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Historic Climate Deal Sealed at COP27

COP27 delegates
  • Parties agree to historic loss and damage fund at COP27 to support developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change
  • Paris Agreement remains intact – no backsliding or backtracking as commitments reaffirmed and strengthened despite global headwinds
  • Progress achieved across the board at climate change talks and 1.5°C goal still in sight
  • Agreement calls for multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to reform practices and priorities to ensure simplified access to climate finance
  • Egyptian COP Presidency urges developed nations to follow the lead of those Parties who made substantial financial commitments

Yesterday at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) Parties agreed to the establishment of a historic loss and damage fund as part of the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan on climate change after loss and damage included in the agenda for the first time. The new fund will see donors contribute to a global fund to save lives and livelihoods from climate change-related disasters.

The agreement saw Parties recommit to keeping the 1.5°C target for global temperature rise intact and significant progress made across the board on climate issues.

The agreement comes despite the significant economic and geopolitical challenges of the last year and follows negotiations that ran into extra time and saw the Presidency and Parties locked in detailed discussions around the clock.

Speaking in the closing plenary, COP President H.E. Sameh Shoukry said:

“The work that we’ve managed to do here in the past two weeks, and the results we have together achieved, are a testament to our collective will, as a community of nations, to voice a clear message that rings loudly today, here in this room and around the world: that multilateral diplomacy still works…. despite the difficulties and challenges of our times, the divergence of views, level of ambition or apprehension, we remain committed to the fight against climate change…. we rose to the occasion, upheld our responsibilities and undertook the important decisive political decisions that millions around the world expect from us.”

COP President Shoukry continued, “This was not easy. We worked around the clock. Long days and nights. Strained and sometimes tense, but united and working for one aim, one higher purpose, one common goal that we all subscribe to and aspire to achieve. In the end, we delivered.”

The agreement saw considerable advancements across the board and pledges by developed countries in relation to Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance, and Loss and Damage for developing countries in line with the Egyptian COP27 Presidency’s vision for the COP.

The issue of loss and damage was, for the first time, central to the agenda at COP and progress on its financing is a pivotal part of COP27’s success. 

Speaking about the historic decision on loss and damage COP27 President H.E. Sameh Shoukry said:

“We heard the calls, and we responded. Today, here in Sharm El-Sheikh, we established the first-ever dedicated fund for loss and damage, a fund that has been so long in the making. It was only appropriate that this COP, the implementation COP in Africa, is where the fund is finally established. Millions around the globe can now sense a glimmer of hope that their suffering will finally be addressed, swiftly and appropriately.”

The agreement and pledges made on loss and damage aim to unlock greater ambitions for mitigation and adaptation. During COP27 financial pledges were made for loss and damage from multiple countries during the COP including Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, and New Zealand, joining Denmark and Scotland, which had made pledges previously.

The work of the High-Level Champions in implementing the 5-Year Plan for the Improved Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action for Enhancing Ambition was also welcomed.  In particular, the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, regionalisation of climate action, and advancing investment and access to finance in developing countries were particularly commended. The COP further encouraged the High-Level Champions to continue enhancing their engagement with non-state actors, in alignment with the new emerging priorities from COP27, and to follow up on the implementation of their initiatives launched this year.

As COP President, Egypt will now steward the continuous global climate change agenda in line with the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan in the year ahead.

Speaking about the year ahead, COP President Shoukry said: “We leave Sharm El-Sheikh with renewed hope in the future of our planet, with an even stronger collective will and more determination to achieve the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

“We’ve just adopted the landmark Sharm El-Sheikh Mitigation Ambition and Implementation Work Programme that will hugely contribute to keeping 1.5 within reach, and I trust that we all know what needs to be done to safeguard 1.5 and ensure that we never go beyond.”

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende