COP27 strikes compensation deal but dismays on carbon cutting progress

22nd November 2022


COP27 has agreed a landmark financial deal on loss and damage to developing nations from climate change, but failed to make a clear commitment to end fossil fuel development.

Under the deal, major nations will contribute to a “loss and damage” fund to help poor countries afflicted by climate disasters, expected to open next year – but there was widespread dismay at the summit’s failure to agree cuts to carbon emissions.

The summit’s final text calls on countries to “accelerate” the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, as well as adopt policies to transition towards low-emission energy systems such as clean power generation and energy efficiency. However, it also calls for “accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”. Commentators have described this as weakened language that allows loopholes for new fossil fuel schemes.

“Our planet is still in the emergency room,” said UN secretary general António Guterres. “We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and this is an issue this COP did not address.”

Mary Robinson, a past president of Ireland and chair of the Elders Group of former world leaders, said the world “remains on the brink of climate catastrophe” and progress on cutting emissions “has been too slow”.

COP26 president Alok Sharma said that keeping the 1.5°C limit “remains on life support”, expressing dismay that key measures – including emissions peaking before 2025, a clear follow-through on the phase-down of coal, and a clear commitment to phasing out all fossil fuels – were all absent from the summit’s final text.

IEMA chief executive Sarah Mukherjee noted that there had been important developments at COP27, including the loss and damage fund and new commitments on emissions reductions and renewable energy. “However, much more needs to be done to support the Global South in adapting to the worst impacts of climate change, and to deliver the green skills and jobs necessary for a sustainable and low-carbon economy,” she added.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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