Following two weeks of negotiations built on over three decades of struggle, COP27 finally yielded a Loss and Damage fund on November 20. The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan was gavelled in the early hours of Sunday, two days after the summit was scheduled to end, as negotiations ran into overtime on key standing issues. “The ultimate test of this COP is that it responded to the voices of the vulnerable,” stated Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman during the closing plenary. “The establishment of a Loss and Damage fund is not charity. It is a down payment on our shared futures. It is a down payment on climate justice.” Pakistan served as chair of the G77 and China bloc, which represents 134 countries, and played an instrumental role in getting Loss and Damage on the agenda.
Loss and Damage
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – As the UNFCCC 27th Conference of the Parties came to its conclusion with the adoption of the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan, climate-impacted peoples recognized critical progress while also decrying countries failing to confront the root causes of climate crisis at the scale required as the final decision maintained further openings for fossil fuels and false climate solutions that will devastate communities on the frontlines of extraction, climate crisis, and fossil-fueled violence. Members of the 60-member It Takes Roots delegation, which includes Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous Climate Action, Just Transition Alliance and The Black Hive at Movement for Black Lives, came to COP27 demanding climate reparations from Global North Countries to pay the climate debt they owe to impacted communities, respect for human rights and Indigenous rights, and an end to fossil fuels and false climate solutions.
Fifty years ago, “The Limits to Growth” warned humans of the serious need to live in balance with Earth’s systems. The science is settled. Likewise, technologies that drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions are available and increasingly cost-competitive–particularly in energy production and transportation, two of the most significant contributors to global emissions. What is missing? This is not a difficult physics equation. While we live in a complex world, the laggards in this area are observable: money and societal will. As countries enter the second week of the global negotiations at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, typically referred to as COP27, success will depend on the ability of the negotiators to mobilize investments and advance policy at the conference to accelerate opportunities for progress in altering the trajectory of climate change.
Eugene Puryear of BreakThrough News talks about the failure of the United States to fulfill its responsibilities in combating climate change. The US is the largest polluter in historical terms. However, it has failed to provide enough funds or take the necessary steps to meet the goals it has set to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Eugene explains the domestic conversation and policy-making around climate change and also talks about how globally, it has taken extremely positions that hurt the interests of the Global South.
After one week of speeches, discussions, demonstrations and debate, the 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) has once again stalled over the questions of which global interests are actually responsible for environmental degradation. More importantly in contemporary times, the issue of imperialist countries and their multinational corporations being obligated to pay for the negative impact of greenhouse gas emissions within the former colonial and neo-colonial territories has been raised to the top of the agenda of international gatherings.
As the UN climate change conference COP27 progresses in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Wednesday, November 9, was observed as “Finance Day.” Climate financing for adaptation and mitigation, as well as funding for enduring Loss and Damage caused by adverse impacts of the climate crisis, have occupied center stage at this year’s summit. Loss and Damage funding is officially included on the agenda for the first time in COP history, albeit with important caveats and not without struggle. “This item and the outcomes thereof are without prejudice to the consideration of similar issues in the future,” reads a footnote to the agenda item. The outcomes do not involve liability or compensation, and include the Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage – a three-year process established at COP26 after the US and the European Union (EU) blocked a stronger and much more urgent proposal by the G77 and China for a Loss and Damage (financial) Facility (LDFF) as part of the summit’s Financial Mechanism.