The 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) drew to a close on 20 November in Sharm El Sheikh, producing a landmark loss and damage fund. Though it is unclear where the funds will come from, there is a commitment to set up a financial support structure for climate-vulnerable communities by the next COP to be held in Dubai in 2023.
Establishing a loss and damage fund is among the key asks of the WCC executive committee statement to COP27. The statement also called for "more ambitious commitments and effective action—especially by countries with both the greatest historical responsibilities for climate change and the largest financial and technological capacities—to rapidly reverse the rate of greenhouse gas emissions."
"Science tells us that emissions must peak by 2025 if we meet the Paris Agreement goal. But, unfortunately, this COP has not done enough, especially on mitigation,” stressed Phiri, raising concerns about the poor development for limiting CO2 emissions.
The message to the High-level Segment of COP27 delivered by Bishop Arnold Temple of the Methodist Church in Sierra Leone on behalf of the faith-based organisations observed that "the realisation of the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C…is at risk." The message underlines the need "for a swift and system-wide transformation of our societies and economies," not least radical changes in our global food and financial systems.
The WCC has participated in every COP since the establishment of the UNFCCC. The WCC delegation to COP27 co-convened interfaith and ecumenical discussions and services, co-organised and contributed to side events, and participated in a range of actions, amplifying faith, youth, and Indigenous perspectives.