STATEMENT: In Breakthrough, COP27 Establishes Fund to Aid Vulnerable Countries Facing Severe Climate Damage
SHARM EL SHEIKH (November 20, 2022) - The UN climate negotiations (COP27) held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt concluded with delegates reaching agreement to establish a fund to help vulnerable countries deal with loss and damage from climate impacts. Negotiators also called for countries to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy, but the talks concluded without new, strong language on curbing greenhouse gas emissions or giving developing countries confidence that funding for adaptation is ramping up fast enough to double by 2025.
Following is a statement by Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, World Resources Institute:
“In a historic breakthrough, wealthy nations have finally agreed to create a fund to aid vulnerable countries that are reeling from devastating climate damage. This loss and damage fund will be a lifeline for poor families whose houses are destroyed, farmers whose fields are ruined, and islanders forced from their ancestral homes. This positive outcome from COP27 is an important step toward rebuilding trust with vulnerable countries.
“It is also encouraging that countries agreed to operationalize the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, which will provide much-needed technical assistance to developing countries.
“At the same time, developing countries are leaving Egypt without clear assurances about how the loss and damage fund will be overseen. In the coming year, the Transitional Committee must set strong guidelines for this new fund and work swiftly to address the urgent needs and concerns of vulnerable countries.
"While progress on loss and damage was encouraging, it is disappointing that the decision mostly copy and pasted language from Glasgow about curbing emissions, rather than taking any significant new steps. WRI research shows that the world is collectively lagging on climate action across every sector. The only way to avoid even more severe climate impacts and keep 1.5° C alive is if we rapidly slash emissions this decade.
“New calls to accelerate deployment of renewable energy were very welcome. But it is mindboggling that countries did not muster the courage to call for phasing down fossil fuels, which are the biggest driver of climate change.
“Progress on other topics of the UN climate negotiations was a mixed bag. Negotiators agreed to produce a report on progress towards doubling adaptation finance by 2025, but the funding commitments made in Sharm El-Sheikh did not boost confidence that this goal will be reached. Important decisions on setting a global goal for adapting to climate impacts were kicked down the road.
“There were notable bright spots outside of the negotiation halls in Egypt. For example, more than $2 billion will be mobilized for local communities and entrepreneurs to restore degraded land in Africa. The African Cities Water Adaptation fund established at COP27 will help hundreds of African cities to get the grants they need to provide people with safe, affordable and reliable water. Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia renewed commitments to preserve their tropical forests. And Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made stirring remarks that reassured the world that protecting the Amazon rainforest and respecting the rights of Indigenous people will be among his highest priorities when he takes office.
“There is reason for hope after governments came together to protect the more than 3.3 billion people living in areas highly vulnerable to climate change. Time is running short, but a livable planet for people and nature is still within our grasp if leaders take bolder action this decisive decade.”