COP 27 Through A Climate Justice Lens


Facts and information

The world’s average temperature has already increased to 1,1℃ and we are facing unprecedented weather events that would not have been possible without human contribution to climate change. Record-breaking heat has hit North America, Europe, China, India and Pakistan, sparking wildfires in many places. Terrible floods have swept Pakistan, Nigeria, Australia, Bangladesh and South Africa. More than a third of heat-related deaths in summer from 1991 to 2018 occurred as a result of human-caused global heating. European and Latin American cities are among the worst affected by summer heat deaths due to the climate crisis. Hundreds of people a year on average are already dying from this extra heat, including in São Paulo (239 deaths), Athens (189), Madrid (177), Tokyo (156), Bangkok (146) and New York (141). 

Structural causes of climate change

Climate change is not an isolated climate phenomena: it multiplies the sufferings of people already burdened by the global injustices of hunger, dispossession, and human rights violations. The communities and peoples that suffer the worst effects are deprived of the means to respond and bear the additional impacts of false solutions promoted by those who avoid meaningful action, but instead seek to profit from the crisis. Like other global crises, climate change arises principally from historically unequal economic and social structures, from practices and policies promoted by rich, industrialized countries, and from systems of production and consumption that sacrifice the needs of the many to the interests of a few. At the root of the problem is a systemic crisis that arises principally from:

  1. Profit- and growth-oriented systems of extraction, production, distribution and consumption that sacrifice the needs of the many, and the well being of the planet, to the interests of a few.
  2. Unequal and exploitative economic and social structures that abuse nature and extend inequality across countries, classes, gender, race and communities.
  3. Policies and practices promoted by global corporations, rich industrialized countries, international institutions, and economic and political elites that perpetuate and foster these systems and structures.

Current geopolitical context 

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the whole world but has disproportionately affected the global south and the most vulnerable groups. Women’s employment world-wide declined by 4.2% between 2019 and 2020, representing a drop of 54 million jobs. Covid-19 has also exposed Africa to high levels of social and economic vulnerability. Even before the onset of the pandemic, much of Africa was already suffering from the widespread and multidimensional impacts of climate change, including flooding, sea-level rise, forced migrations due to climate disasters, drought, locust invasion and crop failure, all of which constitute serious constraints on economic development and aspirations. Covid-19 has exacerbated these climate vulnerabilities by decreasing the adaptive capacities of affected countries and the resources available to respond to climate change.

Added to this, armed conflicts around the world are not only killing and impacting human and non-human lives, but they are deeply connected with the fossil fuel industry and their interests.  The war in Ukraine is a clear example of rich nations’ thirst for fossil fuel to keep their highly consumerist societies, which are now pushing Africa to be completely dependent on oil and gas instead of promoting alternative energy systems. One study shows that between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since the beginning of the so-called modern oil age in 1973 were related to oil, with the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq being an egregious example. Indeed, there is evidence that arms sales are used by countries to help secure and maintain access to oil. The UK’s biggest ever arms deal – the ‘Al-Yamamah arms deal’ – agreed in 1985, involved the UK supplying arms over many years to Saudi Arabia in return for 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day. BAE Systems earned tens of billions from these sales, which helps subsidize the UK’s own arms purchases.

COP 26

At COP 26, the Glasgow Outcomes were presented as if they were more relevant than the Paris Agreement (which is legally binding). Thanks to the absence of meetings due to the Pandemic, the UK presidency had enough time to build up a narrative around false solutions including the charade of net zero targets for all by 2050 (undermining again the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC)) through carbon offsets and nature based solutions that further continue with the agenda of commodification of nature for the profit of the same usual polluters. 

The results of COP 26 also have no recognition of fair shares or the historical responsibilities in cumulative emissions since the focus is only on future emissions with no account of consumption emissions. The Glasgow Outcomes also contain pretend ambition on phase out and phase down of fossil fuels but through unabated coal leading to an actual expansion of fossil fuels. 

In Glasgow, there was progress on the Global Goal on Adaptation, a goal that should enhance adaptive capacities, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability, contribute to sustainable development and contribute to the temperature goal. The outcome was the Glasgow-Sharm el Sheikh work program and the work began in SB 56. Developed countries were urged to at least double their provision of climate finance for adaptation. 

On Loss and Damage the expectation was to obtain additional finance from developed countries and an effective mechanism and approaches for loss and damage action and support.  No additional finance was achieved and instead only a Glasgow Dialogue and some progress on operationalising the Santiago Network which is mandated to deliver technical assistance for loss and damage to developing countries 

Glasgow also delivered ´mitigation ambition´ but without finance ambition, establishing a work program to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation with no links to a finance ambition. This is why developing countries were calling for this program to complement the GST. Under the PA, we are supposed to take stock of how parties have progressed on meeting the goals of the PA in all fronts. 

