Sharm el-Sheikh has sealed a bittersweet pact. On the one hand, this year’s climate summit has managed to create the first fund specially dedicated to alleviating the losses and damages of climate chaos in the most vulnerable areas of the planet. But on the other hand, the final declaration of this meeting has not achieved nor reinforce commitment to emission cuts nor draw the clear end of fossil fuels. This is the ambivalence that for some means the failure of the summit and for others it points to a partial success. Or yet step too small to deal with something as big as the advance of the climate crisis.

    The final balance of the climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh depends, to a large extent, on the concrete agreement let it look The creation of the new economic mechanism to help the great victims of the climate crisis has been defined as the great (if not the only) success of this event. “There have been more than thirty years of struggle that have finally materialized,” he stressed. Molwyn Joseph, Minister of the Environment of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). “Before this summit, the loss and damage debate was not even on the agenda. With signing this pact we are making history”has added mohamed adowfrom the environmental platform Power Shift Africa.

    The takeoff of this new fund has been highly applauded, but not so much the detail about its journey. Above all because, according to the final pact, Egypt only launches the idea but delegates the final execution to next year’s summit in Dubai (COP28). It will be then when the debate will reopen about who, how and in what proportion should contribute money to this fund and who will be the countries that can benefit from it. “Much work remains to be done. We won’t have justice until money starts flowing to vulnerable communities,” says Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate.

    climate ambition

    The point that has garnered the most criticism is the lack of progress in the global commitment to reduce emissions. Europe has been particularly critical with the pact sealed this Sunday. The vice president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has stated that he is “disappointed” with the final wording of the text. Partly because of the lack of “stronger message“. And in part, for having “lost the drive” achieved in Glasgow. The Spanish vice-president, Teresa Ribera, spoke along the same lines. “The Sharm el-Sheikh agreement has managed to put very little else on the table. We continue to make progress on mitigation issues, but far below our expectations“, he affirmed before the doors of the plenary.

    The lack of progress in the global commitment to reduce emissions has also been harshly criticized by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Gutérres. “this summit concludes with many pending tasks. We are already halfway between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 deadline and we still need to get down to work to reduce emissions immediately,” Gutérres declared after the publication of the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement, regretting that this debate “has not been addressed as it should” at the summit this year.

    Everything indicates that a large part of this debate could have been influenced by the fossil fuels lobi, which by some estimates would have sent more than 600 delegates to this year’s climate summit. There are many voices that denounce the pressure that this industry would have exerted to dilute some messages (such as the language to talk about the progressive reduction of coal) and eliminate many others (such as those related to the end of exploitation). “The Egyptian presidency has drawn up a text that clearly protects oil and gas producersas well as the fossil fuel industry. This trend cannot continue at next year’s summit of the United Arab Emirates”, warned Laurence Tubiana, of the European Climate Foundation.

    The another great criticism of this summit points directly to the organizers. In the first instance, according to sources close to the negotiations, because the previous diplomacy work was missing at the start of the event. And finally, due to the absence of leadership when it comes to guiding the talks at the summit. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has accused the Egyptian presidency of “organizational deficiencies” and of “obstruct debates”. The final result of this summit, according to Baerbock, has only been possible thanks to an “international alliance that has avoided total failure”.

    lack of consistency

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    The fact that the final resolution of Sharm el-Sheikh mixes the success of the solidarity fund and the failure of climate ambition is, in itself, a symptom of the lack of coherence of the pact. On Saturday, in the final stretch of the climate summit negotiations, a coalition of some sixty countries from around the world spoke out publicly to defend that the objective of 1.5 degrees is also a reflection of climate solidarity commitments. In this sense, they argued that it is of little use to create a fund to deal with climate damage in the global south if they are not designed at the same time. measures to prevent the climate crisis from escalating.

    “The Sharm el-Sheikh summit may be over, but the fight for a secure future“, has highlighted the young Kenyan environmental activist Elizabeth Wathuti. After the timid success and the great failures of the Egyptian summit this year, the environmental movements demand redouble the pressure to continue promoting the fight against the climate crisis. “No time to lose. It’s now or never“, have clamored the last activists present in the halls of the Sharm el-Sheikh summit.

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