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What to watch on Wednesday at Cop27

Activists at the Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre Reuters/Mohammed Salem
Activists at the Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre

After two days of speeches from heads of state, delegates at the Cop27 UN climate conference in Egypt were planning a day-long agenda Wednesday focused on finance.

Expect a possible flurry of announcements around clean energy projects or climate adaption funding on the conference sidelines.

But take them with a grain of salt: a UN expert group on Tuesday said green claims by companies, banks and cities are often little more than hype.

Meanwhile, China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases is scheduled to hold its first press briefing, and reporters will want to know about whether Beijing thinks it should be on the hook for climate damage reparations and how it intends to rein in its methane leaks.

China’s special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua set a positive tone in a speech Tuesday afternoon in which he said the country was committed to eventually reach carbon neutrality.

Otherwise, the attention may be focused on midterm election results in the United States, the world’s No 2 emitter. An upset of Congress into the hands of Republicans risks slamming the brakes on Democrat President Joe Biden’s climate agenda.

That said, Biden’s historic climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, including big subsidies for wind, solar and EVs, have already passed into law.