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Key figure: - 45%

This is the reduction of greenhouse gases that must be reached from now to 2030 to have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C in comparison to the industrial era.

The 27th UN World Conference on the Climate was held at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to attempt to breathe new life into the combat against climate change. This COP brought together about 200 countries for two weeks, in a worrying global context: historic floods in Pakistan, recurrent heatwaves in Europe, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, etc.

By way of introduction, the UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, recalled the stakes underlying the conference, which “must lay the foundations for faster and more courageous climatic action, now and during this decade which will decide whether the combat for the climate is won or lost”. The combat for the climate is a “question of life or death, for our security today and for our survival tomorrow”, he added.

However, this COP ended on a minor note, with governments holding back on making commitments. After long discussions a final declaration calling for a “rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reasserting the goal of keeping the increase in the global temperature to 1.5 °C was finally adopted. The details of the resources to be implemented to achieve this were not however forthcoming.

Nonetheless, the previous commitments of the countries that had signed the agreement did not allow keeping to this goal, or that of keeping the increase in temperature to 2 °C in comparison to the industrial era. These commitments, if upheld in full, would at best keep the world on a trajectory of +2.4 °C at the end of the century, and, given the current pace of emissions, on that of a disastrous +2.8 °C.

Nonetheless, at close to the current increase of 1.2 °C, the number of dramatic impacts of climate change is already increasing: droughts, floods, rising sea levels, acidification of oceans, loss of agricultural yields, displacements of populations, etc.

Thus, the deceptions were many, starting with that of the European Commission. “The agreement does not provide enough additional efforts from the main emitters to increase and speed up their emission reductions”, said the Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, at the final plenary session. The agreement did not aim for the progressive reduction of the use of all fossil fuels, as demanded by India and the European Union. It nonetheless called countries to take measures to progressively abandon recourse to coal and eliminate inefficient public subsidies for fossil fuels, a point that had already been agreed at the COP 26 of Glasgow.

The final resolution of this COP27 was finally adopted by consensus.

The other subject at the heart of the negotiations concerned the creation of a specific funding system (known as the “loss and damage” fund) for poor and vulnerable countries, hardly responsible for climate change but highly vulnerable to its disastrous impacts. This was a major challenge placed on the agenda of the negotiations that hung on the brink and which worried the most polluting countries (the United States foremost among them). However, an agreement was reached, representing a genuine achievement. A compensation fund whose structure remains to be negotiated regarding the structure of the funds and amounts allocated will be set up. A special committee has been established to monitor events from now to the COP 28 to be held in Dubai in twelve months.

This COP was also the occasion for instilling awareness of the importance of thinking of both the climate and water by adopting a global approach, by considering water not just as a source of the problem but as part of the solution to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. Thus, the management of water by basin was presented for the first time in the official UNFCC conclusions of a Climate COP in the form of the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan:

“V. Adaptation – 21. Underline the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring water and aquatic ecosystems; by including river basins, aquifers and lakes, and encouraging the Parties to include water in adaptation efforts.”

During a high-level segment, a specific declaration was published indicating the importance of implementing early warning systems for floods and droughts, in the framework of risk management policies. This segment is intended to recognise the importance of the contribution that can be made by water to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It emphasises the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring water and ecosystems linked to water in the final document negotiated for the COP27.

According to this declaration, it is also essential to set up a regulatory framework that facilitates innovations and permits better private/public cooperation as well as cooperation between governments on the scale of basins. According to the text, the challenge of drinking water must also be integrated as a priority in public policies. A global action plan was therefore proposed by these experts:

You can find on this link the assessment of the French Water Partnership, present throughout the COP 27:


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