Talks at the UN annual climate summit in Egypt have wrapped up, with negotiations running into the weekend. Some progress was made, but ultimately, more ambitious proposals were rejected.
Climate funding for poorer nations
The key result of COP27 was a funding arrangement on “loss and damage” for less developed countries bearing the brunt of climate change. This means the world’s most powerful economies must cover damage and economic losses caused by climate change. Previously, they promised to invest $100 billion by 2020m which did not happen. Now, finally the world listened to poorer countries and struck a deal to help fund their climate adaptation.
Although this is a significant development, there are several unknowns in terms of where the money will come from and what exactly it will cover. This agreement will not fix the issues caused by climate change, and it probably won’t be enough to help the hardest-hit areas.
COP27 – What about 1.5°C?
The Global Carbon Project published a sobering report during negotiations at COP27. It concluded that there is a 50% chance of breaching the 1.5°C temperature threshold by 2030. As this limit is supposed to hold out until 2100 to prevent climate catastrophe, there is need for urgent action.
Developed countries did show solidarity for those most affected and many leaders stated that more had to be done to keep temperatures in check. However, the text did not follow up on last year’s commitment to phase down coal use and did not mention the phasing out of all fossil fuels. Rather, it referred to a greenwashing-like term, “low emissions energy”, which does not exclude fossil fuel industries from its vision for a climate friendly future. This is not surprising, considering the large number of fossil fuel delegates present at COP27.
Emissions peaking before 2025, as the science tells us is necessary? Not in this text. Clear follow-through on the phase down of coal? Not in this text. A clear commitment to phase-out all fossil fuels? Not in this text.
All in all, this summit did take some action when it came to supporting those vulnerable to climate change. The bottom line is that no amount of support will be enough if we do not act to drastically reduce our emissions by the end of the decade.