The UN summit on Climate change has wrapped up with a landmark deal on funding to help vulnerable countries cope with devastating climate impacts but also anger over a failure to be more ambitious on cutting emissions.
The two-week talks in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, which at times appeared to teeter on the brink of collapse, delivered a breakthrough on a fund for climate “loss and damage”.
“We have struggled for 30 years on this path, and today in Sharm el-Sheikh this journey has achieved its first positive milestone,” Pakistani climate minister Sherry Rehman told the summit, adding that COP27 “responded to the voices of the vulnerable”
UN chief Antonio Guterres said the talks had “taken an important step towards justice” with the loss and damage fund, but fell short in pushing for the urgent carbon-cutting needed to tackle global warming.
“Our planet is still in the emergency room,” Guterres said.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also warned that “more must be done”, while French President Emmanuel Macron proposed another summit in Paris ahead of COP28 in Dubai to agree on “a new financial pact” for vulnerable nations.
A final COP27 statement covering the broad efforts to grapple with a warming planet held the line on the aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.
It also included language on renewable energy for the first time, while reiterating previous calls to accelerate “efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.
“The agreements made at COP27 are a win for our entire world,” said Molwyn Joseph, of Antigua and Barbuda and chair of AOSIS.
“We have shown those who have felt neglected that we hear you, we see you, and we are giving you the respect and care you deserve.”
The fund will be geared towards developing nations “that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change” — language that had been requested by the EU.