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The Good and The Bad of COP27


At the United Nations climate summit in Egypt this year, developed nations came to a historic agreement to assist underdeveloped countries in paying for the terrible effects of climate change.

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 to 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”.

Good news

  • The establishment of a long-awaited loss and damage fund for aiding developing nations that are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change was approved by parties at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, making history.
  • More than 190 nations decided to create a fund for loss and damage at COP27, expanding on an earlier agreement known as the Warsaw International Mechanism from COP19.
  • Another significant event was a $20 billion finance agreement between wealthy nations including Japan, the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany and Indonesia, who are one of the world's major consumers of coal. The agreement, which represents the largest effort to date to convince developing countries to give up coal, was announced at the G20 conference in Bali, Indonesia, which was taking place at the same time as COP27.

Bad news

  • Although this year's climate summit had a more condensed agenda than previous ones, the negotiations were extremely difficult. The Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in a global increase in energy prices, which sparked unchecked inflation and sapped the drive to increase investments in climate change mitigation. As a result, some nations, including Germany, increased their use of fossil fuels this year.
  • Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told attendees that floods in the country caused $30 billion in damage. “This all happened despite our very low carbon footprint, and yet we became a victim of something with which we had nothing to do,” he said.
  • China, India, the United States, Russia, and Brazil are the five countries that release the most methane, making up half of the global total. At COP27, China's climate ambassador Xie Zhenhua unexpectedly announced additional initiatives to reduce methane, although she refrained from making a commitment to action.
  • The terminology of the final agreement is ambiguous, however, and there is no explanation of how much money the fund requires, who must contribute, or who qualifies for compensation. Developed nations have already fallen short of their $100 billion pledge to finance climate-related projects in underdeveloped nations. These are urgent issues, so the conversation must continue at COP28 in Dubai, and in the coming years.


The fundamental issue with international climate negotiations is that while everyone must act quickly and aggressively to slow global warming, no one can compel anyone else to take any action. The pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are voluntary. Furthermore, since the guidelines for achieving these goals are established by agreement, both major oil producers like Saudi Arabia and nations losing land to sea level rise, like Tuvalu, must agree.

It was easier to find bad news as opposed to good news from the recent panels held at COP27 as there was a disappointing turnout with global leaders being unable to finalise any agreement with at least one party being opposed to the terms and conditions. Pakistan’s suffering from flooding during the two week event was particularly contentious as they had one of the better preforming values for reducing their carbon footprint according to guidelines in the previous COP26 agreement.

Although interest and planning in climate-related issues is increasing worldwide, COP27 provides ample opportunity and must be used as a platform to engage everyone from large businesses to individuals to understand that the planet is in danger, countries are at risk, and time for action is immediate.


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