What happened at COP27?


COP27 was held in Egypt’s ‘City of Peace,’ Sharm El-Sheikh, between the 6-18th November 2022.  Coming seven years after the historic Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5° C, COP27 was billed by some as the ‘African COP’, the ‘Adaptation COP’ and by others as ‘another failure’. Additionally, COP27 marked the handing over of the Presidency from the UK to Egypt.  

Over 33,000 attendees were registered to attend COP27, making it the second most attended COP in history. The number of registered attendees per African nation was the highest in COP history 


Key Outcomes 

Loss and Damage Fund 

Described by Pakistan’s Climate Minister as a ‘downpayment on climate justice’, a new loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries ‘hit hard’ by climate disaster was agreed at COP27. The deal was struck following a mammoth 40-hour negotiating session that at times appeared on the brink of collapse. Questions remain as to who will be contributing to the fund in practice, with a new ‘transition committee’ established to make recommendations on operationalising the fund to COP28 next year. Particularly contentious was whether China would be contributing to the fund as the world’s current highest emitter of greenhouse gases.  

Adaptation Fund 

Governments failed to agree on a global goal on adaptation, but agreed to move forward on talks that will conclude at COP28 in Dubai. New pledges to the adaptation fund at COP27 totalled $230million, a 35% reduction from those pledged at COP26 in Glasgow. The UNFCCC reported that the UN Climate Change Standing Committee on Finance have been tasked with preparing a report on doubling adaptation finance, the report will be considered at COP28. 

Wavering commitment to 1.5° C 

There were consistent fears over the course of the conference that countries were backsliding on commitments to limiting heating in line with the Paris Agreement of 1.5°C. This was emphasised by the publication in the week prior to the conference of a UN Climate Change report that found warming would reach 2.5°C by the end of the century under current government plans. Alok Sharma, the UK President of COP26, described the commitment to 1.5°C as being on ‘life support’. No further progress was made on extending ‘phasing down’ of coal to all fossil fuels.  

Just Energy Transition Partnership 

Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) for Indonesia was announced at the G20, with $20bn to transition away from coal to more renewable energy forms over the next 3-5 years. This is the second JETP, the first having been announced at COP26 in Glasgow to support South Africa‘s transition. Vietnam’s JETP set to be announced at COP27, however this failed to materialise.  


COP27 in Northern Ireland 

Work continues at a regional and local level, in spite of decisions on a global goal for adaptation and further progress on mitigation being kicked down the road.  If this is to be the decade of action, COP28 in Dubai becomes a last chance to allow meaningful rollout of substantial changes by 2030. Global emissions are projected to rise by 45% by 2030, rather than declining by the 10% which would keep us anywhere near the Paris Agreement targets. In this context, adaptation becomes increasingly important and climate action must become business as usual in as much of public and private life as possible, with or without global negotiations. 

The Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action at Queen’s University Belfast hosted a series of events marking COP27, including: ‘If Climate Change is like war, what follows?’ and ‘Disobedience in a climate of necessity’. 

The Climate Coalition NI held a protest on the 14th November in Belfast, with contributions from Amnesty International, Climate Craic and Christian Aid Ireland. The protest centred upon the links between the cost of living and climate crises.  


Additional Resources 

Key Outcomes agreed at the UN Climate Talks (Carbon Brief) 

Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan (UN Climate Change Committee)  

Full list of decisions taken at COP27 (UN Climate Change Committee)