Hot News on the Hot Climate — A Rulebook to Avoid Greenwashing

delegates gather at cop27
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Hot News on the Hot Climate — A Rulebook to Avoid Greenwashing

On Tuesday (November 8) we started Climate Quentinhas, a newsletter with the latest news from the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP27), which is being held in the resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, until November 18. Here's the first installment:

Rulebook against greenwashing

The High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Pledges, created by the United Nations to study the progress of promises to end greenhouse gas emissions in the world, launched, this Tuesday (November 8), a rulebook with recommendations and criteria for non-state entities — companies and financial institutions, for example — to follow through on their commitments to become Net Zero.

The document aims to bring clarity and transparency to the panacea of promises around the globe and to end the greenwashing that has characterized these commitments thus far. 

Among the established criteria are the summary disqualification of entities that stimulate the production of fossil fuels and deforestation in their production chains, and those that buy cheap carbon credits from poor or developing countries, but do not commit to reducing their own emissions.

The potential is great: If all the commitments made around the world by non-state entities were actually implemented, global emissions would be reduced by 80%.

Tourism in Egypt

The list of delegations that will compose COP27 was released today. The Brazilian list, which has no less than 34 pages, includes the names of ministers Joaquim Leite (Environment), Fábio Faria (Communications), Paulo Alvim (Science and Technology), José Carlos Oliveira (Labor and Pensions), Joel Ilan Paciornick (Superior Court of Justice), Augusto Nardes (Union Court of Auditors) and Luís Roberto Barroso (STF). Also on the list are Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco and Ambassador Leonardo de Athayde, who is expected to lead the Brazilian negotiations.

In addition to them, wives of politicians, personal advisors and representatives of the private sector, who have nothing to do with the negotiations, have also come for a tour in Egypt.

Brazilian non-governmental organizations at the COP

Today, the Brazil Climate Action Hub, a space for Brazilian civil society at COP27, began with an event on women's participation in climate action. In total, the space will host more than 30 activities. The agenda can be checked here.

No right to protest

In the late afternoon of this Tuesday, the official pavilion of the German government held an event on human rights and climate change, with the presence of Sanaa Seif, sister of Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah, arrested since 2019 for allegedly organizing demonstrations against the local government.

Since April, Fattah has been on a hunger strike in protest of the dictatorial regime of President Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi and, since last Sunday, he has also been on a water strike. He could die at any time and the family demands that action be taken. More than a hundred activists are currently imprisoned in Egypt for demonstrating against the government.

At the end of the event at the COP, part of the audience started the chorus “free Fattah”, which was quickly repressed by the organizers: protests are prohibited in the Conference spaces and on the streets of the city of Sharm-el-Sheikh. In order not to say that the country totally vetoed the manifestation of civil society at the meeting — an important part of the pressure game on the negotiators — Egypt made a “playpen” for it, away from the main discussions.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published in Portuguese by O Eco on 8 November 2022 and has been translated to English and lightly edited for length and clarity.

Banner image: Delegates gather at COP27 / Credit: UN Climate Change via Flickr.

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