COP27 Update: A Climate Crisis Cop-out?

November 24th, 2022 - by The Climate Reality Project

So, What Happened at COP 27?

The Climate Reality Project

WASHINGTON, DC (November 22, 2022) — After two weeks of intense negotiations, the UN’s COP 27 climate summit is officially over!

What was perhaps the most important COP since Paris in 2015 led to a historic breakthrough: the creation of a loss and damage fund to support the most vulnerable countries before, during, and after climate-related disasters. But the conference also saw a major setback, as nations stalled on committing to phasing out fossil fuels and reducing emissions, as we need to in order to keep warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

So one step forward and one step back. The bottom line is that we have a lot of work ahead of us. And based on the enthusiasm and grit we saw at COP 27 from our climate advocates, we know we’re up for it.

Climate Reality staff, over 200 of our Climate Reality Leaders, and our founder and chairman, former US Vice President Al Gore, were on the ground for the UN’s COP 27 climate conference, bringing us updates in real time.

So, what happened? Here are some highlights.

Powerful Speeches and Presentations
Former US Vice President Al Gore opened the summit by throwing down the gauntlet to us all:

“We have a credibility problem – all of us. We’re talking and we’re starting to act, but we’re not doing enough. It is a choice to continue this pattern of destructive behavior. We have other choices.” You can watch his full speech here.

Inroads on Reforming Global Finance
One of the major focuses of negotiations was how to turn major financial institutions like the World Bank into powerful engines for progress – not pollution.

No wonder. Under World Bank President David Malpass’s leadership, the bank has pumped billions into fossil fuel projects poisoning our air and changing our climate.

It’s time for a change — and demands for reforming the World Bank and other multilateral development banks seemed to resonate at COP 27, with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry telling reporters that reform could unlock $1 trillion in funding for clean energy transition in countries hard hit by climate change.

The call for reform would not be visible if it were not for the prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley. Mottley called for the revisiting of Bretton Woods, the conference that birthed the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying “Yes, it is time for us to remember that those countries who sit in this room today did not exist at the time that the Bretton Woods institutions were formed for the most part. And therefore, we have not seen, we have not been heard sufficiently.”

More is needed, but these shifts in tone – coupled with an admission from IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva that the institution must “mobilize to address” climate change, and reports that US Senator Ed Markey is planning to organize his colleagues to remove the longtime climate denier leading the World Bank — offer reasons for hope that one of the planet’s major funders for climate-destroying fossil fuels could instead become a critical catalyst for change.
• You can take action on this now, too!
Tell Pres. Biden the World Bank Needs New Leadership

We’ve Got a New Kid at COP
There was a new kid at COP! Our very own social media manager Ashley Walker was on the ground sharing her perspectives as a “new kid” attending the conference. Check out her posts on social media on the hashtag #NewKidatCOP and watch her excitement about joining the conference for the first time!

Our Climate Reality Community Connects
Climate Reality Leaders, staff, and our founder and chairman Al Gore connected for a networking reception in Sharm El Sheikh. It was so inspiring to hear from Climate Reality Leaders from around the world who take the skills and knowledge they gained at our Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings and are making real change in their communities.

We know that real movement comes from the grassroots and we couldn’t ask for a better group of dedicated leaders!

More to come soon on what the outcomes from COP 27 will have on the future of our planet – check out our blog for more!

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