPCC AR6 Working Group I and II reports showed that the planet has already reached an average global warming of 1.1C above pre-industrial levels, that the impacts of climate change vary significantly across regions, and that every fraction of a degree of warming makes a difference and creates additional risks. Furthermore, the recently-published IPCC AR6 Working Group III report indicates the closing
window for action to keep 1.5C in reach and reinforces the urgent need to accelerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% on the 2010 level by 2030 as recognised in the Glasgow Climate Pact. At COP26 Parties set a way forward for how to close the emissions gap and keep 1.5C alive, including by requesting Parties to revisit and strengthen NDCs and increasing sectoral action and implementation.

  1. What steps are you taking to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact requests to communicate long term strategies and to revisit and strengthen 2030 targets in NDCs as necessary to align with the Paris temperature goal? What factors and support can help increase NDC ambition and implementation?
  2. What are the challenges, best practices and next steps for implementing commitments from the Glasgow Climate Pact and related declarations and pledges for key emitting sectors? What is needed to accelerate efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and the phaseout of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies?
  3. How can international cooperation, including through Article 6 and other mechanisms and initiatives, be increased to raise ambition and accelerate just transitions towards achieving net zero emissions by or around mid-century?

Session 4: Mobilising finance

Although positive steps were taken on finance commitments at COP26, significant action and political momentum will again be required this year to demonstrate that progress is being made, including on the $100bn goal, the doubling of adaptation finance by 2025, access to finance, and the broader alignment of financial flows. The findings of the IPCC AR6 WGII and WGIII reports should catalyse accelerated progress on these issues, noting as well the relevance of the work undertaken by the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to developing countries’ needs and to
making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

  1. What can be done this year to show the $100bn Delivery Plan is being implemented and demonstrate action towards doubling the collective provision of adaptation finance by 2025?
  2. How can COP27 accelerate the alignment of finance flows from all sources to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, in the context of developing countries’ needs? What is the role of the private sector in achieving this?
  3. How can practical progress be made on access to finance?