After the opening two days of COP27 – which were focused on the High Level Segment (HLS) dedicated to Heads of State and Government – today, November 9, was the first day of the ‘main COP’ with the opening of negotiations on official texts and agreements. Reports are that the opening phases of the talks are positive. Appropriately, given tensions earlier this week over financing for loss and damage, today was billed as Finance Day.
The mood has brightened somewhat today as a number of climate finance announcements raised hopes that positive forward momentum on this pivotal issue could create the conditions necessary to unlock progress on other issues at COP.
- The UK announced the introduction of “climate resilient debt clauses” by its export credit agency, which will pause debt payments for two years if a nation is hit by a climate disaster, freeing up funds to deal with the emergency.
- France became the first developed country to support the Bridgetown Agenda led by the Barbados PM, Mia Mottley, for major reform to the World Bank, IMF and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) to focus on delivering climate finance.
- John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, unveiled a new global carbon credit trading initiative (called the Energy Transition Accelerator and launched in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund). The initiative is focused on generating private sector funding through voluntary carbon credits to deliver investment in renewable energy in support of the energy transition in developing countries that often struggle to secure project funding.
- The Barbados PM called for a global 10% tax on fossil fuel profits to fund loss and damage.
- Xie Zhenhua, China’s envoy, announced that Beijing and Washington are having ‘informal talks’, but called on Washington to clear the way for formal talks, commenting, “This is not a bilateral issue. It’s a global threat to the planet. And we need to be talking to each other because we’re the two biggest economies in the world and we’re the two biggest emitters in the world.”
- Xie also hinted that China might contribute to a loss and damage fund, noting that China could participate in helping to fund efforts in other developing countries. “Our attitude [to loss and damage] is very supportive and understanding.”