“We prefer that there is no agreement than that it is a bad agreement.” This is how things are at the Egypt Climate Summit. The Vice President of the European Commission, Franz Timmermans has launched this message this Saturday after a night of negotiations at COP27. “The European Union is willing to help achieve a good result, but not at any price, not in exchange for taking steps back.”
In what is already an extension of the summit – which should have concluded on Friday – Timmermans has spoken after meeting with the delegations of the EU countries and they have released this message: “We are concerned about what we have heard in the last hours because it could signal steps backwards in climate ambition.” The Commission has explained that they are “in favor of creating a fund [económico] to compensate for damages and losses, but it should go to the really vulnerable countries.”
But, at the same time, he has affirmed that “all the ministers are prepared to leave if we do not achieve a good result”. He sounds like an ultimatum in the extra hours of negotiation of a summit that has never flowed, has always marched in fits and starts.
And what is a good decision? “ A good decision means that 1.5ºC is still alive. We cannot let 1.5 die here today.” It means that countries remain committed to reducing emissions fast enough to be able to tackle global warming to that degree and a half by the end of the century.
“We believe that we are the ones that have moved the most in the negotiations, but we do not see that there is that movement in the other party. And there comes a time when you expect those movements to take place. We haven’t seen that,” Timmermans complained. The other part is made up, above all, of China, which is pushing not to be considered a state that should put money into that fund or to be pressured to reduce CO2 emissions beyond what it itself considers.
Almost at the same time that Timmermans was speaking, the president of the COP, the Egyptian Sameh Shoukry, passed the ball entirely to the delegations once he had drafted decisions: “The parties must stand up and take responsibility to find the zones of consensus and move towards there”.
Shoukry concluded that “flexibility is needed on all sides. Most have been receptive to our texts and find them balanced. It’s your turn”.