COP27 Week 1: A Few Rays of Hope

Representatives of nearly 200 countries met in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt for COP27.

COP27 Week 1: A Few Rays of Hope

Halfway through COP 27, which runs until November 18, countries are trying to reach meaningful agreements to fight climate change and limit the rise in temperatures at under 1,5°C.

sustamize summarized the highlights of the first week below.

Financial compensations: Loss and Damage

By far the most important topic of the first week of COP27 was the demand that industrialized countries, the main culprits of climate change, pay compensation to developing countries, which are the most affected by the impacts already underway (e.g. floods in Pakistan, submergence of small islands in the Pacific Ocean, etc.).

Compensation for loss and damage refers to the irreversible economic and non-economic costs of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heat waves, drought, and forest fires, as well as slow-onset climate disasters such as sea level rise and glacier melt.

Drought affecting agriculture (corn crops).

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley highlighted a still ongoing unfair imperialistic system in the world, pointing out unequal interest rates for countries of the global north (1-4%) and countries of the global south (14%) hindering countries of the global south (which also are the most at risk from climate change) from developing projects to reach net zero which supports Nabeel Munir, Pakistan’s climate envoy's declaration that “Loss and damage is not charity – it’s climate justice”.

These funds are intended to focus on climate change mitigation (reducing the impact of CO2 emissions) and adaptation (preventing and minimizing the negative effects of climate change).

According to the Guardian, climate economist Lord Stern calculated that about $2tn per year would be needed by 2030 for the entire developing world, except China.

Sofar a small number of countries have pledged loss and damage funding. According to GlobalCitizen, those countries are Austria (€50 million), Belgium (€2.5 million), Canada (ca. US$18 million), Denmark (€14.4 million, already pledged in September 2022) Germany (€170 million), Ireland (€10 million) New Zealand (ca. US$12 million) and Scotland (ca. €5.7 million, in addition to the ca. €2.3 million pledged at COP26 in 2021). Nevertheless, the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases and climate change have remained silent on the subject.

Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish" declared United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as he urged world leaders to tax on oil companies to finance loss and damage via the Climate Solidarity Pact.

Fossil fuel lobbying

More than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists were present in the first week of COP27, which was denounced by many people around the globe, hoping for serious outcomes for climate protection. That number is more than the delegations of many of the most vulnerable countries combined.

The African continent is particularly in the lobbyists' sights as some African leaders try to gain backing to exploit their gas reserves.

Energy Transition

Nine countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas (Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the US) have joined an international alliance to develop offshore wind energy.

COP27 attendees

Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda

This agenda is a thorough international to-do list that was created in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership to further increase the resiliency of more than four billion people against climate-related hazards. It outlines 30 “Adaptation Outcomes” to help protect those living in the most climate-vulnerable communities from climate impacts by 2030 (Mace, 2022).

Early warning systems

According to the UN (n.d.), the early warning system is an adaptive measure for climate change, using integrated communication systems to help communities prepare for hazardous climate-related events. At COP27, it was urged that governments invest $3.1bn in these systems between 2023 and 2027 to make those systems viable.

Actions are divided across five “impact systems”:

  • food and agriculture
  • water and nature
  • coastal and oceans
  • human settlements
  • infrastructure


This word has been associated with COP27 even before it began, as many have denounced the COP organizers and Coca-Cola (known to be a major global polluter) for sponsoring the conference. In addition, it has been criticized that the venue of the event, Egypt, has been used to greenwash what many call a police state.

The UN secretary-general pointed out that while a growing number of governments and non-state actors are committing to zero carbon emissions, the criteria for zero commitment may have loopholes wide enough to "drive a diesel truck through." His panel therefore released its first report "Integrity Matters: Net Zero Commitments by Businesses, Financial Institutions, Cities and Regions" on the topic on Tuesday, November 8 2022, denouncing greenwashing and proposing clear guidelines.


International Organization for Standardization (ISO) launches the Net Zero Guidelines

Launched at COP27, the Net Zero Guidelines are a "tool for policymakers and all who work towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions for their business, group or country" (ISO, nd.), and are currently available for free download. According to the organization, the guidelines set a common path for:  

  • the definition of “net zero” and related terms (greenhouse gas removals, offsetting, value chain, etc), clarifying the differences in scope between direct emissions, indirect emissions from purchased energy, and other indirect emissions arising from an organization’s activities
  • high-level principles for all actors who want to achieve climate neutrality (businesses, countries, and organizations),
  • guidance on reaching net zero as soon as possible, by 2050 at the very latest, and
  • transparent communication, credible claims, and consistent reporting on emissions, reductions, and removals.

The Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI)

Multiple African nations including Kenya, Malawi, Gabon, Nigeria and Togo shared their commitment to collaborating with ACMI to scale carbon credit production via voluntary carbon market activation plans. It aims to support the growth of carbon credit production and create jobs in Africa.

The Breakthrough Agenda

Countries representing more than 50% of global GDP set out sector-specific ‘Priority Actions’ to decarbonize the following sectors with the support of clean technologies:

  1. power
  2. road transport
  3. steel
  4. hydrogen production
  5. agriculture

Measures were set to decarbonize those fields by COP28 and esigned to cut energy costs, rapidly decrease emissions and boost food security for billions of people worldwide.

Saving Earth's "Lungs", the Amazon and Congo Basin rainforests

Colombian and Venezuelan presidents Gustavo Petro and Nicolas Maduro called Tuesday, November 8, for the creation of a broad alliance to protect the Amazon, the largest rainforest on the planet, threatened by deforestation and years of "laissez-faire" under the Bolsonaro government. Gustavo Petro said that Brazil's participation in such an alliance would be "absolutely strategic".

The Congo basin

The Amazon basin covers 7.4 million square kilometers, covers nearly 40% of South America and stretches across nine countries with an estimated population of 34 million, mostly indigenous and on the decline.

The Congo basin, one of the most critical ecosystems in Africa and the second largest rainforest on the planet after the Amazon, is the world's largest carbon sink, absorbing more carbon than the Amazon. Home to protected species and high biodiversity, it is also rich in natural resources such as timber, diamonds and oil, the exploitation of which threatens the future of the forest. Last year's COP26 outcome for the Congo Basin included a $500 million agreement for its protection, which was maintained at COP27 and supplemented by £90 million from the UK for conservation.

Overall, COP27 produced positive results. However, as the majority of speakers at the event emphasized it, more and more radical action must be taken collectively and immediately in order to effectively slow down climate change. As Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, said at the opening of the COP27 World Leaders Summit, "We have the collective capacity to transform".

Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados

Next week's agenda is set as follows:

💧 Monday 14 November: Gender Day + Water Day

⚡ Tuesday 15 November: Ace & Civil Society Day + Energy Day

🦜 Wednesday 16 November: Biodiversity Day

🤝 Thursday 17 November: Solutions Day

At the end of the second week, national commitments will be summarized and will result in the final agreements of the COP and possible future ambitions for next year's COP28 to be held in the United Arab Emirates.

Related articles:


Askew, J. (2022, November 9). COP27: European countries join international alliance to boost offshore wind power. Euronews. Access:

Climate Champions (2022, November 8). Africa Carbon Markets Initiative launched to dramatically expand Africa’s participation in voluntary carbon market. Access:

Climate Champions (2022, November 11). The Breakthrough Agenda: a master plan to accelerate decarbonization of five major sectors.  Access:

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (2022, November 14). Global Shield against Climate Risks. Access:

International Organization for Standardization (n.d.). Net Zero Guidelines. Access:

Keck, M. (2022, November 11). These Countries Have Pledged Loss & Damage Finance at UN Climate Change Conference COP27. Global Citizen. Access:

Mace, M. (2022, November 8). Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda launched to protect billions of climate-vulnerable citizens. edie. Access:

United Nations (n.d.). Early Warning Systems. Access:,and%20supports%20long%2Dterm%20sustainability.

United Nations (2022, November 8). Integrity Matters: Net Zero Commitments by Businesses, Financial Institutions, Cities and Regions. Access:*1eljhdh*_ga*NDA5NzQxNjcyLjE2NjYyNjExNTM.*_ga_TK9BQL5X7Z*MTY2ODQyNzE4Ny4yLjEuMTY2ODQyODQ3MC4wLjAuMA

United Nations (2022, November 8). COP27: ‘Zero tolerance for greenwashing’, Guterres says as new report cracks down on empty net-zero pledges. UN News. Access:

COP27 Week 1: A Few Rays of Hope