Over two weeks in November, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), took place in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Unlike the previous year in Glasgow, this COP witnessed a China Pavilion which hosted a wide range of events on topics such as green financing, low-carbon transition and the Chinese ETS. The country was represented by a delegation group of more than 50 people, led by Mr. Zhao Yingmin, a Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment.
At the beginning of COP27, developing nations campaigned successfully for the inclusion of the topic of loss and damage financing on the official COP agenda. Having recently incurred costs due to extreme weather itself, China supported the discussion of the topic. Voicing his country’s support, China’s special envoy on climate, Xie Zhenzhua said he “hope[d] the conference this time will meet the demands of developing countries as much as possible as it is held in Egypt, a developing nation,” during an event hosted in China’s pavilion.
This was the first time in the history of climate COPs that the agenda included loss and damage financing. Negotiations concerning the topic were intense with G7 plus China unified in their demand for the establishment of a Loss and Damage fund. Mr. Xie Zhenhua, openly supported the notion during the first week of talks while also maintaining that China was not required to compensate others for loss and damage. Finally, the last minutes of the COP concluded with parties agreeing on the establishment of a loss and damage fund. While the fund and its purpose were established, details such as the size and the sources of the funds were not yet agreed on.
On the subject of methane emissions, Mr. Xie reiterated during a side event that China’s carbon neutrality target not only includes carbon dioxide but also reflects other greenhouse gases, including methane emissions. China is currently developing an action plan to reduce methane emissions. It focuses in particular on the oil and gas, agriculture and waste sectors aiming to promote new technologies and financing mechanisms.