Countries struggled to achieve an agreement on the COP27 climate talks in Egypt, with some threatening to walk away if negotiators didn’t make progress on fighting climate change.
With the talks already in additional time, officials from the 27-country European Union said on Saturday they were anxious about a scarcity of progress overnight – and even the potential of backsliding from parts of the COP26 climate deal agreed in Glasgow, Scotland, last yr.
“We want to maneuver forward, not backwards and all [EU] ministers … are prepared to walk away if we don’t have a result that does justice to what the world is waiting for – namely that we do something about this climate crisis,” said EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans.
Chatting with reporters on the sidelines of the summit, he called on other parties to the negotiations to reciprocate efforts to search out a deal, particularly on the problem of funding for poorer countries hit by climate disasters.
“We consider that a positive result today continues to be close by. But we’re anxious about a few of the things we’ve seen and heard during the last, let’s say, 12 hours,” he said.
“We’d quite haven’t any decision than a nasty decision.”
Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, told the nearly 200 nations gathered in Egypt to “rise to the occasion” because the success of the conference hung within the balance.
Speaking a day after the summit was speculated to end, Shoukry added he knew there was a number of “dissatisfaction” amongst all parties, but called on nations to point out determination to achieve a consensus.
Recent Zealand’s climate minister said a draft of the ultimate document circulated by the presidency “has been received quite poorly by just about everybody”, adding delegations were going into one other round of talks.
Chatting with reporters, James Shaw called the draft “entirely unsatisfactory”.
He added the proposal “abandons really any hope of achieving 1.5 [degrees Celsius; 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit]”, referring to the warming limit agreed on the Paris agreement back in 2015.
Shoukry said: “The difficulty now rests with the need of the parties. The [draft] text does keep the 1.5 alive.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said responsibility “now lies within the hands of the Egyptian COP presidency”.
The European Union had made clear overnight “we is not going to sign a paper here that diverges significantly from the 1.5C path, that will bury the goal of 1.5 degrees”, Baerbock said.
“If these climate conferences set us back then we wouldn’t have needed to travel here in the primary place,” she said.
An official speaking on behalf of the African group of negotiators said they knew little in regards to the negotiations.
“We keep hearing of nightlong side meetings to interrupt the deadlock, but we’ve not been involved and we’re waiting to see what it’s they are going to give you before we determine,” they said.
‘Fight for an excellent planet’
There was also growing frustration amongst negotiators in regards to the way the Egyptian presidency was chairing the talks. Some bemoaned a scarcity of transparency within the consultations, while others said the method was unpredictable compared with previous talks.
The meeting often known as COP27 opened two weeks ago and had been scheduled to wrap up on Friday but looks set to tug on through the weekend.
Most of the greater than 40,000 attendees have left town, and staff began packing up the vast pavilions within the sprawling conference zone.
On the youth pavilion, a gathering spot for young activists, a pile of handwritten postcards from children to negotiators was left on a table, in what was perhaps an apt metaphor for the state of play because the talks made scant progress.
“Dear COP27 negotiators,” read one card. “Thanks for going to COP27 this yr. I hope you possibly can bring more back this time. Don’t forget to say keeping it at 1.5, having big heatwaves this yr and keep fight for an excellent planet.”