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Cop27: summit to be extended to Saturday as talks remain gridlocked – live | Cop27

Climate summit to be extended an extra day

AFP is now reporting that the gridlocked UN climate talks will head into overtime. UN climate talks have been extended by a day in an effort to break deadlock as nations tussle over funding for developing countries battered by weather disasters and ambition on curbing global warming.

Wealthy and developing nations were struggling to find common ground on creating the fund, and on a host of other crucial issues, with only hours before the summit was scheduled to end in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who chairs the COP27 talks, told delegates that the negotiations would spill into Saturday, a delay not unusual in such sprawling UN climate talks. “I remain concerned at the number of outstanding issues,” he said.

Key events

Beyond the negotiations, the impacts of climate change continue to make themselves felt.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, has been hit by catastrophic floods for the fourth year in a row. Assistant High Commissioner for Operations at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Raouf Mazou today urged the international community to step up sustained support to provide South Sudan with climate-adapted development assistance to help it move away from dependency on humanitarian aid.

Care International points out that: “Since mid-October, one million people have been displaced, as the fourth consecutive year of flooding ravages the country. Some people who fled from their villages due to floods in 2019 are yet to return to their homes which were destroyed. Over 37,000 tons of crops have been destroyed and 800,000 cattle have been killed by flood waters. In Rubkona County, more than 140,000 people have had to leave their homes due to rising waters. They remain cut off with the only way of reaching them being canoes.”

Neighbouring Sudan was also hit by horrendous flooding this summer.

Flooding devastates rural areas south of Sudan’s capital, August 23, 2022.
Flooding devastates rural areas south of Sudan’s capital, August 23, 2022. Photograph: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

And meanwhile the Washington Post has published an absolutely harrowing report on what is happening to the Amazon rainforest.

For years, scientists have been warning that the Amazon is speeding toward a tipping point — the moment when deforestation and global warming would trigger an irreversible cascade of climatic forces, killing large swaths of what remained. If somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the forest were lost, models suggested, much of the Amazon would perish.

About 18 percent of the rainforest is now gone, and the evidence increasingly supports the warnings. Whether or not the tipping point has arrived — and some scientists think it has — the Amazon is beginning to collapse.

Surprisingly large number of gas deals struck at Egyptian summit

Oliver Milman

Oliver Milman

While negotiators frantically try to hammer out some sort of deal at Cop27, the fossil fuel industry has already secured a result of sorts, with more than a dozen major gas deals struck during the two-week span of the climate talks.

The announced deals include an agreement between Tanzania and Shell for an LNG export facility, a move by the French oil and gas giant Total to drill in Lebanon, a partnership between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia on oil and gas extraction and a deal spearheaded by the US to provide new renewable energy investment to Egypt, in return for gas exports to Europe.

“There is no sign the oil and gas industries are slowing down, we are at risk of a major surge in gas projects that could push us beyond 1.5C,” said David Tong, global industry campaign manager at Oil Change International.

The gas deals are, at least, being outstripped by new clean energy announcements – at least 26 new renewable projects or agreements have been publicly announced since the start of Cop.

But the heavy presence of oil and gas lobbyists in Sharm el-Sheikh – more than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists have attended, a record – and the featuring of oil and gas representatives in events held by the Egyptian organisers of the talks suggests that climate conferences are still not feared places to tread for the primary instigators of the climate crisis.

“It’s definitely noticeable how many oil and gas people there are here compared to previous Cops,” said Tong, who has been to eight of the UN climate summits. “On top of that, it’s still hard to tell whether any reference to phasing out fossil fuels will make it into the draft decision here.”

Big Ag representatives at Cop in large numbers this year

Helena Horton

A great scoop here from Desmog, who have found that representatives from big agriculture have more than doubled at Cop27 this year.

Meat, dairy and pesticide producers were all present at the climate conference, which this year had a focus on biodiversity.

Many have complained that there has been little discussion of how meat and dairy production is responsible for a large portion of both emissions and biodiversity degradation.

