COP 27: A Win on Climate Impacts, Silence on Oil and Gas Phaseout
A “stunning victory” on loss and damage opens a door for vulnerable countries. But the world’s biggest fossils get away unscathed.
At a United Nations climate change summit, this is what a win looks like.
After nearly two weeks, with talks running into overtime, with the 3 AM start of the closing plenary delayed by last-minute details and water and air conditioning getting scarce, COP 27 negotiators agreed on something we all should have learned in kindergarten: when you make a mess, you take responsibility for cleaning it up.
In what Climate Action Network-International board chair Jean Su called a “stunning victory”, countries agreed to set up a loss and damage fund to help the world’s most vulnerable respond to climate impacts more severe than anyone can adapt to.
“A mission 30 years in the making has been accomplished,” said Antigua and Barbuda Environment Minister Molwyn Joseph, chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). “Our ministers and negotiators have endured sleepless nights and endless days in an intense series of negotiations—but after the pain comes the progress.”
“We have struggled for 30 years on this path and today, in Sharm el-Sheikh, this journey has achieved its first positive milestone,” added Pakistan Climate Minister Sherry Rehman. “The establishment of a fund is not about dispensing charity. It is clearly a downpayment on the longer investment in our joint futures.”
The win didn’t come easily.