COP27: First draft of final text is disjointed and unbalanced, says Belgian delegation leader

The Egyptian presidency at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh published a draft version of the final text - the so-called 'cover decision' - last night. However, according to Belgian delegation leader Peter Wittoeck, the text is far from finished. "It is a disjointed and unbalanced whole, missing a lot of important things," he said.

"At this stage, I do not see how this provisional final text helps us take a step forward. Expectations were high before the start of this COP and remain that way. Now we'll have to wait and see how the Egyptian presidency will manage this," Wittoeck concludes.

The Belgian delegation leader seemed certain that the COP will run out of steam. The end of the climate summit was normally scheduled for Friday evening, but in the past this deadline has been missed more often than not.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guteress expressed a similar sentiment. "There is clearly a breakdown of trust between the countries of the North and the South and between rich countries and developing countries," he said on Thursday. "There is no time to point fingers at each other. Blaming each other is only a recipe towards mutual destruction."

Meanwhile, Belgian Climate minister Zakia Khattabi announced that Belgium will support developing countries €3.25 million to meet their climate commitments. The money will go to two international cooperation programmes: NDC Partnership (National Determined Contributions) gets €2 million, and the Climate Promise of the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) gets €1.25 million. 

The minister also signed the 'Net-Zero Government Initiative' in Egypt. That initiative, introduced by the United States, unites 19 countries and aims to achieve net-zero government emissions by 2050 at the latest.



Belgian delegation leader Peter Wittoeck during COP25 in Madrid, Spain. - © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

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