For the last two weeks, I’ve been in Egypt fighting for climate justice with people from all over the world at the UN climate conference (COP27).
On Sunday, world leaders at COP27 announced the final outcomes. Despite our efforts, those agreements fail to include a swift, just and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels.
I’m angry at the failure of our leaders. I’m disappointed that, once again, fossil fuel lobbyists succeeded in delaying vital progress to keep our planet livable. I guess you might be feeling the same.
But, I want you to know there is actually so much to be hopeful about. Our movement has achieved significant wins, and real progress is happening all across the world.
Here are my top three reasons for hope following COP27.
1. A win for Loss and Damage
The final COP27 agreement mentions the creation of a fund for losses and damages. That has never happened before.
This is the direct result of pressure from the most impacted nations and our global climate movement. Together, we have finally succeeded in getting rich nations to admit that they need to compensate developing countries for the losses and damages they are experiencing because of human induced climate change.
2. Phasing out of fossil fuels
Secondly, fossil fuel lobbyists might have succeeded in thwarting the process, with the final text failing to mention the critical need for a phase out of fossil fuels.
But whether they like it or not, these are the last gasps of a dying industry – they know their days are numbered. This COP saw major coal, oil and gas producers including the EU, UK, US and India follow the lead of countries like Tuvalu, and endorse the call to phase out fossil fuels – thanks to civil society in Egypt and at home.
And, while COP was happening, the G20 in Bali, Indonesia, recognised the need to rapidly reduce fossil fuel use to meet the 2030 global climate goals.
Leaders might be acting slowly but we are forcing them to do the right thing.
Now is not the time to fall back at this disappointment, but to push harder.
3. Real climate leadership is us
My hope ultimately comes from our movement. At COP27 I saw firsthand our willingness to fight for one another; to show up for each other, across countries, languages and generations to demand justice. To shout loudly for those silenced by oppression, violence and intimidation.
This is what I wanted you to see with your own eyes: humanity is at its best right here in this video – made from moments captured at COP.
This is what gives me hope. I hope watching the video will inspire you too.
The calls for phasing out fossil fuels have never been louder.
Real progress is happening around the world as people take to the streets, organise to stop new fossil fuel projects, pressure their governments and banks to stop funding coal, oil and gas, and mobilise for renewable solutions.
Our fight for climate justice continues. Seeing the strength of our movement, I have no doubt that together we will create a just, equitable world free from fossil fuels.
Aggy for 350.org