Cop27 bulletin: John Kerry has Covid

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As expected, Cop27 went into overtime. Pavilions were packed away and the food and water supply had dried up. This is when the conversation gets intense.

The weak country is closer than ever to achieving what many thought would never happen – a place dedicated to loss and financial ruin.

The EU opened the door to him, giving the task of holding the US to negotiations with China. The two countries’ climate experts spent hours in a room together on Thursday night and unfortunately, one of them caught Covid.

At the methane Ministerial on Thursday, John Kerry said he had the flu but tested negative for Covid. Whitney Smith, his spokeswoman at the US Department of Homeland Security, said he had tested positive on Friday morning. Smith said his symptoms were “painful” and he was working all day from his hotel.

That’s a blow. Cop deals are still made in person, often on the floor of the plenary hall.

During last year’s shutdown, Kerry strode from team to team making promises, assurances and threats to close the deal.

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American negotiators will also do this. But having to call the bed-ridden leader risks slowing things down.

True story

The trillion-dollar question: who pays?

The key to opening the discussion is to find a way forward for who pays for climate damage in vulnerable countries.

“If you can get a consensus on the loss and financial damage, I think everything falls into place,” said Alden Meyer of E3G.

Easier said than done. The EU has opened the door to create losses and damages this year, with the conditions: China and other countries that can do so must pay and only the country is at risk luckiest can get money. But there is no name for anyone who falls in each camp.

The EU says it needs to cooperate with more cuts to prevent a bigger impact. “This is our last request,” EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said.

Where the US stands on this will be important. A draft resolution was released yesterday to approve a “financial plan” that will include special funds, with the hope of bringing Washington on the side.

Funding will come from public and private sources. Insurance, debt payments and international taxes on oil and gas can be part of the mix. The content should be worked out with a view to working on it 2024. That would be a big move from America but will it fly?

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Although there is no interest from the Egyptian president, some are still trying to get fossil fuels in the cover. Colombia is taking a stab at India and has signed letters with the UK calling for a phase out of all fossil fuels.

“If we do not have a reduction agreement, there can be funds for loss and damage but no funds will reflect the damage of climate change,” Colombia’s minister said environment Susana Muhamad said.

We’ll find out soon if they’re successful, with the rest expected on Saturday morning.

In short…

China should not pay – All the talk about expanding the donor to financial security is focused on China. But the ODI analysis found that China is still very poor and has a low per capita income. Qatar, Singapore and Israel are more likely targets, he found.

Chaos in Brussels – Luxembourg has officially announced that it will withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty on Friday. The European Council did not agree on a common position on whether to approve the reform at a meeting on Tuesday. The amendment would allow countries to ban the fossil fuel industry.

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Elsewhere in Egypt – When leaders spoke at Cop27 last Tuesday, Alaa Abd el-Fattah tried to kill himself in his cell, his family said. On Friday, the same day US President Joe Biden and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi were trading jokes, it was lost and eaten in the veins.

Brazilian propaganda – The outgoing Brazilian government presented a beautiful virtual video at its pavilion at Cop27. The video said that the government is making efforts to bring renewable energy to the Amazon and promote development while protecting nature. It does not mention deforestation.

Change is not enough – The Reform Fund received $230m in new commitments and cooperation in 2022. Germany is the largest donor with nearly $60m, followed by the US with $50m. Other European countries and Japan helped. The fund said it still has a pipeline of unpaid projects worth $380 million.


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