The UN climate summit COP27 came to a close today (20/11/22), with a historic win on Loss and Damage but with staggering hypocrisy from the UK, EU and UK on fossil fuels, campaigners say

On the Loss and Damage fund victory Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns Mary Church said:

“Securing a Loss and Damage fund is a huge victory for global South countries who stood strong and united in the face of dirty tricks by the rich historical polluters who are resisting taking responsibility for the crisis they caused. Whether these global North countries will actually stump up the money needed to resource the fund is another question, given their abject failure to deliver on other longstanding finance commitments.

“Civil society played a vital role in their advocacy and solidarity with global South countries on this all important issue, leaving the US, EU and UK with no cover for their diversionary tactics. People power matters, we can and must keep fighting for the better world we know is possible, because world leaders aren’t going to make it without us.”

India initiated a call for language to be included on the “equitable phase down all fossil fuels”, not just coal, and the issue generated significant attention during the last days of the summit.

However the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan simply repeats the text from last year’s Glasgow Climate Pact on the ‘phase down of unabated coal.’ This lets global North countries who tend to be less reliant on coal off the hook, and with the massive loophole that ‘unabated’ brings in allowing coal projects that are ‘carbon capture and storage ready’.

In their speeches to the closing plenary this morning, the UK, US and EU devoted substantial time to ‘calling out’ the lack of progress on fossil fuel phase out in the text, despite their own fossil fuel expansion plans.

Church continued on fossil fuels:

“The hypocrisy we witnessed at these climate talks from rich historical polluters on the issue of fossil fuel phase out is staggering. There is nothing to stop countries from phasing out fossil fuels, and yet the UK and the US in particular are doing the opposite with their vast expansion plans. Alok Sharma must take his table thumping on fossil fuel phase out back home and demand the UK Government overturn their climate trashing plans for North Sea oil and gas expansion and to reject the new coal mine planned in Cumbria.

“The Scottish Government too must turn its climate leadership on the international stage into concrete actions at home to get back on track to meeting its climate targets. It must clarify its position on oil and gas and set an end date for fossil fuels within this decade in order to have any chance of delivering on our fair share of climate action.”

As the climate summit closes, British prisoner of conscience Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s release has still not been secured and his situation remains extremely precarious.

Church continued:

“There can be no climate justice without human rights, and we stand in solidarity with British citizen Alaa And-El Fattah and all prisoners of conscience. The UK Government has failed to use its abundant leverage with the Egyptian Government to secure Alaa’s release. The spotlight must not move on when COP27 is over. We will not forget you.”


The Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan is available at https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/cop27_auv_2_cover%20decision.pdf?download

All decisions taken at COP27 are available at https://unfccc.int/cop27/auv

The UNEP Production Gap Report shows US and other major fossil fuel producers plans for fossil fuel expansion https://productiongap.org/2021report/

The UK Government is currently considering approving the Rosebank oil field which contains 500 million barrels of oil equivalent and would produce pollution equal to the 28 lowest income countries. https://www.stopcambo.org.uk/updates/what-is-the-rosebank-oil-field

The UK Government launched a new offshore oil and gas licensing round in October 2022 https://www.nstauthority.co.uk/news-publications/news/2022/nsta-launches-33rd-offshore-oil-and-gas-licensing-round/

For more information on the human rights context in Egypt visit copcivicspace.net
For more information on the campaign to free Alaa Abd El-Fattah visit https://freealaa.net/

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.