COP27 breakthroughs essential to avert climate catastrophe, warns WWF of the UN talks in Egypt

Posted on 05 Nov 2022
WWF urges world leaders to shift from ambition to action, as the goal of limiting warming to 1.5oC is slipping away
  • After another year of climate devastation around the world, WWF calls for major breakthroughs on financing for adaption and Loss and Damage for a successful and equitable COP27 outcome
  • WWF highlights pressing need for nature-based solutions to come to the fore as world gears up for critical biodiversity COP in December
  • WWF calls on UN Climate Change to ensure civil society is free to fully engage in all UNFCCC processes and meetings, including COP27

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt  – WWF is calling for a clear and decisive shift from abstract promises to real-world action ahead of the opening of the COP27 climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The organization warns global leaders that right now, the climate crisis is moving faster than our response to it, and that people and places all over the globe are reeling from the catastrophic consequences of inaction.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate and Energy Lead, and COP20 President, said; “Time has never really been on our side, but now it is our biggest enemy. The extent of climate breakdown is already clear across the globe, devastating lives and livelihoods, and further accelerating biodiversity loss. We are way off course to keep warming to 1.5oC and time is rapidly running out for us to take transformative action to avoid the most appalling and irreversible damages to society and ecosystems.

“A huge gap remains between what is needed, what countries have promised, and what is actually happening in terms of reducing emissions, building resilience and providing support for low income countries. Climate finance remains in limbo. Even as the demand for financial support to enable countries to adapt to climate disasters grows, funding is only trickling in. 

“We don’t have time for more delays and excuses! Countries must deliver on past promises and raise their ambition and action to stop the climate crisis spiraling further out of control.  Every lost year puts more vulnerable people at risk. We must use this moment now to steer the world to a clean, sustainable future. Every moment matters now.

After a year with unprecedented floods in Pakistan that left a third of the country underwater, and other parts of the world devastated by heatwaves, droughts, fires, and intensifying tropical storms, WWF urges parties to secure breakthrough agreements on adaption and Loss and Damage financing. With disasters leaving vulnerable countries and communities urgently in need of support, it is essential that the international community comes together to help them to adapt, build resilience and address the unjust costs of the climate crisis.
WWF argues that it is essential that this COP, which takes place on the African continent, delivers for African people. Despite accounting for only 4% of emissions, Africa is facing disproportionate exposure to climate impacts, with the continent currently estimated to be warming 1.5 times faster than the global average. Developed countries must urgently deliver on, and step-up their financial, technology and capacity building commitments to Africa for the continent to be climate resilient by 2030.
WWF is also calling for nature to be given a more substantive role in discussions this year. The climate crisis is driving nature loss, and the destruction of natural ecosystems is in turn fuelling the climate crisis. But nature can be part of the solution. WWF urges leaders to embed nature-based solutions within climate action and create momentum ahead of the December COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal - humanity's last chance to reset its broken relationship with nature.
For a strong outcome at COP27, WWF calls on UN Climate Change to ensure civil society groups are able to fully participate in the summit. All discussions should take into account and benefit from the expertise that has been developed by civil society groups and Indigenous Peoples around the world in addressing the challenges posed by the climate crisis. 
As the summit takes place in the context of geopolitical tensions and an increased focus on energy security around the world, WWF calls on countries to come together to deliver strong outcomes that will provide solutions for a safe and secure future. Without rapidly transforming our energy, food, transport and land use sectors and eliminating dependence on fossil fuels, geopolitical tensions will only worsen. 

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Robin Harvey, Media Relations Manager, WWF International   
WWF International newsdesk:
Editor’s notes:
WWF COP27 Expectations paper is available to read here
WWF Africa’s expectations paper available here

WWF has identified these priorities for successful outcome in Egypt:

Loss and Damage
Each year, the climate crisis leads to billions of dollars of loss and damage, often in countries where historical emissions have made a small contribution to the climate crisis. Using the Glasgow Dialogue body established at COP26, parties should agree to create a Loss and Damage funding facility with concrete money on the table.

Parties must prioritise mobilising the political will, financial resources and institutional responses necessary to achieve sectoral transformation, including phase out of fossil fuels. To drive this, we need the adoption of a robust Mitigation Work Programme.

On adaptation, COP27 should build on the COP26 promise of at least doubling adaptation finance. We also need a commitment of earmarking 50% of public climate finance for adaptation. Both can be delivered through a roadmap on adaptation finance with an accountability mechanism.

Energy transition 
Energy efficiency and energy conservation is the most impactful way to respond to the energy crisis. The Glasgow Pact Decision called upon Parties to rapidly scale up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures. We need to see announcements that show that countries and companies are rapidly moving towards these goals.

Nature-based solutions
Parties must recognise the critical contribution of nature to keep warming below 1.5°C and for building resilience to climate impacts. Nature-based solutions for mitigation and adaptation must be anchored in the formal outcomes of the conference. 

Civil society 
WWF strongly believes that the organisation of all COPs must be based on full access and effective participation of civil society. WWF highlights the urgency and importance of an inclusive international climate decision-making process. Without civil society sitting at the table, it will be impossible for the world to achieve the goals and commitments set out in Paris and Glasgow. Inclusion of the direct knowledge-holders and bearers of climate-related adversities is fundamental to unlock whole-of-government and whole-of-society solutions to tackle the twin climate and biodiversity crises.

Participants of the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC

Participants of the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC

© WWF-US / Keith Arnold