"The agreement that has been reached, on what has become the litmus test for COP27, is historic and progressive. While the final text on Loss and Damage* is a compromise from that originally proposed by the EU, this new agreement will now mean that millions of people, whose land, water sources, and livelihoods are being eroded every day because of the impacts of climate change, can begin to look forward to targeted and strengthened support and protection from the global community. I would like to praise the Irish team, which was centrally involved in the work to bring the agreement over the line.
"I welcome the agreed decision to establish new funding arrangements to assist developing countries that are especially vulnerable. Progress on broadening the contributor base to now include the potential for innovative sources of funding could open the way for a landmark break from traditional thinking. Such sources could potentially include sectors like aviation, shipping and the fossil fuel industry. There is now scope for exploring the potential for financing and debt relief for especially vulnerable countries from multilateral and development banks.
"A commitment to keep 1.5 alive** is a crucial underpinning. Without mitigation, the more adaptation we would have to do, and the more Loss and Damage would cost. We have to keep 1.5 alive to keep people alive.
"This is not perfect. The EU would have liked it to have gone further and faster. However, what makes this a good deal is that it is an agreed deal. It is a signal of trust between the 198 parties to the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] that we are serious about climate change and that we are serious about protecting especially vulnerable countries and communities.
"The really hard work starts when we leave Sharm-El-Sheikh; when we begin to put in place the mechanisms and the expert groups that are needed to bring this agreement to life. But it’s reassuring that it has started here and that we didn’t have to leave looking to the next COP, with mounting concern, to deal with this life and death issue."
*Loss and Damage arising from the adverse effects of climate change can include those related to extreme weather events but also slow onset events, such as sea level rise, increasing temperatures, ocean acidification, glacial retreat and related impacts, salinization, land and forest degradation, loss of biodiversity and desertification.
** 'Keep 1.5 alive' refers to the objective to ensure that global warming stays within a 1.5°C increase above pre-industrial levels – thus preventing the worst impacts of climate change.
COP27 is the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). This annual climate change conference is run by the United Nations and brings together almost every country in the world to try reach agreement on how to tackle climate change.
It took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this year having commenced on 6 November. Prior to the commencement of the event, scaling up climate finance for climate resilience and addressing climate-induced Loss and Damage were recognised as two core issues for COP27.