COP27: Loss and Damage fund is welcome but failure to deliver on phasing out fossil fuels is a huge setback

Reacting to the outcome of COP27, Chiara Liguori, Amnesty International’s Climate Justice Adviser said:

“This was a tale of two COPs: joy at the adoption of a Loss and Damage fund but anguish that, despite overwhelming scientific evidence and escalating human rights impacts, the negotiations failed to secure vital commitments on the phasing out of all fossil fuels, which are the number one driver of the climate crisis.

“The establishment of the Loss and Damage fund was the result of a united position presented by global south countries and persistent campaigning by a wide range of groups. It sends a ray of hope to people whose human rights have been harmed by climate change. It will still be a long road before those most impacted can access real financial support but the decision sets in motion a process to redress historical injustices. Now it is up to wealthy countries to step up and ensure the fund is adequately resourced.

“However, demands from a growing number of civil society groups and others including many states to secure agreement on the phasing out of all fossil fuels did not prevail in the face of a powerful fossil fuel lobby, the blatant opposition of fossil-fuel producing countries, and the ambiguous position of some wealthy countries.

“Governments failed to commit to phase out all fossil fuels, including oil and fossil gas (so-called ‘natural gas’), restating instead the pledge from last year’s COP that they would be ‘accelerating efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies’.

“In light of the extreme climate-driven disasters that we have witnessed in the last year, and the growing catalogue of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others documenting both the impacts and the causes of climate change, this failure to progress on fossil fuels represents an enormous abdication of human rights obligations and disregards the rights of all those being affected, and future generations.”