Being physically present at the UNFCCC, and so close to where leaders decide the fate of our planet, was at once rousing and unnerving. The strong presence of fossil fuel lobbyists at this year’s COP was absurd, not to mention the slow, painstaking process within the system, and the compromises we had to make for the most positive outcomes which are minute at best.

We on the side of civil society could only wish developments in the talks were commensurate with the urgency demanded by the climate crisis. Lived experiences of the worsening climate impacts everywhere—typhoons, floods, droughts, fires—should be more than enough to prompt decisive action from nations for fossil fuel phaseout, adaptation & finance, and civil society’s main battle cry at this COP: loss and damage compensation.

Filipino youth delegates joined the Global Day of Action march and other civil society actions at the COP27 venue in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. © Johanna Fernandez
After a year of unprecedented climate impacts across the world including the recent devastating floods in Pakistan and Nigeria, frontline women from the Global South brought the flood to COP27 to urge rich nations to compensate most affected communities for loss and damages. © Marie Jacquemin / Greenpeace
Civil society representatives stood in solidarity with human rights defenders, in a protest highlighting that there’s no climate justice without social justice. © Marie Jacquemin / Greenpeace

And how invigorating it was to find our tribe there, in Sharm El-Sheikh of all places, and to have recognized the common struggles in the impassioned chants of activists who, like me, had come from their home countries to deliver a message. Activism was alive and well at #COP27— from the Flood the COP creative protest and Global Day of Action march, to the People’s Plenary and the Filipino youth-led #Party4thePlanet flash mob in the Blue Zone, where community leaders from the Pacific Islands, Africa, Asia, and other regions took centerstage. These were just a few of the dozens of creative demonstrations that happened every day since the start of COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh and other corners of the globe. And through it all, the question in my mind was, who is listening?

Youth and community representatives from different countries held a #Party4thePlanet flash mob on Day 9 of the COP27 UN Climate Talks. © Mohamed Elbagoury / Greenpeace
Community leaders and youth from the Pacific Islands, Africa, Asia, and other regions took centerstage at the #Party4thePlanet flash mob and other civil society actions at COP27. © Mohamed Elbagoury / Greenpeace

It took just mere hours for me to picture the climate talks as a microcosm of injustice in different contexts, where the oppressors blatantly try to control the outcome of negotiations for their own selfish interests. This part is not new to me; we already know this, all of us in the Global South. So is the knowledge that climate justice and social justice are elusive because there are people who would rather keep raking in profits even if this means taking away people’s lives and rights.

Philippine Farmers call for Loss and Damage compensation
A few weeks ahead of COP27, farmers in Tarlac, Philippines protested, alongside activists from Rice Watch Action Network and Greenpeace, in a storm damaged farm to call for Loss and Damage finance.
© Basilio Sepe / Greenpeace
Greenpeace Mexico volunteers, supporters and staff lit up a big ‘1.5’ next to Monumento de la Revolución in Mexico City, demanding that their government take ambitious climate action. © Greenpeace
In Thailand, Greenpeace activists delivered a special message to the visiting leaders, as well as to big climate polluters, calling on the Thai Government to stand in solidarity with countries from the Global South and to push for loss and damage financing on behalf of communities heavily impacted by the climate crisis.
© Chanklang  Kanthong / Greenpeace
Greenpeace Indonesia projected a message addressed to the leaders present at the G20 summit and COP27.
© Greenpeace
While the COP27 and the G20 summit were on-going, climate advocates and citizens marched at the People’s Climate Strike in Quezon City, Philippines. © Jilson Tiu / Greenpeace
Activists and volunteers with Greenpeace Malaysia staged an action at Malaysia’s historic Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, calling for incoming electoral candidates to commit to stronger climate policies. © Joshua Paul / Greenpeace

But there are more and more of us seeing that we’re on the receiving end of these injustices, and this gives me much hope. Our task as communicators and campaigners is to make people realize their power: and that, together, we are stronger.

The COP27 agreement to establish a Loss and Damage Finance Fund marks a turning point for the climate negotiations which have been rendered futile for so long. But this key development notwithstanding, we won’t rest until climate justice is served on all fronts. We know what we are owed, and we will make those who are culpable pay.

It’s not too late to join the call for climate justice! Visit to learn how.