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COP27: The Opinion From Spectators

Developed nations reached a significant agreement to help less developed nations pay for the disastrous effects of climate change during the United Nations climate summit held in Egypt this year.

With the ongoing history of COP spanning over 26 years, developing nations have been seeking financial aid for loss and destruction. The fund agreement is a significant step forward as this could help save and reconstruct the economic and social infrastructure of land severely damaged by extreme weather.

As COP27 drew to a close however, much of the world was left unsatisfied by its outcome. Despite a desperate need to speed up the phasing out of fossil fuels that are responsible for greenhouse gases, and despite pressure from much of the general population, the agreement merely repeats the language from last year’s agreement in Glasgow, calling for a “step down of unabated coal”.

The Opinion from Spectators

Some delegates believe effort to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius still alive

The COP27 event in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt led to concessions that wealthy nations must act to help accelerate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. While the consensus that the attempt to restrict global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius is still alive, many believe that all was achieved was a hastily negotiated deal that doesn’t build on the agreement from last year’s conference in Glasgow.

James Shaw, the Minister of Climate Change for New Zealand, criticised the agreement as the new wording removed the targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major economies, meaning they could now increase carbon activities without repercussions. This broke the previous conditions that were established under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, which makes the Net-Zero targets such as the United Kingdom’s 2050 more difficult to attain.

Climate catastrophes led to deal on loss and damage, official says

Lia Nicholson, a representative from Antigua and Barbuda stated that the increased number of climatic disasters in recent months contributed to the decision to create a fund for loss and damages. She expressed gratitude for the deal but disappointment that it wasn't doing enough to curb temperature increases.

Nicholson said, "It is a sad fact that the stark reality of human suffering around the world these past months due to climate change helped to strengthen our resolve here." She was also speaking on behalf of the Association of Small Island States, the umbrella organisation for the smaller nations for which rising sea levels are an existential threat, not just a nuisance.

"The world will not thank us": EU’s Timmermans expresses disappointment with COP27 outcome

European Union Climate Director Frans Timmermans said “The world will not thank us”, as countries could not come to an agreement to accelerate the war against global warming. The final agreement, according to Timmermans, who believed there were 80 states that supported a plan from the EU that would have compelled countries to stop using fossil fuels, "Does little to address the yawning gap" between what scientists say is required and present policies around the world. "What we have in front of us is not enough of a step forward for people and planet," he said.


Unfortunately, many of the delegates who attended COP27 were left unsatisfied with the outcome. There does not appear to have been any real progress, as different parties have described the result as disappointing because similar agreements were previously made at the climate conference during the summit in Glasgow the year before. Some positives can be taken, however, as it is important that we keep having conversations about climate change, and how best to mitigate the effect of this.

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