Final hours to rescue COP27, warns WWF

Posted on November, 17 2022

Key issues of loss and damage, mitigation, adaptation, food systems and climate finance hang in the balance, but renewed purpose and energy can still deliver transformative agreements, argue WWF climate experts.
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (17 November 2022) -  As COP27 negotiations enter their final hours, WWF calls for parties to intensify their efforts to deliver breakthrough agreements on key issues that are far from agreement and have seen little progress so far this week.

For WWF, so far the summit is failing to deliver on the ‘implementation’ theme prioritised by the Egyptian presidency. Negotiators must channel all their energy into ensuring this COP leaves a positive impact on the global challenge of tackling the climate and biodiversity crises.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate and Energy Lead and COP20 President, said: “Parties and the Egyptian Presidency must inject renewed purpose and energy into negotiations to secure breakthrough agreements on key issues in the final hours at COP27. Faced with the possibility of a low ambition outcome with gaps in key areas, talks must rapidly intensify, and culminate in new agreements and a powerful cover decision that sets the tone for the year ahead. We cannot afford to have so many negotiation areas go unresolved until the next COP. We don’t have time for more delays and excuses.

“This was intended to be a COP for implementation, where governments could showcase their progress and commit to significant new climate finance, action and targets, but that is not what we have seen. Hopes were then placed on technical negotiations delivering new processes, structures, and frameworks to drive emission reduction, resilience building and finance. But yet again, we have also seen talks stall, with parties and groups at odds on a range of issues, and some looking to delay key decisions.

“However, from loss and damage financing to mitigation, adaptation, and the Koronivia agriculture and food talks, there remains hope that COP27 can still achieve a strong outcome. Negotiators must seize this moment and do everything possible to secure a positive legacy. Every moment matters now. We are in a race against time to prevent the climate crisis spiraling out of control.”

On the pivotal issue of loss and damage, WWF is urging negotiators to agree to a finance facility. After a year of devastating climate-related weather impacts around the world, including devastating flooding in Pakistan and droughts in Eastern Africa, it is vital a facility is established with concrete money on the table. 
And on adaptation, WWF wants to see a roadmap agreed that doubles adaptation finance, with 50% of public climate finance earmarked for adaptation that builds community and ecosystem resilience. This is particularly important when the COP is happening in Africa, one of the most vulnerable continents to climate impacts.

Other key issues that need to be resolved include the establishment of the landmark new Mitigation Work Programme; a way forward to meet existing finance commitments and agreement on a new overall climate finance target to replace the existing $100bn annual target; a way forward for the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture; and agreement on the details of carbon market and non-market mechanisms (Article 6).

As the two-week summit in Sharm El-Sheikh draws to a close, parties will also be looking to influence the COP27 cover decision – the talk’s main political outcome, that has the potential to send powerful political and policy signals. WWF is urging parties to raise their ambition further from COP26 in Glasgow and commit to limiting warming to below 1.5°C by agreeing on phasing out all fossil fuels in the COP27 cover decision and closing the emission, finance and resilience gaps.

A WWF report published this week, Our Climate’s Secret Ally, highlighted that nature has absorbed 54% of humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions over the past 10 years, slowing global warming. WWF argues that the value of nature should be appropriately recognised in the final COP27 cover decision, including a mention of the important role of nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis.

On the inclusion of civil society at COP27, Pulgar-Vidal added, “From the outset, this COP did not create the conditions for the effective participation of civil society. WWF strongly believes that the organisation of all COPs must be based on full access and effective participation of civil society in all UNFCCC-related processes and events.”

The climate crisis will affect different people and places unevenly, and so is likely to lead to inequalities within and across nations, and create injustice. All climate action must ensure it also helps improve human rights and social equity, according to WWF. 


Robin Harvey, Media Relations Manager, WWF International   
WWF International newsdesk:
Editor’s notes:
WWF COP27 Expectations paper is available to read here
WWF Africa’s expectations paper available here
About WWF
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