COP27: historic deal on climate loss and damage but 1.5C limit “on life support”

The COP27 climate conference ended in Egypt today with a landmark agreement to compensate poorer countries that are the victims of climate change. But there was little progress in tacking emissions from burning fossil fuels, the root cause of global warming.

COP27 reaches agreement on a loss and damage fund. Photo: Kiara Worth

For the first time in nearly 30 years of climate talks, developed countries agreed to a loss and damage fund that would contribute to the cost of rescuing poorer countries in the front line of climate change.

But there was no commitment in the final text to phase out all fossil fuels.

Alok Sharma, the UK government’s negotiator at COP27, said the limit of 1.5C in global warming “remained on life support”.

The talks overran by two days.

On the final day, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, welcomed what he called “an important step towards justice” in the loss and damage fund. But he said “our planet is still in the emergency room:

“We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and this is an issue this COP did not address.

“A fund for loss and damage is essential – but it’s not an answer if the climate crisis washes a small island state off the map – or turns an entire African country to desert.

“The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition. The red line we must not cross is the line that takes our planet over the 1.5 degree temperature limit.

“To have any hope of keeping to 1.5, we need to massively invest in renewables and end our addiction to fossil fuels.

“We must avoid an energy scramble in which developing countries finish last – as they did in the race for COVID-19 vaccines. Doubling down on fossil fuels is double trouble.”

Alok Sharma, president of last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, said:

“those of us who came to Egypt to keep 1.5 degrees alive, and to respect what every single one of us agreed to in Glasgow, have had to fight relentlessly to hold the line. We have had to battle to build on one of the key achievements of Glasgow.”

He said many parties had proposed measures to take “definitive steps forward”:

“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.

“And the energy text, weakend, in the final minutes.

“Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degrees was weak. Unfortunately, it remains on life support.”

Former US vice-president Al Gore, described the loss damage fund was “historic and morally justice”. But he said:

“The credibility of the outcome at COP27 rests upon the actions that leaders must take to rapidly reduce emissions by moving away from all fossil fuels and refusing to accept false solutions that perpetuate climate chaos.”

Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission, said in the closing hours:

“Too many parties are not ready to make more progress today in the fight against the climate crisis.

“There were too many attempts to roll back what we agreed in Glasgow. This deal is not enough [on cutting emissions].”

He said the EU was disappointed that it did not achieve more in the text on the 1.5C limit.

“We have all fallen short.”

“The world will not thank us when they hear only excuses tomorrow”, he said.

Environmental campaigners welcomed the loss of damage fund but criticised COP27’s failure to agree on drastic reductions in emissions.

Katie White, executive director of advocacy at WWF, said the loss and damage deal “risks becoming a down-payment on disaster unless emissions are urgently cut in line with the 1.5°C goal”. She said failure to include a new pledge to phase down” oil and gas “put our health and security at risk”.

Yeb Saño, executive director at Greenpeace Southeast Asia said:

“a large number of countries from north and south voiced their strong support for phasing out all fossil fuels…but they were ignored by the Egyptian COP Presidency. Petro-states and a small army of fossil fuel lobbyists were out in force in Sharm el-Sheikh to make sure that it did not happen.”

Rachel Kennerly, international climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said:

“the rich, industrialised countries worked hard to avoid ending their addiction to coal, oil and gas – instead favouring dangerous and ineffective distractions, like offsetting, over cutting emissions.

“Accelerating energy efficiency programmes and fast-tracking green energy are not only good for the environment, they will also help build the clean, fair and prosperous economies of tomorrow. 

“And with the world on a climate change collision course, we don’t have time to waste.”

She described the loss and damage fund as an “important step forward in re-addressing the balance between those that have done the most to cause climate change and those least responsible but who suffer the worst impacts”. She said:

“Wealthy countries must now support the setting up of this fund – and crucially its financing – to ensure it reaches the frontline communities hardest hit by the climate crisis. Countries like the UK must now provide the necessary cash, and ensure the scheme isn’t undermined by nations trying to avoid their obligations.”

Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“The hypocrisy we witnessed at these climate talks from rich historical polluters on the issue of fossil fuel phase out is staggering. There is nothing to stop countries from phasing out fossil fuels, and yet the UK and the US in particular are doing the opposite with their vast expansion plans.

“Alok Sharma must take his table thumping on fossil fuel phase out back home and demand the UK Government overturn their climate trashing plans for North Sea oil and gas expansion and to reject the new coal mine planned in Cumbria.”

20 replies »

  1. Thanks for correcting my careless mistake, Martyn. For ‘distinction’ read ‘contradiction.’
    Otherwise, stet. Did you manage to get the point anyway?
    And meanwhile, it’s working…….the planet is burning. The rich are getting richer; the poor poorer. Industry controls you. Sleep well.

  2. No point to get, 1720. Just more waffle and inaccuracy, the latter I noted also in respect of legislation. Why do you bother plonking such into your posts? It is an inaccurate statement aimed at supplying the reader with inaccurate information. Surely, you can find some facts to use to bash the Government-there are plenty available?!

    No, industry does not control me. You conveniently forget that I was a marketing professional in past life. I know when anybody or business is trying to control me-including yourself. I do not take part in Group Think, 1720. Therefore, I am me and not we!

