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COP27 Day 1 - "Highway to Climate Hell"

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Photo credit: UNFCCC 2022

“We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator”. These were strong words from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, no doubt chosen to focus minds ahead of a critical 18 days at COP27.

A key theme for day one was justice. Climate reparations and financing for loss and damage for countries that have been most affected by climate change have started and will no doubt need to continue for the remainder of COP27. Developing countries will ask for more than the $100billion already pledged, and seek payments for loss and damage already caused.

Nations will also need to consider what a ‘just-transition’ to a net-zero future looks like, and an interesting debate around the use of gas demonstrates some of the potential issues around that. In short, some African nations want to use fossil fuels to power development and bring electricity to the many people who lack it. Many nations oppose this, citing it as an unsustainable solution at a time when the climate cannot afford any new fossil fuel emissions.

Christopher Kerr, who heads up DJB’s ESG Special Interest Group said: “The tagline for COP27 is ‘together for implementation’, a nod to the need for all nations to be united in the battle against climate change. To achieve that, difficult conversations need to be had especially around what is fair to ask of developing nations compared to richer countries and we saw that on day one, with conversations focused on the use of fossil fuels to increase social mobility and the need for fair climate financing. It is accepted that developing countries did comparatively little to cause the climate emergency and that they seem to be suffering the biggest consequences of it. These countries will ask for a far greater financial commitment from wealthier nations, through ‘loss and damage’ payments and climate finance. The outcome of those talks will go a long way to establishing whether all nations come together or not.”



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