The UN Climate Change High-Level Champions took stock of the contribution of non-State actors at COP27 with their closing event – COP27 Action Agenda: Progress & Priorities – wrapping-up a two-week programme of over 50 events. This included the launch of the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda—a number of major African-led initiatives to cut emissions and build climate resilience, and significant work on the mobilisation of finance.
A release issued at the summit said, the event focused on accountability, fairness, and an assessment of non-State progress at COP27, and featured keynote speeches from The High-Level Climate Champions, Nigel Topping and Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldein; Environmental and human rights activist, Helena Gualinga; Omnia El Omrani, COP27 Youth Envoy; and Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders.
Speaking to assembled national government representatives, the Champions presented the Summary of Global Climate Action at COP27.
The Summary, along with the Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2022, demonstrates how the Champions and the Marrakech Partnership have delivered the first year of their five-year plan for the Improved Marrakech Partnership for Enhancing Ambition and their action throughout COP27. It recognises that mobilising ‘all of society’ action with State climate plans can unlock an upward cycle of implementation and lists the headline outcomes at COP27 that have been mobilised under the Marrakech Partnership.
Each outcome supports one of the four priority areas identified in the 2022 Marrakech Partnership Workplan: strengthening and mainstreaming resilience, increasing finance for climate action, accelerating action, and building credibility and trust – collectively helping to realise the goal of a 1.5°C, resilient world.
Commenting on the Summary, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldein, High-Level Champion for COP27, said: “The non-State actor community showcased at COP27 the progress they have been making on the hard work of implementation. The membership of the Race to Zero and the Race to Resilience has grown significantly with more than half of the finance actors in Race to Zero now releasing interim targets. By the close of the Global Stock take next year, we need these real economy and finance actors to demonstrate impact in the real world, through projects and investments on the ground, especially in developing and emerging economies. Importantly, the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda gives clarity to the work being done on adaptation and resilience, helping us to adopt a holistic approach to climate action that touches on all the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The Summary of Global Climate Action at COP27, combined with action captured in the Yearbook of Global Climate Action, demonstrate both the continued groundswell of commitments and steps taken towards implementation. As a means to transparently track progress of these commitments, the Champions have today announced the launch of data explorers for their two flagship campaigns, which show how Race to Resilience partners are increasing resilience for 2.9 billion people and how Race to Zero Members, in partnership with Climate Arc, are progressing towards net zero. Both explorers will be coming before the end of the year.
Action by businesses, investors, cities, states, regions and civil societies continues to increase, with 34 Race to Resilience partners from 139 countries taking action to build the resilience of 2.9 billion people. At the same time, 26 Race to Zero partners have mobilized more than 11,000 non-State actors.
Across the two weeks, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions supported and delivered a wide range of actions, announcements, and events across mitigation, adaptation finance and equity, with a clear focus on implementation. This included the launch of the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund, an African-led insurance commitment to provide cover for up to $14bn in climate losses, and the Sharm-El-Sheik Adaptation Agenda in partnership with the COP27 Presidency. (A full list can be found at the end).
The closing event also represented Nigel Topping’s final intervention as the High-Level Climate Champion for COP26, having held the position since January 2020. During his term, he worked in partnership with Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldein and Gonzalo Muñoz, the High-Level Champion for COP25, on a range of innovations, including the launch of the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience flagship campaigns, as well as the 2030 Breakthroughs – a framework setting out near-term targets across each sector of the economy that are necessary to hit in order to remain on a path to achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.
The concept behind the framework has been taken forward by countries representing 50% of global GDP through the Breakthrough Agenda as well as the Sharm El Sheik Adaptation Agenda, which was launched by the Champions and the COP27 Presidency. Nigel also co-founded the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero alongside Mark Carney, with Dr Mohieldein now taking up a leading role as Chair of Alliance’s Africa Network.
Nigel Topping, High-Level Champion for COP26, said: “We can hit our climate goals faster than we ever thought possible. We see evidence of this growing momentum in now ‘possible to abate’ sectors, including aviation, shipping, steel, cement and hydrogen. Countries, regions and individual organisations are consigning fossil fuels to history and ushering-in a new era of cheap, reliable, renewable electricity. This is the power of radical collaboration; when we unite around shared goals and shared values. And this reality of exponential growth beating linear change needs to be firmly embedded as part of the Global Stocktake. I urge Parties to take courage and embed this momentum in their national plans. Tackling climate change is our generation’s moonshot; not to demonstrate one country’s industrial prowess, but to save everyone and everything we hold dear.”