The UK and Egypt will this week bring together Ministers and diplomats from more than 40 countries at a summit in Copenhagen this week in a bid to lay the groundwork for this autumn’s COP27 Climate Summit in November.
Amidst growing concerns that efforts to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact signed at last year’s COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow are being undermined by the war in Ukraine and resultant turmoil in global energy markets, the May Ministerial Meeting on Implementation will take stock of progress since the Glasgow Summit and attempt to set out priorities for climate diplomats for the year ahead.
As such, Ministers will discuss how to accelerate emissions reductions from major industries, bolster climate resilience efforts, and increase flows of climate finance.
They are also expected to explore two of the challenges that defined the COP26 Climate Summit: how to encourage countries to come forward with more ambitious national climate action plans and how to advance negotiations around climate finance and the loss and damage climate vulnerable countries are experiencing.
The meeting will be co-chaired by COP26 President Alok Sharma and Egyptian Foreign Minister and COP27 President-Designate Sameh Shoukry, with Denmark’s Minister of Climate and Energy Dan Jørgensen hosting the event.
Sharma said recent reports published by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had highlighted the need for collaborative action to tackle and adapt to climate change, despite recent geopolitical developments.
“Since the Glasgow Climate Pact was signed at COP26, the IPCC reports on adaptation and mitigation have shown unequivocally that the window of time we have left to secure a liveable future is closing rapidly,” he said. “And of course, the Putin regime’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine has changed international politics fundamentally.
“However, the chronic threat of climate change remains, which is why I am pleased to co-chair this Ministerial meeting on Implementation bringing countries together to drive forward action on pledges already made.”
Sharma said he wanted to hear “clear commitments from countries on how they will play their part to implement commitments on mitigation, finance, adaptation and loss and damage” at this week’s meet. “When we meet in Sharm-el-Sheikh for COP27, we need to demonstrate to the world we are delivering on the Glasgow Climate Pact,” he noted.
The Minister’s comments were echoed by Soukry, who noted that climate action had “never been more important”.
“The world needs to demonstrate its continued commitment to curb emissions, enhance adaptation, and deliver on climate finance,” he said. “COP27 should see us all coming together to renew our determination, take stock on where we stand on implementation, and lay out a clear path towards turning pledges into tangible action on the ground”.
The meeting is to take place just days after US climate envoy John Kerry acknowledged that Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine was presenting a “challenge” to the Glasgow Climate Pact signed last autumn.
In an interview with the BBC reported widely, the US presidential envoy reflected the disruption caused by the war was hampering countries’ progress towards the agreement, which calls for a phase down of unabated coal power and “inefficient” fuel subsidies.
Asked if the Russian president had wrecked the Glasgow Pact, the US presidential envoy said: “He hasn’t wrecked it, but he’s presented a challenge to it.”
Kerry noted that Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion had accelerated European countries’ effort to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels much faster than originally planned. But he expressed concern that more action was needed, and greater levels of finance required, to accelerate the energy transition internationally in line with the drive to cap global temperatures at safer levels.
In a separate interview with the Guardian, published yesterday, the politician confirmed the US would be increasing its production of fossil gas in the short-term, in order to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, arguing US gas production was produced with a lower carbon footprint than gas from Russia.
“Gas has always been part of the transition away from dirtier fossil fuels and towards this new energy economy,” he said. “I’d take a gas-fired power plant in the near term – I emphasise near term – over coal or oil any day of the week. But we don’t want to build out a huge new infrastructure around gas that has stranded asset challenges or is unabated [not fitted with technology to capture and store carbon] after a number of years.”