Even the most optimistic environmentalists have been cautious about having expectations
Since Coca-Cola was first announced as COP27 main sponsor, even the most optimistic environmentalists have been cautious about having expectations of striking a good deal in terms of mitigation, even before setting foot in the venue to find out you were surrounded by 600+ fossil fuel lobbyists.
COP27 outcomes have left many, including myself, with mixed feelings. If mitigation was not going to be a success this year, one thing is sure: this negotiation was a big win for climate justice. Of course, striking the deal is only the first step, now it’s up to us, NGOs, activists, youth and civil society, to keep holding our leaders accountable and push for their commitments on loss and damage to be actually implemented in a fair and impactful way.
Also, I was positively surprised of noticing that the link between the climate and biodiversity crises, was acknowledged and widely discussed in the side events, and when it came to Nature-based Solutions, a very important partnership was announced; many side events and pavilions were also revolving around the climate action-ocean protection nexus. But then, I just didn’t see the connection between these discussions or “thematic days” and the actual negotiations/outcomes – so much so, that the cover decision doesn’t even mention the biodiversity COP which would be happening literally one month from then and will be such an important one.
But behind the chaos (and incredible noise!!!) of the Blue Zone Pavilions, COP can be a great source of inspiration for those who seek it. Being part of a great team of empowered young leaders, listening to people’s stories and hearing about the incredible projects they are carrying out, witnessing the level of mobilisation of the climate justice movement, feeling the energy and drive of all young people who could finally come together in a common, dedicated space… leads me to say that meaningful connections were the highlight of my personal experience at COP27.
As disappointing, mentally draining, and physically exhausting as COPs can be, being reminded that you are not alone in this and that you can do more and better in a bigger community, is a source of energy and motivation to move forward.