A long way to go at COP27

COP27 has reached its halfway point, and there is a long way to go if this conference is to conclude with strong steps forward for climate justice.

“We must not get distracted by technical and procedural discussions,” said Rudelmar Bueno de Faria. “The parties must keep the needs of the most vulnerable people, including women and girls in all their diversity, indigenous people, and those in developing nations, at the forefront of their negotiations, and the decisions of this COP must provide the finance, voice, and seats at the table for them.”

ACT Alliance is a faith-based organization, and like all faith groups, ACT’s members are present in communities before, during and after disasters, including climate-induced ones.  “Churches and other communities of faith are best placed to know the situation and to be first responders,” said Mattias Soderberg, co-chair of ACT Alliance’s Climate Working Group. “As integral parts of the communities where we work, we know that all people are part of their communities, including youth, women, and indigenous people. Climate resilience requires communities too, and those communities must include the voices of all.”

ACT Alliance notes that there is not enough progress in many workstreams. 

Mitigation- keep your eye on the prize

 A strong, climate justice focused result on mitigation must keep focused on the need to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C.  To achieve this, we must think outside the box, looking at economy-wide emissions cuts, nature-based solutions, locally led processes, and other innovative methods as work to enhance mitigation ambition. We must not allow backtracking of progress so far to keep 1.5 alive, but ensure we keep the bar within reach.

Article 6- human rights at the centre

 Human rights, gender responsive text, and the inclusion of indigenous peoples in the processes are necessary to a good result on Article 6.  In addition, mechanisms must be transparent and clear, avoiding double counting or inclusion of false solutions.

Gender- a weak tea so far

 The text on gender is weak language to date.  States are “encouraged” rather than “urged,”, and the strongest commitments are listed as “voluntary.”  The language must be stronger! It is important that finance is availed to strengthen gender responsiveness in climate action.

“Women and girls did not volunteer to be more impacted by climate emergencies. We want to see their involvement in all levels of leadership and decision-making processes for climate actions”, said Margareta Koltai, policy adviser from Act Church of Sweden.

Adaptation- missing in inaction?

 COP27 was touted as an adaptation and implementation COP, but there has been very little movement on either topic.  The decision to double adaptation funding made at COP26 in Glasgow is a good one, but the question remains of who is benefiting from the funds.  We need good quality adaptation finance flows, with grants rather than loans, and where funds reach the people who need them most: the vulnerable people who have done the least to cause climate change yet face the worst of its impacts.

Finance- 17 billion short and counting

 While we applaud the decision to double adaptation finance, we underscore the importance of funding being new and additional, not being drawn from other incredibly important work, including humanitarian response and ODA.  We call on developed nations to meet their commitment to 100 billion dollars per year, not the 83 billion that Canada and Germany reported in week 1. And we know that the majority of  these billions are loans that much be paid back, and most of the funds are taken from existing aid budgets, leaving less funds for projects supporting education, healthcare and democracy.

“We know that the needs for adaptation and loss and damage will continue to grow, and that 100 billion is not nearly enough,” said Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, Special Envoy for Climate Change of ACT Alliance. “People and communities are impacted by climate induced disasters every day, and support must be available to communities to adapt and recover.”

Loss and Damage- stepping stones to a solution

ACT is pleased that loss and damage was included in the agenda for COP27, but having it on the agenda is not enough.  COP27 must agree to the need for loss and damage finance- new and additional financing, in the form of grants, not loans Once COP27 agrees to the need for finance, work can continue towards COP28.

From deliberation to action

“As we start the second week, we remind our political leadership that we are at a tipping point,” said Julius Mbatia, global climate justice program manager at ACT Alliance. This year’s global climate talks must set decisions that facilitate implementation to secure our planet and the lives of those vulnerable to climate impacts. We need no more failed commitments, shifting blame and burden. It is time we repurpose this process from deliberations to action.”

Media contact

Simon Chambers WhatsApp: +1-416-435-0972 simon.chambers@actalliance.org