Breakthrough agreement on Loss and Damage Fund, yet serious disagreements on mitigation, climate refugees, and fossil fuel. What the end of this COP27 has brought us.

Finally, on the 20th of November, the agreement was made and the final cover decision came out. It is historical and it can be seen that many efforts have been made. We cannot ignore the fact that it was a success at one point but at another, it is disappointing to see that leaders are scared to make challenging decisions to phase out fossil fuels and end the cause of this problem. COP27 has made solid points when it comes to loss and damage, youth inclusion, and food systems. Although it has recognized the importance of the need for a transformation in the global financial system, financial mechanisms transformation was said to be continued in COP28 in Dubai.

Agreeing on establishing a loss and damage fund is definitely a step forward to help bring justice to millions of people who are suffering and losing the one place they call home. Increased migration, now occurring more frequently, is putting a question mark on why leaders are not taking extreme measures on phasing out fossil fuels since we all know it will have many consequences at the beginning and it will affect the economy of many countries. However, it will force everyone to shift and transfer their resources of energy due to the absence of alternative options.

Funding is needed – but what will these people do with the money when their islands and countries disappear? How will this money be able to lower the sea level so they to have their homes back?

Let’s think about a climate refugee, someone who has done nothing, in fact, someone who has been putting a balance into nature and using its resources considerably, moreover, sharing these resources with the surrounding community. Why would we want this person to suffer and lose their sense of belonging and warmth? This person will not need the money after this place is gone from Earth. Therefore, it should have been a priority to find ways for ending these causes not only to repair what will happen later on.

It feels like we are waiting for the crisis to happen and then we work to take action, these same are not the promises / solutions we had previously heard to implement!

While 80 Countries have supported the cut of fossil fuels, this was not reflected in the cover decision. The European (EU) delegate said that the mitigation work plan does not block the path to 1.5 but it puts unnecessary barriers in the way and allows parties to hide from their responsibilities.

Additionally, there were too many attempts from different parties to roll back from the agreements that happened in Glasgow last year. Many have questioned the how not the why said the EU, “…the cost of inaction is much more expensive than the cost of action…We are faced with a moral dilemma!”.

Palau delegate said that, “…for countries like Palau it will mean that we have traded loss and damage. The money we wished – that we did not have – was requested in order to remain in our countries and in our homes. We do not want that hollow victory…we hope to continue to push each other for more mitigation ambition on our way to COP28”.

A great success was to see women included in the decision-making process. Women are being placed in leading roles, such as the Minister of Chile, Maisa Rojas, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, and the Scottish First Minister Sturgeon that delivered the loss and damage outcomes during the COP. Moreover, next year a Co-Presidency approach will be adopted by the UAE, offering the chance for men and women to work together for a 50:50 vision implementation!

One of the most interesting and well-organized analysis of what happened during COP and what we are looking forward to in the next COP was in this article.

Looking at the general overview, we can see that the Global Goal of Adaptation has a good share of achievements in capacity building and knowledge transfer, which makes a solid ground for further collaborations between developed and developing countries. This is necessary to create a win-win situation that enables both sides to benefit and have this circular economy approach achieved. Moreover, when it comes to financing it says that “…interesting transformational outcome that demonstrates how climate change is pushing also a financial system to change, although more systematic changes pushed by Mia Mottley & co. in the Bridgetown Agenda remain vastly unaddressed…”. Hopefully, this will be addressed in COP28.

On the mitigation, this aforementioned article has underlined many critical points, one of them was the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies that have been used to “…disguise climate inaction, justify fossil fuel expansion and distract from the urgent work of managing a global just transition away from oil, gas, and coal.”

Next Steps

COP28 will be mainly focused on strengthening the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero GFANZ, we expect to see progress reports from financial institutions and a focus on nature and the need for nature-based solutions to climate change. In addition to, defining the financial mechanisms needed for just transition. Moreover, mitigation needs to be revisited to compensate for what happened because this is a slide back that cannot be accepted.

Young Activists who want to join COP28

I was around COP26 last year but I did not have the chance to get inside and participate…I was still learning and I was just trying to understand. I was a fresh grad who had this question of why are we are not implementing environmental projects yet we are pretty sure that it is the answer for all this injustice and unreasonable consumption. That is why I have tried to study environmental politics to understand the barriers that are holding us back. This year, I am still learning, but I made a progress. I understood part of the question, but it keeps getting clearer, as I get more involved in these conversations and decisions happening for our present and future. And that we all need to be part of…

Therefore, this year I have collaborated with Rethinking Climate to tell you more about my story and the experience that I had at COP27, to try and give you an eye on the things that you need to put into consideration when trying to attend COP28 next year.

1- You need to apply for the Blue Zone by July to be able to get a badge, and try different organizations and different ways as a lot of opportunities are there recently for youth to allow us to get more engaged in the decisions.

2 – Register to be a YOUNGO member to get more involved and to receive the different opportunities that can help you get a badge easier and understand what is happening through engaging in the different conversations and meetings they do regularly.

3- Get involved in the Conference of Youth COY that happens before the COP

4 – Follow the UNFCCC on Youtube and LinkedIn

5- Follow people with the same interests as you on LinkedIn

6 – Follow Opportunities for Youth on LinkedIn

7 – Apply for the Green Zone, it will have many side events that will expand your knowledge and connections. If you have the Blue Zone pass you will automatically be able to access the green zone

8- Make sure to check the agenda for each day and to know what events you want to attend

9 – Do not forget to go to the innovation zone

10 – Before you go read the IPCC, the facts and understand the policies that are affecting the decisions of the leaders and the position of each country

11- Most importantly plan your flight tickets and accommodation

Finally, I would like to thank Rethinking Climate for giving me this platform to share my story with you and I hope these articles were informative and useful to you.

Looking forward to seeing you in the next COP!

Lamis

Rethinking Climate takes the opportunity to thank Lamis for her enthusiasm, great work, and the useful content provided!

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