Climate Financing, Water Revealed as Key Objectives at COP27

by | Nov 14, 2022

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As COP27 enters its final week, financing global sustainability programs continue to be a significant focus with water conservation and resilience ranking high on the list of delegates’ priorities.

With the conference nearing its end, Egypt Foreign Minister and COP President Sameh Shoukry called on attendees to make a push to establish concrete agreements to make progress on international climate goals. Among the main areas of focus continues to be financing, especially in regard to developing nations.

Funding of international projects is one of the four broken-out objectives of COP27, especially to meet previously established COP commitments. That includes a pledge from more than a decade ago of $100 billion by 2020, which has mostly fallen short.

COP27’s goal has been to especially fund money to areas in Africa, least developed countries, and small island developing states. While there have been increased commitments in these areas, the United Kingdom vowed to significantly increase its international climate investments ahead of the conference, but progress has overall been slow.

“There is still a lot of work ahead of us if we are to achieve meaningful and tangible outcomes of which we can be proud,” Shoukry says. “We must now shift gears and complement the technical discussions with more political, high-level engagement”

Bloomberg reports many of the key areas are deadlocked, with the most significant being how developed nations will help developing countries address climate and sustainability concerns caused by the former. According to the report, developing countries want to see a program set up to help with funding and other assistance over the long term, as well as immediate assistance.

Earlier in the conference, the United Nations listed projects worth $150 billion that could aid the transitions of developing nations. A report also addresses what needs to be done to tackle losses and damages, build resilience, and achieve net-zero targets.

The United States pledged to double its investment in the Adaption Fund, which aims to help developing countries build climate resilience, to $100 million and also $150 million to similar efforts in Africa. The US also said it would help the host country Egypt develop 10 gigawatts of renewable energy.

The Emerging Market Climate Action Fund and Alcazar Energy Partners II also said they will invest $100 million in renewable energy projects in the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. That funding will go in part toward developing wind, solar, and energy storage projects that will result in 2 GW of capacity and reduce emissions by 3.2 million tons a year.

COP27 Water Day

Water is playing a significant part in the final week of COP27 talks. Water was the theme of the conference on Nov. 14, 2022, with a focus on how water scarcity impacts sustainability targets.

The Stockholm International Water Institute has highlighted the importance of addressing water scarcity concerns in relation to lowering global emissions. The institute says water should be among the priorities of international climate financing. Included should be investments in access to water, water resilience, and preparation for extreme natural events.

As part of its effort on water, COP27 is launching the Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience Initiative. Among its goals is to address the connection between water, climate, and net-zero goals and to establish policies to take action by 2030.

Africa is a specific focus of water talks. At COP27, the World Resources Institute launched the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund, which aims to funnel $5 billion in urban water resilience programs in 100 African cities by 2032.

The program targets a range of water issues, including integrated governance, watershed management, increasing sanitation services, improved stormwater management, and wastewater management. The World Resources Institute says the continent needs $9 billion to $14 billion annually for water infrastructure, but of nearly $100 billion in private investment for water since 1990, Africa has received less than 1% of the funds.

The UN says water issues need to be a part of sustainability policy decisions. Focuses include increasing the use of natural carbon storage, harvesting rainwater, and adapting sustainable agriculture.

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