The sun has risen again here, ending two long nights in Sharm el-Sheikh. There were exhausted negotiators, dramatic high points and weak moments of confusion.
The talks were deadlocked
until Thursday when the EU made a proposal that rich nations would pay for climate damage in poor countries. But progress was slow
on Fridayand the 1800 deadline ticked by – cue the bets began as to how late this COP would be.
Suddenly, on Saturday, the EU, followed by other nations, showed in dramatic fashion that it was ready to leave the COP without a deal. I spent the morning sneaking around the country offices and trying to figure out what was going on. The New Zealand delegation office kindly provided me with an excellent coffee – but the important question was – is the COP collapsing?
At noon, I saw Pakistani climate minister Sherry Rehman, a key figure, slumped in a chair outside a plenary hall. “We were up all night,” she told me.
Rumors continued. Journalists and activists staked out briefing rooms to find the leaders to record leads to the action – I saw what appeared to be anger on the face of British negotiator Alok Sharma, who was rushing between rooms.
As the clock ticked into a second night, speculation went back and forth. A deal was imminent, then it was hours.
As the energy drained, the teams decided to stay at COP or come back the next morning. The COP27 presidency said a final meeting would start at 03:00 local time, but no one really believed it.
And suddenly at 03:30 local time, after a restless nap, it started. Leaders entered the plenary, and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry began hammering out decisions quickly — meaning passing them off with a small gavel or gavel.
Journalists and activists stormed back, and exhausted nations applauded at the crucial moment when the historic loss-and-damage deal was passed.
But it wasn’t over yet. Switzerland immediately called for a stay of proceedings, saying nations had not had time to read the final political agreement. It seemed like a fight might be imminent. Nations huddled together. Britain’s Alok Sharma joined the EU and US delegations – no doubt to discuss how far they would compromise to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.
The ministers returned to their seats, their positions were clear and the Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement was finally passed.