COP27 is the 27th Conference of the Parties for climate change. It happened in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, between the 6th and 20th of November 2022. The Conference of the Parties, meaning the COP meetings, are annual climate change meetings organised by the United Nations.
The most famous outcome of COP27 was the new fund for Loss and Damage. It aims to support nations after natural disasters caused by climate change. The participants decided to open this fund, yet, there was no agreement on who should fund it. The discussion about Loss and Damage will continue at the next meeting, COP28.
Conference of the Parties
The Conferences of the Parties on climate change started in 1995. The participants are mainly the member countries of the UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Also, other parties and stakeholders participate as observers. The purpose of the COP meetings on climate change is to monitor and discuss how to fight it. The main focus has been on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. More so, there is a range of other topics discussed. Such as how different countries will adapt to climate change. And who will pay for the effects of climate change that are already happening today?
The first meeting was in Berlin in 1995 and is known as COP1. Another famous COP meeting is COP21 which happened in Paris in 2015. It was at this meeting that the members created the Paris Agreement. Since then, 194 countries have signed it, while 187 have made it legally binding. In other words, ratified the agreement. Which means that they are bound to it under international law. Although, there are no serious consequences if the nations do not live up to it.
COP27 and the Loss and Damage fund
As mentioned above, the outcome of COP27 was establishing the Loss and Damage fund. Developing countries have been fighting for this fund for around 30 years. The purpose is to create financial assistance for countries struck by extreme weather, as the effects of climate change are increasingly visible worldwide. The money is for rescue missions as well as rebuilding infrastructure. However, there is still much work to be done with the fund. For example, countries have to decide who will finance it.
COP27 was also a meeting to strengthen the goals of the Paris Agreement. Namely, to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Countries have agreed to do this by strengthening their commitments each year. However, many thought that COP27 failed in this aspect. For example, there was no agreement to let emissions peak by 2025. More so, COP27 did not strengthen the language of the Glasgow Climate Pact from COP26. Some nations suggested changing the words from “phasing out the use of coal” to “phasing out all fossil fuels”. Yet, they could not agree on this.