“Missed appointment”, “a Belgium which remains paralyzed in its climate objectives”…: environmental NGOs very critical of the conclusions of COP27

Reactions from environmental NGOs were scathing on Sunday morning as COP27 drew to a close in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The WWF and Greenpeace, however, welcomed the creation of a fund for loss and damage in favor of countries particularly affected by the climate crisis.

This is a “new era for climate justice”, believes Greenpeace Belgium. “We must now ensure that the countries and companies most responsible for the climate crisis make the greatest contribution” to this fund, advocates the environmental organization.

“The loss and damage agreement is a positive step, but it risks becoming a ‘doomsday fund’ if countries don’t act faster to cut emissions and limit warming to less than 1 5ºC”, comments, for its part, the WWF.

“By failing to agree on phasing out fossil fuels at COP27, leaders missed the opportunity to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels, keeping us on the path to disaster climate”, still laments the WWF. For him, without a rapid and deep reduction in emissions, it will not be possible to limit the extent of loss and damage.

The world cannot afford to repeat another COP like this, which fails to increase ambition, funding and credibility, WWF continues. In the eyes of the environmental organisation, it is unacceptable that the negotiators did not reach a more ambitious agreement than that agreed in Glasgow last year.

Governments must now redouble their efforts to reduce emissions and take the transformative action needed to keep warming below 1.5ºC, she urges.

On the Belgian side, criticism from Greenpeance falls on Flanders, which “blocks ambitions and refuses to show solidarity”. The NGO recalls that while Europe has announced to raise its ambitions to reduce emissions by 2030, the north of the country has been blocking for years any ambitious intra-Belgian agreement on the subject.

During this COP, Flanders also obstructed the compensation mechanisms for the losses and damages of the climate crisis for the most vulnerable communities, denounces Greenpeace.

“By staying in Belgium, away from negotiations, it is easy for Zuhal Demir to ignore calls from the most vulnerable countries,” says Carine Thibaut, spokesperson for Greenpeace Belgium. “These countries have legitimately demanded a fund to cover the losses and damages they suffer as a result of the climate crisis, a crisis for which they are not responsible. Flanders, a rich historical polluter, simply does not assume its responsibility and shows ill will towards essential global solidarity. The Flemish government should be ashamed,” she concludes.

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