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The State of Global Environmental Governance 2022

With the pent-up need for countries to agree how to address climate finance, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss, and other pressing environmental issues, a tidal wave of in-person negotiations swept through 2022.

  • Great expectations were laid on environmental negotiations in 2022. And with over 634 decisions just in the 10 COPs and MOPs (the highest decision-making bodies for treaties), the year nearly lived up to its lofty goals.

  • In the tidal wave of global environmental negotiations in 2022, some ideas made their way from the sidelines to the spotlight, including carbon colonialism, nature-based solutions, and loss and damage.

  • Almost all environmental treaties have shifted to implementation mode, and countries have firm obligations to meet, write the @IISD_ENB team. Transparency may become the primary function of global environmental governance in 2023 and beyond.

Against a backdrop of ongoing conflict, natural disasters, and economic tumult—which helped the term “permacrisis” gain wide traction—international diplomats made significant and sometimes surprising steps forward in coordinating global environmental governance. After coordinated pressure from diverse G77 countries, climate negotiators agreed to establish a dedicated loss and damage fund. Countries adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework despite thorny issues and late-night negotiating drama. Talks kicked off to shape an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.

However, how much traction these achievements will make remains to be seen, even as many multilateral environmental agreements shift into full “implementation mode.”

Join the globetrotting Earth Negotiations Bulletin team for a review of an unprecedented year in sustainable development negotiations as they draw links between talks, consider the context of an uneven pandemic recovery, and reflect on next steps in addressing the triple planetary crisis.

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