COP 27: Final Takeaways COP 27 was the third longest COP in history, with delegates working through the night to reach a unanimous decision on the many issues at hand. One thing was strikingly clear – climate change is now mainstream. Global coverage of the biggest climate summit made headlines through the weeks, providing hope or despair, depending on where you looked. Was COP 27 everything we expected? What was the biggest win at COP27? The push for stronger climate financing measures resulted in the historic outcome of establishing a ‘loss and damage fund’. Although the finer details have not been drafted, this was still the prominent highlight of COP 27. This fund will only be available for developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate-related disasters. This is a crucial win for small island nations. In a COP 27 interview, Dr. Kees van der Geest, Senior Migration Expert, United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), explained what loss and damage means, in a nutshell: “I've been working on it [loss and damage] for 10 years. ‘Loss and damage’ is really about situations; where people live in places where the impacts of climate change are so severe that adaptation is no longer possible or feasible. It is not necessarily a future scenario because that is the lived reality for some people now.” Here’s an article for further reading. What was the biggest disappointment at COP27? With global warming at 1.1C, COP 27 proved that the scientific consensus of limiting warming to 1.5C was not being taken seriously enough. The final decision made no mention of phasing down fossil fuels, except for coal, with the power of fossil fuel delegates tremoring through this decision. The IPCC stresses that global emissions must decline 45% by 2030 if we want to keep this limit alive, which means that we need to peak global emissions by 2025. This does not mean that we should just wait until COP 28 in hopes of sweeping action. In every corner of the world, people are rallying together to implement ambitious initiatives and COP 27 has also shed light on many positive developments. For the people and the planet. And the Ocean! Here are Seven Wins for the Ocean from COP27: Young people are part of the decision-making process -COP 27 hosted a Youth and Children Pavilion, marking the first official space for young people at a COP. Another milestone came from YOUNGO, the official children and youth constituency of the UNFCCC, being recognised as stakeholders in designing and implementing climate policies. Boost for renewables –Despite the disappointment with curbing fossil fuels, the enthusiasm for a just energy transition is undeniable. Renewable energies are here to stay. Some of the commitments include - Tanzania updated their NDC to achieve 80% adoption of renewable energies by 2025 (from 60% in 2015) The Just Energy Transition Partnership for Indonesia which launched at the G20 summit, in parallel to COP 27, will secure $20 billion from wealthy economies to scale up renewables like solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. Further gains for the Global Methane Pledge –In our recap of the first week of COP, we mentioned that over 130 countries joined the Global Methane Pledge. By the end of COP 27, that number has grown to over 150 countries! Decarbonising shipping is now a serious priority –There has been massive mobilisation to curb shipping emissions. Some of the measures include – More countries, ports, and companies stated their plans to support the Green Shipping Challenge. Here’s a list of the various announcements made. The EU’s “Fit for 55” package proposal includes the first ever carbon market for shipping and adoption of cleaner fuels. Noteworthy policy recommendation: No one country is responsible for a majority of shipping emissions but a study conducted by Transport & Environment showed that a zero-emission mandate in EU, China, and US could decarbonise 84% of global shipping. The Ocean is part of the final cover decision – This year we welcomed the dialogue on Ocean and climate change, highlighting the importance of Ocean-based climate action. The COP 27 cover decision emphasises this need and encourages nations to “blue” their NDC’s. Funds for early-warning systems – Vulnerable nations need early-warning systems for adaptation and building resilience. UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced a $3.1 billion plan to support the development of these systems to protect people within the next five years. Nature-based Solutions for the Ocean –We cannot address climate change without considering the Ocean. As more and more people realise this, here are some great initiatives supporting the Ocean: The Great Blue Wall Initiative aims to protect marine areas to counteract the effects of climate change and global warming. Hope for Coral Reefs - Egypt announced protection for the entire Great Fringing Reef in the Red Sea, creating a 2000km marine protected area (MPA). The Mangrove Breakthrough Alliance aims to secure the future of 15 million hectares of mangroves globally, by 2030, through collective action. The Convex Seascape Survey is a research programme aiming to provide critical data and insights on the connections between carbon and the Ocean. Image Credit: IUCN Ocean Generation’s Comment on COP 27 Just like any other COP, there is always going to be tension between progress and potential setbacks. While there will always be room for doing more and better, COP is the only summit where world leaders and multiple stakeholders come together to discuss our environmental impacts and implement solutions. And without it, the conversations would be more diluted, disjointed, and slow to progress. The progress made year on year at COP should translate into hope for all. The decisions we make in this decade will have long-lasting impacts and we hope the Ocean continues to receive exponentially more importance in COP 28’s agenda next year. In the midst of increasing climate-related disasters perpetuated by other crises, hope can be instilled through action. We need the Ocean more than it needs us. So, let’s act now - in whatever position, wherever we are. However big, however small. It’s Ocean, not Oceans. Want to know why? click here.