    For others benefit, yesterday I visited my local butcher, and purchased locally produced meat and meat products all with means and location of production supplied. (Sorry, you are probably a veggie.) Slept very well, thank you, having enjoyed a really nice beef and stilton pie for dinner, dreaming of few miles/kilometers between the farms, the butcher and me, and few transport emissions. Only nightmare bit was my fuel was imported, and probably also the case for the farm diesel and the transport between the farms, the abattoir and the butcher! Hmm, if that wasn’t the situation wonder how much more UK tax taken to gift to other nations?

    Some dream to protest, others dream to progress.

    Must move on. The engineer is coming today to fit a new fan to my gas boiler, so better switch it off before he/she comes. Parts £300+! No reparations from me, then.

  3. Actually, 1720, I cannot recall a dream where I was in charge. I believe it is quite normal within dreams for the focus being upon not being in charge of the subject of said dream. Mine seem to fit that pattern, such as not being able to find where the car was parked or forgetting to put clothes on.

    Ah, the Brexiters! You mean, according to your previous, those misinformed by…….. HMG!!!!! Now, that may indeed have been your dream, killing two birds with one stone I believe it is called, but travelling many miles to protest against something that didn’t happen is perhaps taking a dream a bit too far. Previous plonking. You do seem to specialize in that, 1720.

    Perhaps being able to construct a sentence is not sufficient, and the accuracy of what a sentence contains is also important? Well, it was before activists appeared on the scene.

    Facts and reality sometimes save a lot of wasted effort. So do arithmetic and physics. I can but dream on that!

  4. “ Actually, 1720, I cannot recall a dream where I was in charge.”

    “ No, industry does not control me. You conveniently forget that I was a marketing professional in past life. I know when anybody or business is trying to control me-including yourself. I do not take part in Group Think, 1720. Therefore, I am me and not we!”

    Yes, both are products of Martyn’s not “ tak(ing) part in Group Think”, or, one might imagine, in any kind of “Think”.

    And, a touch of irony – “ the accuracy of what a sentence contains is also important? Well, it was before activists appeared on the scene.”

    And, “ Facts and reality sometimes save a lot of wasted effort. So do arithmetic and physics. I can but dream on that!” I understand the dream, Martyn, emanating from a proponent of Collyerithmetic, of a physics mysteriously absent from geology, of the fiction underlying the government’s overt espousal of remain whilst covertly sanctioning the working for ‘leave’, and, of course, of the fiction underlying the rejection of a fossil fuel ban, a fiction for which the myth-weavers and those who control them are criminally responsible. Dream on, Martyn. Perhaps one day arithmetic and physics will persuade you and yours. This the activists work for.

    • Well, I would suggest the first requirement of an activist should be to communicate with some degree of coherence, 1720. Your odd view of reality, that you feel you have to espouse, means that is removed from the frame, and what is left is a mirror.

      Real arithmetic and physics have already persuaded me, 1720. You have “interpreted” when you wished not to be persuaded, venturing into after death conversions, morphing into a Mystic Meg who can change the definition of facts! Good luck with that, except my thoughts would be that Martin Luther King might now be considered a white supremacist based upon such anti logic.

      Thanks though for repeating most of what I had already posted. I am flattered that you thought it worthy of duplication.

      Your government bit is not worthy of duplication, so I will just rely on the facts, and remind you of them. The referendum was launched with explicit assurance moving to hysteria that whichever way the vote decided would be implemented. The assurance of leave was sanctioned before the vote was made. It was detailed, it was not covert. Some politicians, and yourself, found/still find that unpalatable, but such is life. I sometimes don’t get what I want, either. Perhaps concentrate on what is in the glass rather than what is not? Much better for wellbeing and little need for activists. I’ll drink to that, especially at a time when there are so many proper jobs available.

  5. It’s a pity that DorD comments on Cop27 are more or less limited to the obviously contentious issue of what is euphemistically referred to as loss-and-damage, ignoring the extent of the monumental failure of the event which should surely have concentrated on redoubling efforts to hold global heating to 1.5C rather than the well-nigh apocalyptic 2.7C or 3C.
    Is humanity not worth saving?
    The FF lobby at Cop27 seem to have arrived at this opinion and to have reasserted their control over our thinking and our future.

  6. DoD reporting on the failure of the antis, even in respect of Cop27,1720?

    OMG, next you will want a report from turkeys voting for Christmas.

    I note that the call for a referendum in UK on Net Zero is rising. Then the Minister turns around and states he would not be against it, but it would not include certain aspects of Net Zero, then states he is not standing as an MP next time! Wonder if he will have fossil fuel investments in his pension-funded by the taxpayer?

    Who seems to have arrived at this opinion, and is it supported is a very good question. To ask that question then first of all the costs have to be honestly declared. Have they? Nope. Not even without reparations.

    Meanwhile, it seems the “we’s” are a pretty weak- minded lot who have their thoughts controlled. The cult is looking less and less appealing.

  7. By 2.30 today I should be told whether I may be offered money not to use energy tomorrow evening-here in the UK!

    Sounds like a Banana State, managed by monkeys.

    And still no apology.

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