DeSmog counted the number of registered COP27 delegates who were either directly linked to the world’s largest agribusiness firms – such as meatpackers JBS, food corporation Cargill, or biotech leaders Bayer – or participating in the UN talks as part of delegations that represent industry interests.

They found that the number of delegates linked to such businesses rose from 76 in 2021 to at least 160 this year – double the presence at COP26 in Glasgow. The world’s top five pesticide producers sent 27 representatives, according to the research, which is more than some country delegations.

There were 35 delegates linked to the biggest meat and dairy companies and associated industry lobby groups, which DeSmog worked out is greater than the combined delegations of the Philippines and Haiti, which are among the countries most affected by climate breakdown.

We’re now officially overrunning. Just in case it’s useful, my colleague Alan Evans has passed me this graph showing the increasing tendency of Cops to overrun.

Let’s hope we’re not about to replicate Cop25 in Madrid, which didn’t wind up until 13.55 on Sunday.

Damian Carrington

Damian Carrington

Yeb Saño, executive director for Greenpeace Southeast Asia and a former chief negotiator for the Philippines at previous Cops, says the negotiations at Cop27 are on a “knife edge”.

“Putting loss and damage on the agenda is an important recognition of climate reality and the profound impacts on many communities around the world, but that recognition needs to be backed by action. This is on a knife edge with many countries now shifting behind establishing the fund this year [and] targeted to vulnerable countries.”

“Against the overall backdrop of climate carnage being wrought against the least responsible around the world this Cop was never set up to succeed, but if it ends without agreeing a loss and damage fund it will be a resounding moral failure leaving the most vulnerable even more exposed. That failure will be laid at the feet of a handful of blocking countries.”

Activists listen to a demonstration at dusk at the summit.
Activists listen to a demonstration at dusk at the summit. Photograph: Peter Dejong/AP

Ten year old activist asks delegates to ‘have a heart’

Nakeeyat Dramani, a 10-year-old Ghanaian climate activist, spoke passionately to the delegates assembled at Cop27 today, appealing to them to ‘have a heart’.

‘Have a heart’: 10-year-old Ghanaian climate activist receives standing ovation at Cop27 – video

Dramani spoke “on behalf of young people” in fear over their future, who see the impact of the climate crisis every day, in the form of air pollution, flooding and droughts. She joined Ghana’s delegation to add her voice to the pressing consequences of the climate emergency in her country.

At the end of her speech, Dramani recited a poem, telling leaders to step up their game in fighting the climate crisis, and then held up a sign reading “Payment overdue”, in reference to the funds that have been long promised by developed countries.

Climate summit to be extended an extra day

AFP is now reporting that the gridlocked UN climate talks will head into overtime. UN climate talks have been extended by a day in an effort to break deadlock as nations tussle over funding for developing countries battered by weather disasters and ambition on curbing global warming.

Wealthy and developing nations were struggling to find common ground on creating the fund, and on a host of other crucial issues, with only hours before the summit was scheduled to end in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who chairs the COP27 talks, told delegates that the negotiations would spill into Saturday, a delay not unusual in such sprawling UN climate talks. “I remain concerned at the number of outstanding issues,” he said.

Damian Carrington

Damian Carrington

The idea of taxing fossil fuels, flying and shipping to provide climate funds has moved a little closer to reality with the European Union’s proposal on loss and damage, which is the money demanded by poorer, vulnerable nations to rebuild after unavoidable climate disasters.

The EU proposal says: “We should work with the UN Secretary General to dig into solutions for innovative sources of finance – including levies on aviation, shipping and fossil fuels.”

The UNSG, António Guterres, said in September: “Polluters must pay. I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies.”

On Tuesday, dozens of media organisations from around the world, including the Guardian, published a joint editorial article calling for a windfall tax on the biggest fossil fuel companies.

The global oil and gas industry has banked $1 trillion a year in pure profit for the last 50 years, and will probably be double that in 2022 as prices soared due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

This might be a good moment to take in the wisdom of our colleague Fiona Harvey. Over the last year she headed out with a film crew to speak to Alok Sharma and Patricia Espinosa among others to try to pin down whose job it is to tackle climate change.

As Espinosa tells her: “It’s not looking good for humanity”.

