This year, as Innovation Lead at Doconomy, I have had the honor of being invited to attend COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, where close to 200 nations are gathered to tackle climate change on the shores of the Red Sea.
At the top of the formal agenda for this year’s Conference of the Parties is the debate on loss and damage, or the destructive impacts of climate change that can’t be avoided either by mitigation or adaptation. World leaders are grappling with whether to create a reallocation fund that will arm countries disproportionately affected by climate change with the means to cope with such change.
On one end of the negotiating table, proponents argue that wealthy nations — North America, Japan, Western Europe, accounting for a tenth of the world population — are solely responsible for about half of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and thus should be held responsible for the incurred loss and damage. Developing poor nations have called for aid from developed rich nations for three decades, beginning in 1991, when the Alliance of Small Island States rightly projected costly rising sea levels. Since then, the Conferences — most notably COP15 in Copenhagen, COP19 in Warsaw, COP21 in Paris, and COP25 in Madrid — have shaped the loss and damage debate, though thus far without enacting liability.
A major breakthrough, a historic moment. By now, we’ve all heard the spin on #cop27 and it’s decision to create a Loss&Damage fund. And whilst the decision merits praise for ensuring that negotiations didn’t simply break down, here are good reasons to judge this as a Bad Cop: