Cairo, Egypt.- The UN climate summit COP27, held in Egypt, was praised on Sunday for the creation of a “loss and damage” fund to help vulnerable countries cope with the destructive impacts of global warming. However, there was also criticism of a lack of ambition in reducing emissions to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, pointed out that the edition of this climate meeting “has taken an important step towards justice. I welcome the decision to establish a fund for losses and damages.”
“Clearly this will not be enough. To have any hope of sustaining 1.5, we need to invest massively in renewable energy and kick our addiction to fossil fuels.”
While the new agreement does not increase calls to cut emissions, it does maintain language to keep alive the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Egyptian presidency continued to offer proposals dating back to the language of Paris in 2015, which also mentioned a more flexible target of 2 degrees. The world has already warmed 1.1 degrees since pre-industrial times.
The final deal also did not expand on last year’s call to phase out global use of “steady coal,” despite India and other countries pushing to include oil and natural gas in the Glasgow language. That was also the subject of last-minute debate, which particularly upset the Europeans.
And in his remarks to negotiators, UN climate chief Simon Stiell called on the world “to move away from fossil fuels, including coal, oil and gas.”