Climate Change ,what are the contentious issues this year ?

Climate Change ,what are the contentious issues this year ?

What are the contentious issues at this year’s COP?

The debate around climate finance is likely to be a contentious one, as richer and poorer nations tend to have very different visions as to what this should look like – for instance, how much should be for emissions reductions versus helping countries to adapt to a warmer climate.

Debt relief is a major issue: in 2019, 44 African countries spent $75bn just on debt interest payments, far exceeding the level of climate finance they’re expected to receive any time soon. Payments for loss and damage, also referred to as ‘climate reparations’, may also prove divisive.

This is the idea, endorsed by a large number of developing countries, that the nations most responsible for the climate crisis should pay compensation to the nations which are suffering its worst impacts. Unsurprisingly, the idea is highly unpopular amongst highly industrialised countries and was firmly rejected at COP26, but may see a resurgence at COP27.

The fate of natural gas (or as we prefer to call it, fossil gas) will also be a live issue. Egypt is the second largest gas producer in Africa, and is among several African states being courted by European countries for their gas reserves in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

It may prove difficult to reach an agreement to reduce fossil gas production, even though that’s exactly what’s needed in order to meet our climate goals – and even though African civil society has also united against fossil gas.

We’ll keep making the case that fossil gas isn’t a climate solution – follow us to keep up to date with our latest COP news and campaign activities.

What was agreed at COP26 last year?

For the first time, fossil fuels got a mention at COP26. Participants agreed to accelerate the phase-out of coal power and of fossil fuel subsidies. Countries also updated their own plans to cut their carbon emissions, but many of them are still not aligned with what the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says is necessary in order to keep the world below 1.5°C of warming.

All the countries in attendance agreed in the Glasgow Climate Pact to amend their plans in the twelve months following COP26 if they were not 1.5°C-aligned, so in theory they should all be arriving in Egypt with ambitious emissions reduction plans. Somehow, we have our doubts…


On deforestation, 137 world leaders representing 91% of global forest cover committed to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. A significant number of companies and banks also promised to achieve deforestation-free supply chains by 2025, but this was just a voluntary pledge with no penalties should they fail to live up to their promises.

And on climate finance, richer nations agreed to provide $100bn per year to help fund emissions reductions in poorer nations by 2023 at the latest. There was also commitment to double the level of funding given to countries to help them adapt to a warming climate by 2025, compared to 2019 funding levels. However there was no agreement on a plan for how to deliver this funding.