By Mishael Williams

The COP27 Conference was a conference held in Egypt from November 6th, 2022, to November 22nd, 2022. When the conference ended in Sharm El Sheikh, the Global South walked away with a victory that just a few months prior seemed like an “ambitious–perhaps even elusive–goal”. While wealthy countries like the United States are responsible for the most carbon emissions, they have not had to pay for the environmental damage they are causing. Instead, small countries in the global south have had to pay the price. In response to this, the COP27 conference was held to make a global pact to set up a fund to help with the losses and damages other countries are suffering due to wealthy countries’ contribution to climate change. The pact establishes amounts countries can draw from said fund, which countries will contribute to the fund, and how the fund will be governed. 

This fund is the 6th special fund that the United Nations has created in response to climate change. In 2010, a 100 billion dollar Green Climate Fund was made. These funds are crucial in helping countries that are the victims of the effects of climate change despite contributing relatively little to the problem itself. Climate change causes severe weather changes, rising sea levels and forced migration. A clear example of this is Pakistan which suffered a monsoon leaving a third of the country underwater, while the country itself has contributed less than 1 percent to global carbon emissions. 

Clearly, there are countries at fault for the carbon emissions causing global warming and its consequential effects. The United States for one, has been very hesitant to take responsibility for its role in climate change and carbon emissions. This is also true for the European Union, and prior to the COP27 conference in Egypt, both world powers had been fighting to prevent the topic of climate change from making it on the conference’s agenda. Fortunately, the European Union had a change of heart, and the United States was left alone in opposition. The United States was probably scared by the price of its financial liability for climate change and carbon emissions contributions (between $290 billion-$580 billion per year by 2030). 

But due to pressure from other sources and major media coverage, the global pact that promised a fund for climate change damages became a reality. Global pacts like this are also important because the money in these funds can be used to help fix problems more efficiently when adaptation and mitigation aren’t working to help the victims of global issues. When the U.S and the European Union were promised that they would not have to pay above their estimated financial liability for climate change, they agreed to have it put on the agenda for the COP27 conference.

While we have made progress, especially from the COP26 conference where the only agreement made was to make climate change a “discussion” at the next conference, we aren’t done yet. Harjeet Singh, the head of global political strategy at Climate Action network says that “it’s already so late to have such a fund established” for the losses and damages of climate change. Is it too little too late?


N. (2022, November 22). Grist. Inside the COP27 fight to get wealthy nations to pay climate reparations. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from