Our call 

The 27th Climate Change Conference comes at a time of unprecedented challenges due to the magnitude and and the interconnected nature of our multiple structural crises. We call on governments to end years of delay and meet their moral, historical and legal obligations. We urge all movements, peoples’ organizations, civil society groups and all concerned citizens to come together in a Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice! 

Demands for Climate Justice at COP 27

At COP 27, DCJ will continue with its demand for a profound social transformation and the achievement of immediate concrete results in terms of drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and enabling people to deal with the impacts of the climate crisis. As part of a broader struggle to achieve climate justice, reparations for climate debt and a profound global transformation, we demand from all governments that if international negotiations are to mean anything, they must deliver outcomes that will:

1. Prevent catastrophic climate change and ensure just and fair sharing of drastic emissions reductions. We must limit temperature rise to well below 1.5º C and bring it down to 1º C as fast as possible. Rich industrialized countries must fulfill their existing legally binding commitments and undertake drastic emissions cuts without offsets in line with their fair share of the global carbon budget that takes into account historical per capita emissions. Offsets and other loopholes must be removed.
2. Stop false solutions. We must stop the implementation and pursuit of false solutions and disguises in the form of nature-based solutions that include carbon trading, market-based approaches to forests, soil and water, large-scale geo-engineering and techno-fixes, nuclear energy, mega hydro dams, agro-fuels, large tree plantations, biomass energy, waste incineration and clean coal.
3. Ensure adequate and appropriate finance on the basis of countries’ responsibility for climate debt and obligation to make reparations to all affected peoples. Rich, industrialized countries should cover the full costs of enabling peoples of developing countries and other affected communities to deal with the impacts of climate change (including past, present and future losses) as well as the costs of enabling developing countries to shift to equitable, post carbon sustainable systems. Climate finance must not be in the form of debt-creating instruments and should be channeled through a democratic and accountable global fund that is independent of other international financial institutions and upholds the principles of direct access and country-determined, participatory decisions on the use of funds. 
4. Ensure appropriate technology transfers without intellectual property barriers. Developed countries must ensure free sharing of safe, appropriate and ecologically and socially sound technologies. We must advance the transformation to equitable, democratic, post-carbon systems. 
5. Take decisive steps towards the profound transformation of the system based on equity, science and the rights of peoples to live well in harmony with and respect for Mother Earth. We must transform social and economic structures and technologies and re-orient policies to move away from profit-driven, growth oriented, high-carbon, elite-dominated exploitative systems and instead ensure a just transition to people-driven, sovereign, equitable, and democratic post carbon sustainable development. 
6. End corporate capture of climate policy and kick Big Polluters out.We know who is to blame for the climate crisis. Big Polluters have rigged the very system meant to coordinate a global response to climate change. As a result, climate action failure is on our doorstep. We must end the ability of polluters to write the rules of climate action and end their ability to bankroll the climate talks. We must also reset the system so that it centers people and nature. We need real, just, accountable, gender responsive, community-led, nature-restoring, and proven and transformative solutions to be implemented rapidly and justly.

Expectations for COP 27

While wealthy countries are expected to continue trying to run away from their responsibilities, climate justice advocates are amplifying demands to make the most of the moment by alerting the world as to what our governments must agree to now.  In the case of the US, coming to COP27 claiming “climate leadership” after finally passing legislation with a weak emissions target that’s only one-fourth of its fair share of the necessary global mitigation effort by investing in renewable energy alongside false-solution techno-fixes for their own fossil fuel expansion, the divide-and-conquer approach towards the Global South sadly persists in the rhetorical posture and policy proposals.  Their meta-narrative has been to dismiss developing countries’ demands for loss and damage funding as a false front to avoid any more ambition on mitigation, when the US itself is unable to increase its own inadequate ambition, as reflected in its ambiguous proposals for the Mitigation Work Program and the Global Stocktake (the Paris Agreement’s only mechanism to “ratchet-up” ambition).  DCJ calls on governments to agree to the following:

Mitigation Work Program

  • An equity and a fair shares approach must be taken in the Mitigation Work Program, where the wealthiest producers with the most capabilities to transition are the first and fastest to phase out production while supporting others in their own just transitions. 
  • Parties must act with urgency on an equitable fossil fuel phase out and just transition to clean, renewable energy and address the energy poverty to ensure energy sufficiency for all, energy sovereignty, energy democracy, energy as a common good, 100% renewable energy for all, community-owned, low-impact renewable energy.
  • The New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on Climate Finance must be aligned with 1.5°C in support of developing countries’ actions.

Global Goal on Adaptation

  • New and additional finance must be committed in-line with the principles of Locally Led Adaptation, ensuring the financial needs of marginalized people and communities are represented. New and additional finance must be grant-based, as opposed to loans or investments.  
  • The Glasgow-Sharm El-Sheikh work program (GlaSS) on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) must be financially supported to ensure robust tracking mechanisms to measure and assess progress on adaptation. 
  • An adaptation goal should measure progress on: enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience, reducing vulnerability and contributing to sustainable development and ensuring adequate responses. 
  • Promises made at COP 26 to double adaptation finance to 40 billion USD until 2025 must be adhered to in the short-term. 

