COP27- Need for private action to limit climate change urgently!

The final COP27 text agreed by leaders represented a breakthrough for loss and damage, but a breakdown for limiting peak GHG by 2025, and little progress for adaptation.

Here’s a very short summary:

Loss and damage: countries agreed to establish for the first time a fund which will pay out financial assistance for loss and damage caused by climate change - for example, to rebuild infrastructure damaged by climate change-caused extreme weather. Whilst there are still many unknowns about how this fund will work, the commitment to establish it represents a big step forward in having loss and damage recognised as a key issue. 

Greenhouse Gas emissions: countries removed the resolution to cause emissions to peak by 2025, committing to boost 'low-emissions energy', which could mean ‘low emissions coal’, gas or other technologies which fall short of the aggressive transition we need now. There was also no additional commitment regarding the need to ‘phase down’ fossil fuels that was made at COP26. 

Adaptation: whilst some countries tried to remove previous commitments to double funding into adaptation, it was reaffirmed at COP27, however, not increased. 

What does this tell us: annual COPs are meant to provide a platform where commitments to fight climate change can be annually ‘ratcheted’ up until they are sufficient to limit climate change to 1.5C by the end of the century. Despite the breakthrough on loss and damage, this year’s COP left many feeling that the ratchet had not shifted. As climate impacts intensify, the need for other mechanisms besides the UNFCCC annual COP is evident. With vast amounts of private capital available, it is critical that global communities focus on increasing capital allocation to sustainable transition and avoid further lock-in to high emissions development pathways.

Enter FAST Infra: At COP27, it was announced that GIB and Bloomberg will take the role of Secretariat and Data Repository of the FAST (Finance to Accelerate the Sustainable Transition) Infra Sustainable Infrastructure Label.