Over a hundred attendees listened to panellists sharing insights on Conference of the Parties negotiations at the “COP27 post-match analysis” online dialogue. Professor Björn-Ola Linnér, Programme Director of Mistra Geopolitics, facilitated the dialogue seeking to discuss the conference outcomes as well as what the media might have missed.
A major distraction for the media was how the negotiation process unravelled and reached a cover decision highlighting the COP27 achievements, which the Egyptian presidency aimed for in a shorter period of time. Mattias Frumerie, Head of Delegation to UNFCCC at the Swedish Ministry of Environment, deemed the non-negotiated outcome underreported by the media. In particular, he mentioned the initiatives showcased at the Swedish pavilion, which could be of interest to accelerate the transition in developing countries.
When considering how COP27 outcomes differ from previous years, panellists pointed out a shift in conversations from mitigation towards adaptation and loss and damage. The global goal of adaptation has become increasingly problematic in the negotiations because it’s less precise than the mitigation goal (1.5 °C), therefore more difficult to assess progress and operationalise it.
We know we aren’t doing enough on adaptation, the UNEP Adaptation gap report and IPCC specify that. The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly complex, with cascading effects and cross-border climate risks, which were mentioned in the draft cover decision. However, it disappeared, and the fact is that we are failing to agree on what adaptation actions are actually needed and what it means to ramp up adaptation ambitions.
— Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at SEI and Professor of Geography, Climate Policy and Development at Linköping University explained.
Watch “Online dialogue: COP27 post-match analysis”
Can loss and damage decisions be considered a success?
Although the agreement on loss and damage funds was one of the highlights of COP27, panellists raised the need to ensure access to available climate funds as well as the need for these resources to be utilised to determine the extent of success at COP27.
Vulnerable countries experience disasters caused by extreme weather events, such as floods. Tonichi Regalado, a representative from the Children and Youth constituency to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (YOUNGO), brought up how bureaucratic procedures, such as writing a concept note or obtaining signatures, hinder immediate access to funding by poor countries.
“The main difference is that the loss and damage fund should benefit the poor and vulnerable countries. Many of the financing mechanisms from UNFCCC are designed to do this but rarely do. Thus, loss and damage funds can be an element of social protection, adding layers to other funds.” — Tonichi Regalado, YOUNGO representative added.
During the dialogue, Mattias Frumerie added that approximately 80% of climate finance is managed through bilateral organizations, such as Sida in Sweden or the National Bank of Belgium (NBB). From his perspective, one of the priorities moving forward is to ensure sufficient finance and discuss how funding institutions can efficiently meet developing countries’ needs in adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage.
“What we’ve been calling for, from a Swedish perspective, is an overview of the various channels of climate financing already available. We might need to have a look at the issues accessing finance in climate funds more generally.”
— Mattias Frumerie, Head of Delegation to UNFCCC at Swedish Ministry of Environment said.
To evaluate COP27 success, Dr Malaika Mikaelsson doesn’t settle for what’s been achieved during the negotiations. Instead, she advocates for examining how funds make an impact on the ground in the long run:
“I wouldn’t call COP27 a success until it’s operationalized. I think that small islands are waiting to see what comes next. We also need to consider other funding pledges and promises, because these are equally pressing than loss and damage.”
— Malaika Mikaelsson, Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research at Linköping University said.
A mismatch between countries’ negotiations and event participants
COP is no longer only focusing on the negotiations, it’s becoming an arena where climate-related initiatives can be highlighted. During the dialogue, Mattias Frumerie set as an example the US Pavillion, where the statement released wasn’t about the negotiations but about various types of initiatives the US was launching. Similarly, Business Sweden is working on the mitigation agenda, trying to match the emitting countries and sectors with the Swedish innovators providing solutions.
“There was a severe disconnection between the negotiations and the pavilion discussions. Researchers and companies are showcasing front-running solutions and innovations at the pavilions, which have so much to offer to the negotiations.”
— Emma Modéer Wiking, Global Head of International Sustainable Business CEO Office at Business Sweden commented.
In addition, according to Emma Modéer, companies also need the right preconditions regarding legislation in order to implement the solutions they have to offer. Therefore, legislation and incentives for companies can assist to implement the solutions they have to offer.
This online dialogue panellists included:
- Mattias Frumerie, Head of Delegation to UNFCCC at Swedish Ministry of Environment
- Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at SEI and Professor of Geography, Climate Policy and Development at Linköping University
- Emma Modéer Wiking, Global Head of International Sustainable Business CEO Office, Business Sweden
- Malaika Mikaelsson, Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University
- Tonichi Regalado, Climate Research and Diplomacy, Manila Observatory, YOUNGO Rep. (Children and Youth constituency to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)