Loss and Damage progress at COP27 a cause for hope


The Church of England's lead bishop for environmental affairs, Graham Usher, who is Bishop of Norwich, discusses the contrasting outcomes of the Cop 27 global climate summit in Egypt.
The Bishop of Norwich on a garden bench Diocese of Norwich

At the close of COP27 we can reflect on a Conference which gave cause for hope in some ways, but frustration in others.

On the positive side, we can welcome the agreement about a Loss and Damage fund. This is something which we highlighted as being an essential outcome, and an issue which has been promoted by campaigners from faith groups, as well as by those most impacted in the Global South. These are the first steps towards climate justice, but they must continue at pace.

However, whilst the commitment to ‘keep 1.5 alive’ is still there, it is not yet matched by enough global ambition to phase out fossil fuel usage. It may even be that we have missed the boat to achieve this, but it is something that we must continue to push for. Every fraction of a degree matters.

World leaders, indeed all of us, must ask: how many more of our targets can be missed?

COP27 had a key focus on wealthy nations’ support to those countries hit hardest by climate change. Here in the UK it is in everyone’s interest to ensure these nations can thrive.

Saving the planet and saving money are not mutually exclusive as the long term impacts of failing to invest will be far more costly in every sense. And in a time of war and soaring costs, the best route to energy security is to speed our transition to renewables.

As we look now to COP28 in Dubai, in that oil rich nation, the world really does need to draw a line in the desert sand.