Cop27 runs into overtime with countries divided over final climate agreement

Activists listen to a demonstration at dusk at Cop27 on Friday as the summit ran into overtime  (AP)
Activists listen to a demonstration at dusk at Cop27 on Friday as the summit ran into overtime (AP)

Cop27 has officially run into overtime as climate talks continued past the 6pm deadline on Friday.

The Sharm el-Sheikh summit is almost certain to continue into Saturday - and perhaps even Sunday - as countries remain divided on how to tackle some of the biggest issues of the climate crisis.

An alert was sent to delegates late on Thursday to inform them that essential services, like transport and food stalls, would run until midnight on Sunday.

Some exhausted attendees raced to the Egypt Air counter inside the venue to change their flights. The conference halls had largely emptied out, and many of those remaining came to the venue with bags and suitcases after hotel stays ran out.

Country pavilions, set up to tout their climate progress, began closing on Thursday, leaving an eerie silence behind.

And despite assurances by the Cop27 presidency, some services have become challenging to track down.

Water filters, touch and go throughout the conference, had run out entirely in some areas. On the bright side, queues for food stalls were much shorter.

It’s not unusual for Cop summits to run over. Eight of the ten previous Cops have been extended, according to a Carbon Brief analysis. Only six in the 26 previous summits have ended on time.

At Cop26 in Scotland last year, the final Glasgow Climate Pact was not signed off by all countries until more than 24 hours after the official end time.

As of Friday evening, there was still only a first draft of the Cop27 agreement. It was littered with placeholders on major issues including on a funding arrangement to pay for the loss and damage suffered by vulnerable countries because of climate change.

"I remain committed to bring this conference to a close tomorrow in an orderly manner, with the adoption of a series of consensus decisions that will be comprehensive, ambitious, and balanced," Egypt’s Cop27 President Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday.

This story was published with the support of Climate Tracker’s COP27 Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship