Five Key Takeaways from COP27
Although the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 is behind us, the decisions taken in Sharm el-Sheikh require all countries to make an extra effort to address the climate crisis – starting now. Or as UN Secretary-General António Guterres put it, “COP27 concludes with much homework and little time.”
So what did COP27 achieve and what needs to happen next to ensure the world can keep the worst consequences of climate change at bay? Here are five key takeaways from the conference, which will also shape the priorities for climate action in 2023 and beyond.
COP27 closed with a breakthrough agreement to provide loss and damage funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by floods, droughts and other climate disasters. This was widely lauded as an historic decision. Why? Because for the first time, countries recognized the need for finance to respond to loss and damage associated with the catastrophic effects of climate change, and agreed to the establishing of a fund and
The world is in a critical decade for climate action. This is not hyperbole – the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says limiting warming to around 1.5°C requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030. That’s seven short years from now. However, the world is currently off course to keep 1.5°C within reach.
Finance is at the heart of all that the world is doing to combat climate change. Mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, climate technology – all of it requires sufficient funds to function properly and to yield the desired results. On this crucial topic, COP27 created a pathway to align the broader finance flows towards low emissions and climate resilient development.
This new phase of implementation also means a new focus on accountability when it comes to the commitments made by sectors, businesses and institutions. “There is absolutely no point putting ourselves through all that we’ve just gone through if we’re going to participate in an exercise of collective amnesia the moment the cameras move on,” said Stiell, who promised a new focus on accountability during his opening speech at
Of course, climate pledges aren’t worth the paper they’re written on if they aren’t taken off the page and turned into concrete action. That’s why COP27 was expected to be one of “implementation.” On the opening day of the conference, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell called for aligning “every corner of human activity” with the 1.5°C goal, saying “Paris gave us the agreement and Katowice and Glasgow gave us the plan, Sharm el-Sheikh shifts us to implementation.”