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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

COP27 starts in Egypt

UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened the conference with strong words, including the warnings "Cooperate or perish", "failure to deliver on climate is a collective suicide pact", and that the world is "on the highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator".

One anticipation towards this COP was around whether countries would submit updated and more ambitious NDCs. At the start of the COP, only 27 countries had done so, and according to Climate Action Tracker only four are a significant improvement on their previous. These should be set against the changed energy security priorities of many countries because of Russia. Another topic at this conference is developing countries asking for loss and damage compensation for climate change.  And the unofficial theme of this COP is Africa, which is indeed felt throughout, rightly so.

In the detail at this COP, progress is expected to be reported by the work under Article 6 to establish global cooperation, including carbon markets. From what I have seen being reported into SBSTA by Article 6.2 and Article 6.4 from meetings last week, this work seems to be reasonable and technology neutral.

In terms of CCS and engineered CDR (with geological storage), there are many side-events showing a high level of interest in these areas (see our website for some). Our official UNFCCC event is on CCS in Africa and will be on the 10th November at 16:45-18:15 in room Khufu. We are fortunate to have Assistant Secretary Brad Crabtree to open it, and including sharings from Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco.

Already I have been on a panel organised by Plymouth Marine Laboratories on Oceans and Net-zero, where I contributed on the relevance of CCS to the marine environment, and heard from other sectors including nuclear science.

Our booth on CCS with the University of Texas, CCSA, International CCS Knowledge Centre has drawn a lot of new and positive interest. Note this booth is only here for the first week.

Overall in the COP, this feels like a big one in terms of the largest number of pavilions and with a high number of delegates. This means that the logistics are challenging, including with necessities such as the Wi-Fi and food. Let's hope the energy felt in the corridors translates into positive progress in the detail negotiations.  

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