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‘Stand and deliver’, urges UN Secretary-General as divides threaten COP27 negotiations ahead of deadline

 “The most effective way to rebuild trust is by finding an ambitious and credible agreement on loss and damage and financial support to developing countries. The time for talking on loss and damage finance is over. We need action,” he stated, urging negotiators to deliver concrete solutions to resolve one of the thorniest issues on the table at this year’s COP, or Conference of Parties, to the UN climate convention.The UN chief also asked negotiators to send a clear signal that the voices of those on the frontlines of the crisis are being heard, while the world burning and drowning before their eyes. Mr. Guterres underscored that renewables are the “exit ramp from the climate hell highway”, referring to one of the most powerful messages from his speech last week at the opening of COP27.

Action on loss and damage

The document endorsed by the dozens of organizations present, calls for a “system change” to ensure and enable just transitions to 100 per cent peoples-owned decentralised renewable energy systems, the repayment of climate debt by reducing emissions to real zero by 2030 and addressing loss and damage, the phase-out of fossil fuels, and to ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society. UN News/Laura Quiñones Hurricane Iota caused destruction and flooding across Nicaragua, leaving thousands of people homeless. “We should be the ones on the table. We should be the ones as indigenous nations [are among the most impacted] communities. We should be there. We have the solutions. Indigenous people have the solutions, but they refuse to listen to them,” she denounced. The current text addresses the 1.5 target and refers to science, reiterates the Glasgow Climate Pact call to phase down coal but does not mention oil and gas. It also references the doubling of adaptation finance and welcomes the agenda item on loss and damage, but it doesn’t call for the establishment of a new financial facility. The Secretary-General also touched on another issue that has troubled climate activists in the past days: keeping up the ambition to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Renewables: ‘the exit ramp off the highway to hell’

With less that 36 hours left in negotiations at COP27, activists demand action on loss and damage. “We desperately need to redirect the money from the death, from fossil fuels and from investments that destroy our lives, and into solutions and into things that protect the light of indigenous peoples, such as loss and damage finance,” she underscored. “Our governments keep on borrowing funds just to be able to support communities when we are the least responsible for the climate crisis. Namibia is a carbon sink, so that means that the global North, they do owe us climate reparations,” she underscored. “We have agreed solutions in front of us – to respond to loss and damage, to close the emissions gap, and to deliver on finance”, he concluded. On Thursday morning, a draft of the final decision, or cover text, was published by the COP27 Presidency. However, NGO experts said that the 20-page document is still just a list of options that must be edited down.

Hurricane Iota caused destruction and flooding across Nicaragua, leaving thousands of people homeless.
He asked the Parties to act in consensus to double their investments in adaptation and reform multilateral development banks and international financial institutions.

Polish activist Dominika Lasota told UN News that she is at COP27 to promote the end of fossil fuels, which she believes are driving the war in Ukraine.

Deliver the money

Ina Maria Shikongo, indigenous activist from Namibia at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Thursday was officially ‘Solutions Day’ at COP27. “The 1.5 target is not simply about keeping a goal alive – it’s about keeping people alive. I see the will to keep to the 1.5 goal – but we must ensure that commitment is evident in the COP27 outcome,” he said, adding that the current fossil fuel companies’ expansion is “hijacking humanity”

With less that 36 hours left in negotiations at COP27, activists demand action on loss and damage.
Finally, Mr. Guterres reminded negotiators that the “climate clock is ticking” and that they have a chance to make a difference, so they must act quickly.

Finally, Mr. Guterres reminded negotiators that the “climate clock is ticking” and that they have a chance to make a difference, so they must act quickly.

For the first time in the history of UN climate conferences, the issue of loss and damage has been included in the official agenda.

A march and a sit-in for justice

“They must provide the support developing countries need to embark on a renewable energy and climate-resilient pathway”, he highlighted. One after the other, activists shared their vision and experience regarding climate change, and spoke about the human rights which, they underscored, are being violated by the current crisis. “There is clearly a breakdown in trust between North and South, and between developed and emerging economies. This is no time for finger-pointing. The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction,” António Guterres told journalists at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Conference Centre. © UNICEF/Ruiz Sotomayor On Thursday, hundreds of civil society representatives took over the COP27 plenary to demand climate justice, touching on the very action points the Secretary-General mentioned later at his press encounter.

After meeting at the plenary, all attendants walked out and did a short march at the outdoor area of the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre that ended with a sit-in, at which they read the COP27 People’s Declaration for Climate Justice.

Solutions Day

UN News/Laura Quiñones Ms. Lasota said that community renewable projects should be the main solution to the climate crisis, and also highlighted that indigenous communities, which have been protecting the planet’s ecosystems for centuries, should be heard. The UN chief urged countries to deliver the kind of meaningful action that people, and the planet, so desperately need. “The world is watching and has a simple message: stand and deliver,” he underscored. Ms. Shikongo said that Namibia is currently one of the driest countries in Southern Africa and yet global leaders are still debating whether they should pay for loss and damage. “Incredible young people from the global North and the global South are standing together in solidarity asking for action. But we need to look for more than hope.  We need those in power to actually listen and implement the solutions,” the leader of the Youth constituency declared. “I’m here because I’m angry. My communities have already been impacted by an ongoing drought for the past decade. My people have not seen any rain for the past ten years. Their livelihoods are being impacted already,” Ina Maria Shikongo, an indigenous activist from Namibia, told UN News.

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