But Harvey – who describes her job as ‘reporting on the end of the world’ – finishes on a note on optimism and hope for a better, more liveable planet.

Climate carnage: whose job is it to save the planet? – documentary

‘We feel silenced’ say activists who lost access after interrupting Biden

My colleague Nina Lakhani has reported on the four activists who very briefly interupted US president Joe Biden’s speech, and subsequently had their Cop27 revoked.

Big Wind, Jacob Johns, Jamie Wefald, and Angela Zhong missed the second week of the climate conference after being suspended for standing up with a “People vs Fossil Fuels” banner during Biden’s speech last Friday. The Indigenous activists, Wind and Johns, gave a war cry to announce themselves and draw attention to the fossil fuels crisis before security officials confiscated the banner. The group then sat down and Biden continued.

After the brief interruption, they sat quietly through the remainder of the speech before being escorted out by UN security staff. John said: “The UN security said that our war call had put people’s lives in danger, and we were now deemed a security threat. Our badges were pulled and we had to leave.”

The activists feel they have been silenced. Jacob Johns told the Guardian: “This is a clear example of radical Indigenous people and youth being silenced, we’re muted when we try to express our frustration in these spaces. It shows the UN’s true colours.”

A UNFCCC spokesperson said no advocacy actions were allowed inside plenary and conference rooms and that the four were suspended for breaking the code of conduct. “A final decision on the suspension shall be made after further enquiry of the issue,” they said.

Away from the negotiations it’s just emerged that Luxembourg has also now left the Energy Charter Treaty. The UK, however, continues to stand firm.

#EnergyCharterTreaty
Le Luxembourg sort du Traité de la Charte de l’Energie (TCE). C’est ce qu’a décidé le Conseil de gouvernement aujourd’hui, sur ma proposition. (1/2)

— Claude Turmes (@ClaudeTurmes) November 18, 2022

Arthur Neslen revealed some of the systemic problems with this treaty earlier this week: if you haven’t read his investigation yet, it’s definitely worth a look.

Joe Lo of Climate Home has tweeted an interesting comment from presidency’s Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt’s special representative for Cop27, on how the negotiations are going. According to Aboulmagd, it’s normal for countries to object to draft agreements.

I don’t think we have much to worry about. I hope I’m not wrong … Nobody is supposed to be 100% comfortable.

“I don’t think we have much to worry about. I hope I’m not wrong”, says the #Cop27 presidency’s Wael Aboulmagd. Says it’s normal for countries to object to draft agreements. “Nobody is supposed to be 100% comfortable”

— Joe Lo (@joeloyo) November 18, 2022

A few images from the Sharm El-Sheikh venue. The discussions could theoretically wind up within the next few hours – or last another couple of days.

Delegates taking a few selfies.
Delegates taking a few selfies. Photograph: Sedat Suna/EPA
Attendees listen to a review of the state of discussions.
Attendees listen to a review of the state of discussions. Photograph: Nariman El-Mofty/AP
Water jugs being carried through the venue earlier today, but we’re hearing reports that fridges are emptying in some locations.
Water jugs being carried through the venue earlier today, but we’re hearing reports that fridges are emptying in some locations. Photograph: Peter Dejong/AP
Nakeeyat Sam Dramani, a young poet from Ghana, holds a placard after giving a speech about global warming.
Nakeeyat Sam Dramani, a young poet from Ghana, holds a placard after giving a speech about global warming. Photograph: Sedat Suna/EPA
Activists take part in a protest outside the centre.
Activists take part in a protest outside the centre. Photograph: Peter Dejong/AP

Hallo it’s Bibi van der Zee here, taking over from my colleague Patrick Greenfield. Please email me at bibi.vanderzee@theguardian.com or message me @bibivanderzee (if twitter is still standing by the end of the day).

Negotiations are carrying on, and everyone is waiting to find out whether there will be some sort of agreement by the end of today or whether – much more likely – discussions will carry on tomorrow. If they do continue, we’ll be blogging here, so hope you’ll join us

Thanks for following along. I am about to hand over to my colleague Bibi van der Zee.

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