Our reflections on COP27

After two weeks of events and discussions surrounding the impact of climate change and what nations can do to keep the global temperature below 1.5C, COP27 is now complete. We followed the conference closely with our live blogs keeping up to date with the news from the event.

Now with the final text published, our Energy experts have given their thoughts on the past two weeks, the outcome of the conference and whether they think this ‘implementation COP’ delivered.

Overall news on COP27 has been very quiet, with the biggest achievements and biggest issues not even hitting the front pages. An agreement on Loss and Damage was a first, and a big deal for those countries who are most affected by climate change. The most frightening thing was how the fossil fuel industry turned up in their droves to this COP, more than 600 of them and 25% more than COP26 in Glasgow. How that affected what was finally agreed cannot be underestimated, they were there to protect the oil and gas interests of course, you could say it is like inviting the arms dealers to the peace talks.

Timothy Holman, Head of Operations

One small positive to take away from COP27 is that we don’t appear to have lost any of our commitments from previous COPs, even with concerted pressure from fossil fuel advocates at the conference. There does however feel to be an air of wasted opportunity from COP27, in seeing further tangible efforts from countries to reduce global emissions. The reduced news exposure in the UK compared to last year’s Glasgow conference could also perhaps have been expected, but nonetheless is slightly disappointing. Hopefully the media helps to keep members of the public engaged after the recent Autumn Statement re-commitment from the UK Government to our Net Zero plans.

Tom McLeish, Energy Consultant

Very sad that media coverage for COP27 has been so limited, certainly compared to COP26. Is this because it was not on home soil this time? Is it because of other economic/political issues being seen as more important? Is it because the actions of the Just Stop Oil protestors have distanced many people from the problem? Either way, in my opinion the media should have made it a priority in their coverage over the past 2 weeks.

Sam Arje, Senior Energy Consultant

Wonderful news about the loss and damage fund which aims to assist those adversely affected in poorer countries by climate change, however it seems to side-step the pressing issue at hand – phasing out fossil fuels. COP27 feels a little more lacklustre with less concerted effort to reach climate change goals – perhaps the presence of more attendees from the oil and gas industry or current global energy crisis issues have hampered the efforts to drive out fossil fuels? This meeting has not generated much commitment in terms of the accelerated progress required from the biggest polluters and the 1.5C global limit is looking incredibly difficult to maintain. Climate talks to get countries to phase out all fossil fuels were disappointing and it seems the world may overshoot the 1.5C limit, but we can’t give up yet as positives have been advanced in technology, falling prices for renewable energy and countries committing to cut methane emissions are all helping to strengthen the resolve.

Theresa Bui, Energy Consultant

I totally agree with what my other colleagues have said. This years’ COP27 media momentum coverage was a bit reduced in comparison to COP26. I am not sure whether it was because of other issues like politics and the economic crisis facing many nations. However, I am sad to say that at this years’ COP27 I did not see much commitment from the world’s biggest polluters to phase out fossil fuels.

Blessing Amin, Energy Consultant

It’s disappointing to see that COP27 failed to get a commitment from the world’s biggest polluters to phase out fossil fuels. The 1.5C goal is still alive but very compromised.

Helder Galrinho, Senior Energy Consultant

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