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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)
John Kerry seated in row of delegates during COP27 Photo: UN Climate Change
The US government’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry outlined a new voluntary carbon trading scheme proposal during COP27

Photo: UN Climate Change

A plethora of announcements have been made since the ongoing COP27 Climate Summit opened on 6 November, including a new carbon trading scheme unveiled by the US government’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

COP27 goes on – the final text is due to be agreed and released at the end of this week. Yet several significant announcements have already been made.

The new voluntary carbon trading market scheme proposed by the US government, developed with The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund, is similar to approaches currently employed in the forestry sector and aims to boost private investment in clean energy projects in developing countries. According to Kerry, Chile and Nigeria have already expressed an interest in the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) scheme, which could begin next year and operate through 2030, possibly extending to 2035. The ETA will not be open to fossil fuel companies.


However, carbon markets and offset schemes have been controversial, with critics suggesting they can lead to minimal emissions reductions while ‘greenwashing’ the reputations of large companies. Kerry addressed this, acknowledging that ‘mistakes of the past’ had damaged the reputation of carbon markets, but stating that ‘strong safeguards’ would ensure only ‘high-quality’ credits would be used.


Meanwhile, the COP27 Presidency launched the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, which outlines 30 ‘adaptation outcomes’ to enhance resilience for 4bn people living in the most climate vulnerable communities by 2030. Each outcome presents global solutions that can be adopted at a local level to respond to local climate issues, needs and risks, and deliver the systems transformation required to protect vulnerable communities from climate hazards such as extreme heat, drought and flooding.


COP27 has also seen the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Masdar and Swiss Re officially joining the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing Platform (ETAF), the International Renewable Agency’s (IRENA) global climate finance platform aimed at mobilising capital to scale up renewable project funding in developing countries by 2030. AIIB intends to deploy $300mn as part of the programme, while Masdar intends to contribute up to $200mn. Swiss Re plans to help de-risk these critical investments, with insurance solutions and risk insights. Joining the founding partner and pioneer investor Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) which is investing some $400mn, this latest development means ETAF is close to securing a minimum of $1bn in total funding to start calls for projects.


Separately, the AIIB announced a strategic investment partnership with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), mobilising up to $1bn for the financing of green energy transition and grid-based and distributed renewable energy projects, in both the public and private sectors, in Asia and beyond. It is reportedly the first time AIIB has partnered with a global philanthropic foundations-led initiative.


In other announcements at COP27, the new Power Up coalition stated that green affordable power in Africa ‘is a must’, reporting that more than 600mn African people go without access to electricity and more than 900mn are without safe cooking facilities. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), bringing access to modern energy for all Africans calls for investment of $25bn/y, which is around 1% of global energy investment today.


Coordinated by Ashden, a charity working with organisations on climate solutions, Power Up’s members are calling on NGOs, businesses, civil society organisations and others across society to back the campaign, which will initially focus on five African countries with the ‘potential to be trailblazers in growing energy access’ – Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Tanzania. The initiative is looking to expand its focus in 2023 to countries around the world affected by energy poverty.


In other COP27 news:

  • Nine new countries: Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the US, joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), pledging to a rapid ramp up of offshore wind in order to tackle the climate and energy security crises. Both IRENA and the IEA expect that offshore wind capacity will need to exceed 2,000 GW in 2050, from just over 60 GW today, to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C and achieve net zero. The Alliance, which was launched in September, has set a target of increasing global offshore wind capacity more than sixfold, from 60 GW today to 380 GW by the end of 2030.
  • World leaders from 26 countries and the European Union – which together account for over 33% of the world’s forests and nearly 60% of the world’s GDP – launched the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP). The initiative has committed to halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the fight against climate change as promised in the Glasgow Climate Pact. According to the FCLP, public donors have already spent $2.67bn of the $12bn committed at COP26 to protect and restore forests. A further $4.5bn from public and private donors has been committed at this year’s Climate Summit so far, including £1.5bn from the UK.
  • Germany and the US have pledged more than $250mn in support for the energy pillar of Egypt’s Nexus on Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) programme, which aims to retire 5 GW of inefficient fossil-fuel capacity by 2025, invest in a just transition and accelerate Egypt’s renewable development, including at least 10 GW of solar and wind energy by 2028. Alongside the announcement, Egypt confirmed plans to accelerate its deployment of renewable energy, delivering clean, affordable and reliable power for its citizens by bringing forward its 42% renewable electricity target from 2035 to 2030.
  • Egyptian company Green Planet for Sustainable Environmental Solutions signed a memorandum of understanding with H2-Industries to provide up to 4mn t/y of organic and non-recyclable plastic waste as feedstock for a new waste-to-hydrogen plant at East Port Said/Suez Canal Economic Zone, Egypt, which will produce 300,000 t/y of clean hydrogen. According to the companies, about 400mn tonnes of plastic waste is created globally every year, which is forecast to reach 1,100mn tonnes by 2050. Of the 7bn tonnes of plastic waste generated globally so far, less than 10% has been recycled.
  • DP World, a global provider of smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, unveiled plans to invest up to $500mn across its business to cut CO2 emissions by nearly 700,000 tonnes over the next five years through measures such as electrifying its global fleet of diesel assets, investing in renewable power and exploring alternative fuels.