COP27 Recap: The Biggest Takeaways from Sharm el-Sheikh

Dec 19, 2022

An exterior view of the convention meeting space showcasing the flags of all participating countries.

COP27 Recap: The Biggest Takeaways from Sharm el-Sheikh

Our Team Explains What COP27 Is and the Biggest News from the Conference 

The COP27 summit took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, when record temperatures and floods made climate change ever more present. High inflation and geo-political crises like the war in Ukraine have also exacerbated the impacts on vulnerable communities while leading many governments to backtrack on previous pledges. 

Along with everyone concerned with the impacts of climate change, Environ was eager to follow the events and outcomes of COP27. This blog covers the most significant takeaways of COP27 now that the summit is over.

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What is COP27?

At Sharm el-Sheikh, 100 Heads of State and Government, joined by over 45,000 different participants, came together to hold critical negotiations, forums, pavilions, and press conferences regarding the climate crisis. The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changes (COP) spanned two weeks from November 6th to November 20th. It began with a review of COP26 initiatives and concluded with a new implementation plan. Below we outline some of the major decisions included in the COP27 package. 

Loss and Damage Fund 

As part of the COP27 implementation plan, governments will establish new funding arrangements and a dedicated fund to assist developing countries. The fund aims to help a group known as the Vulnerable 20–nations already suffering from drought, food shortages, flooding, and deadly heat waves. 

A recent document estimated these countries lost $525 billion in wealth over the past two decades due to climate change. These new loss and damage funds look to address some of that impact. Who will pay into the fund and who will benefit will be worked out in 2023. 

It also establishes a transition committee to make recommendations on how to operationalize The Santiago Network for Loss and Damage in ways that provide technical assistance to countries particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The committee will present these recommendations at the 2023 climate summit. 

Before then, each country will have to deal with their own political implications. In the US, for example, congress would have to approve any contributions to the loss and damage fund. In the past, the US and EU have been reluctant to contribute to these types of funds due to concerns they’ll be held directly liable for future climate disasters. 

Progress on Adaptation 

Leveraging new pledges of $250 million made at COP27, the Adaptation Fund will develop concrete solutions to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change. Adaptation measures will include ways to create greater resilience for people living in the most climate-vulnerable areas. 

A Push for Inclusion

COP27 focused explicitly on bringing new stakeholders into the climate action conversation. Not only did it establish a five-year action plan on Action for Climate Empowerment, but it also reviewed the Gender Action Plan. Encouraging young voices was also a priority, with a dedicated pavilion for children and youth and a youth-led Climate Forum. 

Recap of Key Projects

  • UN Secretary Antonio Guterres announced a $3.1 billion plan to create early warning systems within the next five years. 
  • G7 and V20 countries launched the Global Shield against Climate Risks with $200 million in initial funding and a goal of immediate implementation. 
  • New funding of $105.6 million for the Global Environment Facility Funds to help low-lying and low-income states. 
  • Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership to mobilize $20 billion in 3-5 years to accelerate energy transition. 

The Work Ahead 

Although Guterres praised the historical loss and damage fund in particular, he clearly stated there was still a lot of work left to do: “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.” 

Establishing a low-carbon economy will require investments of up to $6 trillion yearly and a comprehensive transformation of financial institutions, governments, and central banks. And much direct work on decarbonization –including finalizing a rulebook for the carbon credit markets–will not be addressed until the 2023 summit. 

Vital steps are being taken to address the climate crisis every day. Have any questions about COP27 or the latest climate change initiatives? Schedule a consultation with our energy experts, by giving us a call or filling out our contact form.