COP27, Failure or Success: A Critical Analysis

By Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan | Gwadar Pro Nov 29, 2022
Editor's Note: The author is Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS), Islamabad, and Regional Expert on China, CPEC & BRI. This article only reflects the opinion of the author, not necessarily of Gwadar Pro.

Egypt hosted the 27th summit of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh. It concluded with a ray of hope for dealing with the looming threat of global warming.

The two-week talks in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh yielded a significant breakthrough on a fund for climate "loss and damage". Hopefully, it would be instrumental for coping with devastating climate impacts in the world, especially in the developing and under developing countries.

For many years, and especially since this year's deadly floods in Pakistan, the government of Pakistan has been pleading to the international community and organizations for "Climate Justice" for its colossal socioeconomic losses. The Pakistani government regarded the proposed fund as a major diplomatic achievement, with China playing an important role in its "agenda setting" and "ultimate" approval. The current government has also expressed serious concerns over global warming and its devastating effects on the country in recent international forums, including SCO, CICA, and the UN, among others.

Pakistan is now hopeful that the proposed fund will be operationalized soon, bridging a major gap in climate finance architecture.

The establishment of the climate "loss and damage" fund is a significant breakthrough and a giant step toward addressing the world's looming threat of climate change. Unfortunately, no agreement has yet been reached on how to replenish that fund, and it is likely to be the subject of heated debate in the coming days. Moreover, the COP27 organizers failed to make bridges on cutting emissions. In this regard, many international NGOs termed its final outcome as a failure with lots of fatal consequences in the days to come.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, described it as an important step toward justice but expressed disappointment that it did not go far enough in advocating for the urgent carbon-cutting required to control the non-state threat of climate change.

Climate change is a hot topic and a looming threat to our survival on this planet. Our geographies have been pushed to the margins. Our greeneries have become grey. Our waters have become even more depleted. Because of increasing global warming and the EU, USA, and Western irresponsible energy policies, our societies have been put in jeopardy.

Developed countries should fulfill their promise of providing $100 billion in climate finance as soon as possible and draw a road map for doubling the adaptation fund, said China's Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua during COP27.

The announcement of the "Loss & Damage Fund" is a step in the right direction. It would give developing and underdeveloped countries some hope for financial assistance and monetary compensation. However, its implementation remains a long way off.

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