A landmark deal to compensate countries for climate impacts was agreed at COP27 that ended in Egypt last Sunday, after over-running by two days.
But there was no deal to address the key cause of climate impacts – greenhouse gas emissions.
Catholic Yeb Sano of Greenpeace Southeast Asia said: “Unless all fossil fuels are not rapidly phased out, no amount of money will be able to cover the cost of the resulting loss and damage.”
Referring to the new loss and damage fund, he said: “Is it something we should celebrate? Yes. Is it enough? No,” adding: “Let's continue fighting the good fight and build solidarity like we have never done before.”
The parties agreed to the loss and damage fund but did not agree to take genuine action to keep within 1.5°C global temperature rise. The UK’s Alok Sharma, who was president of the previous COP26 summit in Glasgow, was clearly disappointed when he said: “A clear commitment to phase-out all fossil fuels? Not in this text.” Many blamed the 800-plus fossil fuel lobbyists at COP27 as well of lack of political will of many of the 200 country delegations at COP27.
Tomás Insua, executive director of the Laudato Si’ Movement, tweeted: “Incremental progress is defeat; we are in a climate emergency. Time to double down pressure on the fossil fuel industry. Way more divestment, lawsuits, blockades, nonproliferation treaty, etc, to accelerate the just transition before it's too late.”
Cafod said: “The establishment of a loss and damage fund is a major step forward in supporting communities whose lives, livelihoods and cultures have been destroyed by the climate crisis,” adding: “The next step is to ensure that the fund works under clear principles of justice and is capitalised without delay.” The Church’s agency in England and Wales described the lack of progress on phasing out of fossil fuel in the cover text as “extremely disappointing” and said it “does not match the urgency as clearly outlined by the science”.
Caritas Africa - a network of 46 National Catholic Charity organisations in the south of the Sahara - pointed out that climate change is already a lived reality for millions across Africa. It joined all those urging that climate campaigning will build up again to COP28 in United Arab Emirates a year from now for “international solidarity is crucial at this time”.