Perhaps the best way of summarizing COP27 was that, in the end, it boiled down to solving a tension between competing views of global priorities in addressing climate change. The Developed World was primarily focused on improving mitigation (emissions reduction offers at COP27 in the shape of a welter of improved Nationally-Defined Contributions (NDC). However, the Developing World was focused on the need to address the impacts of increased global temperatures which climate change is already inflicting on them – the now famous ‘Loss and Damage’ issue (broadly, unavoidable losses and damages caused by climate impacts that are not tackled through adaptation and risk reduction strategies).
The fact that COP27 will be remembered for the historic creation of a Loss and Damage Fund (LADF) perhaps demonstrates a recognition that without addressing climate justice now, it will be difficult to achieve progress on mitigation (even though any delay in taking aggressive emissions reduction action is likely to increase dangerous global warming and therefore cause greater climate-changed-related damage in the future).
The History of the LADF
The creation of a dedicated LADF was proposed more than three decades ago, by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Although discussions on the issue since then had remained superficial and highly technical, in retrospect there were some important developments which prepared the ground for the agreement in Sharm.