5️⃣ Takeaways From COP27
This week we’ll be discussing the progress made at COP27, the annual U.N. climate conference that was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, over the past two weeks. I won’t lie – I didn’t get my hopes up for this year’s COP since Coca Cola, the largest plastics producer in the world, was the title sponsor and there was a 25% increase in fossil fuel industry attendance from COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. But despite my concerns, some progress was still made, so follow along to learn why climate justice ended up being the core theme of this year’s COP and how that is good news for our people and planet.
Loss And Damage Steals The Spotlight
😊 The Good News - For the first time in the nearly 30-year history of COPs, loss and damage took center stage in negotiations. Delegates agreed to set up a dedicated loss and damage fund to provide payments to developing countries experiencing the worst climate change impacts.
🥾 Follow This Path - When I say this is a long overdue step in the right direction, I really mean it. Activists and experts have been calling for loss and damage financing since the early 1990s. Loss and damage financing are crucial to climate action and justice because it will help developing countries recover from climate disasters, become more resilient to climate change, and transition to clean energy. I hope industrialized nations follow through with their loss and damage commitment.
Fine, I’ll Do It Myself
😊 The Good News - Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have formed an alliance to protect their rainforests out of frustration from a lack of help by industrialized nations. The three countries are home to 52% of the world’s rainforests, and they’re aiming to team up in order to secure funding from developed countries to finance their efforts.
🥾 Follow This Path - Rainforests are critical to combating climate change, as they are one of the world’s largest carbon sinks and biodiversity hubs However, deforestation is putting that all at risk. I’m excited that Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have decided to work together instead of waiting on developed countries to get their act together. But I’ll be carefully watching this alliance because all three countries have a poor track record of violating indigenous rights when studies have shown us that indigenous communities are key to protecting our world’s forests.
No Coal In Indonesia’s Stocking
😊 The Good News - Indonesia will soon receive $20 billion in funding to help transition away from coal. The deal has been over a year in the making, and the United States and Japan are the main financial backers. Coal accounts for over 60% of the country’s current energy generation, and the funding is expected to help move the country’s peak emissions date up by seven years.
🥾 Follow This Path - Studies have shown that the world must quickly transition away from coal in order to address climate change, but that is proving to be difficult, particularly for developing countries that rely on it as their primary source of energy. I’m excited that other countries are stepping up to help Indonesia transition away from coal, and I hope this model will set an example for other coal-reliant countries in the coming years.
Tuvalu Gets The Ball Rolling
😊 The Good News - Support for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, which aims to equitably and quickly phase out fossil fuels, grew at COP27. Tuvalu became the second country after Vanuatu to publicly endorse the treaty, and the World Health Organization joined the European Parliament in doing the same.
🥾 Follow This Path - The biggest thing that was missing from COP27 was a concrete plan to quickly phase out fossil fuels. That wasn’t surprising considering how much influence the fossil fuel industry had at this year’s COP, but I’m excited to see more countries and organizations step up to support the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This treaty, in my opinion, is the most comprehensive and justice-centered plan so far to phase out fossil fuels – which is why I’ve publicly endorsed it. The good thing about climate action is that it doesn’t just end at COP, so I hope the treaty gets more support between now and COP28 in Dubai.
Are We Finally On Track? It’s Complicated
😊 The Good News - President Biden announced at COP27 that the United States is now on track to meet its Paris Agreement emissions goals, thanks to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Research has shown that the law will reduce the country’s emissions by up to 40% by 2030, but experts agree that this isn’t enough to combat the climate crisis.
🥾 Follow This Path - I discussed the possibility of the Inflation Reduction Act helping the United States meet its Paris Agreement goals when I met President Biden at the White House a few months ago, and I’m glad the data has confirmed that it will. Even though this news is exciting, I know the work is far from over, and I hope the United States is able to pass more climate legislation, especially ones that prioritize climate justice, as soon as possible.
Send me a story!
Submit it below and you just may see it in the newsletter next week.