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COP27 lowdown: 11 articles that you need to have read

28 November 2022, 15:33 UTC 4 min read

The Sharm El-Sheikh climate conference was a mixed bag in our view. The agreement of a loss and damage fund was a breakthrough of a principle, while the final text didn’t include more ambitious language on the phase down of all fossil fuels in line with 1.5C. Here’s 11 insightful pieces reflecting what really went on.

1. The Guardian: A deal on loss and damage, but a blow to 1.5C – what will be Cop27’s legacy?

Written by Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent

This piece captures the intensity of the climate negotiations and the euphoria that delegates felt once a deal was struck. Fiona shares some of the scathing views from the UK and the EU on the final text and the jubilation of vulnerable countries after a new loss and damage fund was agreed. Read now.

2. Al-Monitor: No way to run a COP – climate summit host Egypt gets bad marks

Written by Marlowe Hood, AFP Environmental Editor

From the start, Egypt received criticism over its handling of negotiations. This varied from the practical, like lack of drinking water, to dismay that the host seemed to protect petrostates by not including more ambitious language on fossil fuels. Read more.

3. Euronews: Fossil fuel lobbyists outnumber almost every national delegation at COP27, data shows

Written by Charlotte Elton, Journalist and Digital Producer

Global Witness reported that the number of delegates with links to fossil fuels jumped by 25% to more than 600. That tally was larger than the combined delegations from the 10 most climate-impacted countries including Mozambique, Philippines and Pakistan. Read more.

4. New York Times: U.S. and China restart climate talks

Written by Jim Tankersley, White House Correspondent, and Lisa Friedman, Climate Change and Energy Reporter

Direct talks between countries or negotiating blocks are often the real way agreements on climate come about. So delegates were cheered by the news that China and the US, the two largest emitters, would be resuming direct engagement. Read now.

5. Hindustan Times: Climate funding – should emerging economies pay? Row emerges

Written by Jayashree Nandi, Environment Journalist

There was a strong drive by developed countries to include China and India as donors of the loss and damage fund. Up until recently, the focus has been on historical polluters like the US and Europe paying for their emissions. This push-and-pull on funding mechanisms between developed and emerging markets looks set to continue. Read now.

6. The African Exponent: Africa to lose 64% of GDP due to failed promises by the West

Written by Sebastiane Ebatamehi, Journalist

Reports released around COP can help drive the agenda. This study by Christian Aid highlights the impact that climate change could inflict on Africa. The continent faces an average 20% hit to its expected GDP by 2050. Despite contributing least to climate change, African countries stand to suffer most from its effects. Read more.

7. The Economist’s four-part podcast series: Babbage at COP27

Hosted by Gavin Jackson, Economics and Finance Correspondent

We recommend these four episodes on COP27 from The Economist. The first sets the scene and discusses how positive we should feel about staying below 1.5C. The others examine global efforts to adapt, how energy security concerns are affecting efforts to decarbonise, and what the final deal means for future climate action. Listen now.

8. Bloomberg Green: Lula’s pledge to save Amazon wins hero’s welcome at COP27

Written by Salma El Wardany, Journalist, Oliver Crook, Managing Editor, and Laura Millan Lombrana, Climate Change Reporter

Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Ignacio Lula Da Silva (known as Lula) was given the warmest of welcomes at the conference. He committed to zero deforestation in the Amazon by 2030 and offered to host the UN climate talks in 2025. Read more.

9. Guardian Australia: UN experts demand crackdown on greenwashing of net zero pledges

Written by Adam Morton, Environment Editor

A UN High Level Expert Group reported on integrity in the commitments of actors such as business, state/regional governments and more. That may sound technical but we think its recommendations will influence the climate agenda of these groups for many years, e.g. the UN group ruled they must take responsibility for scope 3 emissions. Read more. Also see our report with Oliver Wyman, Getting Going, showing business should lead with strategy not just measurement.

10. The Straits Times: ADB, Indonesia launch first coal plant retirement deal

Written by David Fogarty, Climate Change Editor, and Cheryl Tan, Science and Environment Journalist

OK, so this was strictly on the sidelines of the G20 summit but deals to shut specific fossil fuel plants are set to be a key trend. This one, being finalised by the Asian Development Bank, is noteworthy for its scale -  30 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 800,000 cars off the road. The Indonesian government has identified 31 other coal plants they think could also be shut down early.  Read more.

11. Business Green: The 1.5C limit matters and we need governments to prove they get it

Written by Helen Clarkson, Climate Group CEO

Our CEO Helen Clarkson talks here about the need for governments to stop ‘climate delayism’ and listen to the demands of business on the action needed. During the conference, a call from 250 businesses and civil society groups emerged, with a plea to governments to get on with implementing their plans in line with 1.5C. Read in full.

We must halve global emissions by 2030 if we’re to have any chance of achieving net zero by 2050. This isn’t about waiting for another UN conference or global meeting to take a next step. Business and government must work together now to reduce fossil fuels and speed up the clean energy transition.