COP27 ends with agreement on loss and damage, –

Closing of the Climate Conference, COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

© Kiara Worth

This COP has taken an important step towards justice. I welcome the decision to create a fund for loss and damage and to make it operational in the coming period “, said the UN Secretary General António Guterresin a video message broadcast from the conference venue in Egypt, emphasizing that the voices of those on the front lines of the climate crisis must be heard.

The UN chief was referring to what has come to be the thorniest issue of this Annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Developing countries have made strong and repeated calls for the establishment of a loss and damage fund to compensate countries that are most vulnerable to climate disasters, but have contributed little to the climate crisis.

Obviously, this will not be enough, but it is an indispensable political signal to rebuild the broken trust said Mr. Guterres, emphasizing that the United Nations system would support the effort every step of the way.

After missing their Friday evening deadline, negotiators were finally able to reach conclusions on the toughest agenda items, including a mechanism for loss and damage – although how that mechanism will be funded is still under discussion – as well as the post-2025 finance target, and the mitigation work programme, which would cut greenhouse gas emissions faster, catalyze effective action and obtain assurances from key countries on immediate action to raise ambition and keep us on track to limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

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Concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which cause global warming, are reaching record highs.

Photo: UNEP

Yet, while the agreement on financing loss and damage was a breakthrough for vulnerable people, COP27 made little progress on other key issues related to the causes of global warming, in particular on phasing out fossil fuels, and tougher language on the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The fight against climate change continues

Mr. Guterres reminded the world of priorities for climate action, including the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and keep alive the 1.5 degree Celsius limit of the Paris Agreement.

We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and that’s an issue this COP hasn’t addressed he lamented, saying the world still needs to take a giant leap forward on climate ambition, and end its reliance on fossil fuels by investing “ massively in renewable energies.

The UN chief also stressed the need to deliver on the long-delayed pledge of $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries, setting out a clear and credible roadmap to double adaptation funds.

He also reiterated the importance of changing the business models of multilateral development banks and international financial institutions.

They must accept more risks and systematically mobilize private financing for developing countries at reasonable costs.s,” he said.

The UN chief said that while a fund for loss and damage is essential, it is not an answer if the climate crisis wipes a small island state off the map – or turns an entire African country into a desert.

He renewed his call for partnerships for a just energy transition in order to accelerate the exit from coal and the development of renewable energies and reiterated the call he made during his opening speech at COP27: a solidarity pact for the climate.

A pact in which all countries make an extra effort to reduce emissions this decade in line with the 1.5 degree goal. And a Pact to mobilize – with international financial institutions and the private sector – financial and technical support to major emerging economies to accelerate their transition to renewable energy “, he explained, stressing that this is essential to keep the limit of 1.5 degrees within reach.

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People protest against fossil fuel funding during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

© UN News/Laura Quinones

Hurry up

In his video message, Mr. Guterres pointed out that COP27 concluded with a lot of work still to be done and little time to do it.

We are already halfway between the Paris Agreement [2015] on climate and the 2030 deadline. We need everyone on deck to advance justice and ambition “, did he declare.

The Secretary-General added that this includes the ambition to end the “suicidal war” on nature that is fueling the climate crisis, driving species to extinction and destroying ecosystems.

Next month’s UN Biodiversity Conference is the moment to adopt an ambitious global biodiversity framework for the next decade, building on the power of nature-based solutions and the critical role of indigenous communities “, he urged.

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Fossil fuel power plants are among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

© Unsplash/Ella Ivanescu

“I share your frustration”

The UN chief also sent a message to civil society and activists who have been making their voices heard since the opening day of the conference: I share your frustration “.

Mr Guterres said climate advocates – led by young people – pushed the agenda forward during the darkest days and they must be protected.” The most vital source of energy in the world is the power of people. This is why it is so important to understand the human rights dimension of climate action “, he said, adding that the battle ahead will be difficult and that ” each of us will have to fight every day… We can’t wait for a miracle “.

Echoing this sentiment, young Kenyan environmental activist Elizabeth Wathuti said: “ COP27 may be over, but the fight for a secure future is not. It is now more urgent than ever for political leaders to work to agree a strong global deal to protect and restore nature at the upcoming Global Biodiversity Summit in Montreal. “.

The interconnected food, nature and climate crisis is affecting us all right now, but frontline communities like mine are the hardest hit. How many alarm bells need to be rung before we act? “, she added.

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Protiva’s school in Sylhet has closed due to heavy flooding in northeast Bangladesh. His house was also flooded.

© UNICEF/Parvez Ahmad Rony

What has been achieved

COP27 brought together more than 35,000 people, including government representatives, observers and representatives of civil society.

Highlights of the meeting included, among others, the presentation of the first report of the High Level Panel of Experts on Net Zero Emissions Commitments by Non-State Entities.

The report denounces greenwashing, which is the misleading of the public into believing that a company or entity is doing more to protect the environment than it actually does, and low net zero commitments. It provides a roadmap to ensure the integrity of net zero commitments by industry, financial institutions, cities and regions and to support a global and equitable transition to a sustainable future.

Also during the conference, the UN announced an action plan for the Early Warning Systems for All initiative, which calls for new initial targeted investments of $3.1 billion between 2023 and 2027. , which equates to a cost of only 50 cents per person per year.

For his part, former US Vice-President and climate activist Al Gore, with the support of the UN Secretary-General, presented a new tool for tracking greenhouse gas emissions. The tool combines satellite data and artificial intelligence to map facility-level emissions from more than 70,000 sites around the world, including companies in China, the United States and India. This will allow leaders to identify the location and extent of carbon and methane emissions released into the atmosphere.

Another highlight of the conference was a master plan to accelerate the decarbonization of five major sectors – electricity, road transport, steel, hydrogen and agriculture – presented by the Egyptian Presidency of COP27.

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Farmers in northern Haiti are struggling to prevent erosion on their land.

WFP Haiti/Theresa Piorr

Egyptian leaders also announced the launch of theFood and Agriculture Initiative for Sustainable Transformation or FASTto improve the quantity and quality of climate finance contributions to transform agriculture and food systems by 2030.

It was the first COP to have a day dedicated to agriculture, which contributes a third of greenhouse gas emissions and should be a crucial part of the solution.

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COP27 ends with agreement on loss and damage, –

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