Half-way update from COP27


By Tim Dixon

14 November 2022

Minister Ikoh & Brad Crabtree

This is meant to be themed as the ‘Implementation’ COP, following the Glasgow ‘ambition’ COP and the Paris ‘Agreements’ COP. It cannot be sensed at half-way whether this theme will be achieved. However this COP is also being called the ‘African COP’, and it is certainly achieving that, through the attendance by many from this continent, and the many exhibits, booths and events relating to Africa.

We did our part, with our UNFCCC Side-event on CCS in Africa on Thursday the 10th, with presentations on CCS activities in South Africa, Nigeria and Morroco. This got good coverage by the COP media IISD, which can be seen at https://enb.iisd.org/carbon-capture-storage-africa-emerging-economies and a recording available at the UNFCCC Youtube channel https://lnkd.in/gWtn6pCA , so I will not summarize here. It was rewarding to organise, to provide scene-setting and an introduction to CCS, and to moderate this event which was well attended with around 100 in-person attendees plus more online. Judging by the good questions and follow on discussions afterwards was very well received.

On Friday there was the launch of Africa Centre of Excellence in Carbon Management, to be hosted in Nigeria. This was launched by Assistant Secretary Brad Crabtree, US DOE, and the Nigerian Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Henry Ikoh. This centre will focus on decarbonising industries and sharing learnings across African countries.

I attended an interesting UNFCCC Side-event on Policy Tools for CDR, organised by Climate Perspectives Group and Iceland. This included the important message that I have been giving since last COP that the IPCC GHG Inventory Guidelines should do a little work to include DACCS, as it does not at the moment (it includes CCS, BECCS, Biochar). There were also interesting updates from Climeworks and Carbfix (which has been recently permitted under the EU CCS Directive).

In the areas of the negotiations that we follow to try and ensure no bias against CCS or engineered CDR which uses geological storage, we see the proposed draft report from Article 6.4 Supervisory Body (SB) to the CMA (Plenary for Paris Agreement Parties) is appropriately technology neutral, including on “removals” which it has been specifically asked to develop guidance. However, I have seen quite a strong and extensive push by some environmental NGOs to limit 6.4 removal activities to just nature based rather than engineered CDR. For what reason is not obvious. The SB’s draft decision to CMA could not be fully agreed and so work will continue under CMA in the second week of COP.

Coming up in the second week are two events on CCS on Monday in the Clean Air Task Force’s (CATF) pavilion, at 10am on Regional CCS and at 11:30am on Financing CCS (I am on the panel).

Also in the second week, we have our other side-event on CCS in the Caribbean, hosted kindly by the CATF in their Blue Zone pavilion, on Tuesday 15th 2pm-3pm. We will hear of progress and learnings from Trinidad and Tobago, who are becoming a regional centre of excellence, and from Guyana.

Overall, so far a very crowded, noisy and challenging COP to work in. 

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