Santiago Network on Loss and Damage 

  • The Santiago Network should be operationalised with foundations in climate justice and human rights so that it can deliver tailored assistance to the people that need it.
  • An advisory body for the Santiago Network should be installed by COP 28 and it must be representative of those people and communities it is intended to serve. The advisory body should be tasked with the operationalisation of the Santiago Network.
  • The host institution for the secretariat must be located in the global South. 
  • The Santiago Network must have strong links to the national and sub-national levels, center leaders in the global South and must be able to be directly accessed by marginalised communities. ​​
  • The technical assistance that is delivered must be based on needs, demand-driven, locally-led, gender-transformative, promote equality and non-discrimination, and be guided by the best available science including Indigenous and local knowledge.
  • There must be opportunities for input that are open to a range of constituencies, particularly groups from the global South who are systematically marginalized and have increased vulnerability to climate change. 

Loss and Damage Finance

After long being blocked by wealthy polluting countries with the greatest historical responsibility, the US and EU are finally agreeing to an official COP27 agenda item to formally discuss “financial arrangements” for loss and damage since they see that establishing a fund for “loss and damage” created by climate impacts could be a litmus test for trust in Sharm El Sheikh and they do not want to be isolated in their opposition.  Yet as they try to escape yet again by appearing to agree to something yet actually conceding nothing. 

COP27 must deliver an outcome that firmly establishes a Loss and Damage Financing Facility (LDFF) now, not further down the road. The LDFF must:

  • Be funded by new and additional finance, committed as part of Northern countries historical responsibilities for the climate debt and obligations to make reparations to affected peoples, with a fair sharing of efforts.
  • Be mobilized according to the “polluter pays” principle and should be adequate, reliable and consistent, and adhere to human rights-based approaches, giving priority to marginalized groups.
  • Be operationalized as quickly as possible, as part of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement Finance Mechanism, with a clear and urgent way forward agreed at COP27.
  • Provide new and additional public finance that is grants-based, not insurance, loans or other private finance that further in debts Global South countries and communities.
  • Be further shaped and implemented with involvement from, and made directly accessible to, the frontline communities who are experiencing Loss and Damage and are owed support and solidarity.  

$100B climate finance promise + New Collective Quantified Goal 

  • The New Collective Quantified Goal for climate finance (NCQG) must deliver beyond the $100 billion goal from a decade ago in-line with current climate finance requirements of developing countries, and access to funds needs to reflect the unequal impact of extreme events on marginalised communities.
  • The NCQG must be based on the needs of developing countries. 
  • Loss and Damage must be reflected as a third pillar of climate finance alongside Mitigation and Adaptation within the NCQG. 

Article 6 

  • Non-market approaches in Article 6.8 should be advanced to help deliver the real solutions we need right now to keep temperature rise under 1.5° celsius. We encourage the creation of a mechanism under Article 6.8 to scale up non-market and cost-effective approaches. 
  • The false solutions in Article 6.2 and Article 6.4 which are dependent on offsets and emissions trading must be rejected.  
  • All geoengineering technologies and soil carbon for generating carbon credits must be excluded from the negotiations of the Paris Agreement, specially in relation to Article 6.4 and Article 6.8.
  • The consideration and promotion of geoengineering technologies at the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogues, the Global Stocktake and in any other instances at UNFCCC must be rejected.


  • Ecological restoration must be vastly scaled up to recover natural forests, peatlands, and other degraded ecosystems for both climate and biodiversity, through securing of land and tenure rights for indigenous peoples and local communities, proper public policies, and public financing.
  • COP 27 must send a strong political signal to support ambitious outcomes in the CBD COP 15. 


  • The negotiations must deepen discussions and recommendations on agroecology, gender responsiveness, food loss and waste, and adaptation finance. 
  • We must move away from a neoliberal, corporate-controlled industrial food system, towards a system based on the principles of food sovereignty, food as a human right, and peoples’ control over seeds, land, water and other commons.
  • There must be support for peasant agroecology, artisanal fishing, and small-scale farmers. 

Global Stocktake

  • An outcome of the Global Stocktake (GST) needs to include the urgent and adequate consideration of existing science on Loss and Damage finance as well as the identification of opportunities and challenges in enhancing action and support to achieve the Paris Agreement’s aim of equity. 
  • GST must be about assessing progress on existing commitments and structured to reflect Convention/Paris- targets on Mitigation, Adaptation, Means of Implementation and cross-cutting against civil societies’ fair-shares frame.

Human rights & Gender

  • We must strive to raise the ambition and accelerate the work on climate justice and gender equality in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, across all relevant workstreams.
  • Parties should establish a process to revise and improve the Gender Action Plan for agreement at COP 28. 


This document was prepared in accordance with the core principles of DCJ and in collaboration with DCJ members. It does not represent a joint position document.