What To Expect From The World Climate Summit COP27?

What To Expect From The World Climate Summit COP27?

By Melanie Manard of The Conscious Insider

What is the COP27?

The Conference of the Parties, or COP, is a climate change conference held annually by the United Nations. The first COP was held in Berlin in 1992 and three later The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change set out the basic legal framework for international climate change cooperation.

Today the climate summit counts 197 countries.

The purpose of the COP is to address the dangerous human interference with the climate system and determine which actions to implement to prevent a rise in global temperatures.

In 2022, 100 world leaders are attending the COP 27th gathering, along with 35,000 delegates. The climate summit takes place in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt for two weeks of international discussions and negotiations.

Man at podium talking to assembled crowd
Credit: Kiara Worth / UN Climate Change

The COP is one of the most important events in the fight against climate change and has been instrumental in reaching global consensus and implementing ecological commitments to curb the climate crisis.

However, fast actions have not materialized and the consequences of climate change are becoming more and more pressing. Extreme weather events are occurring with greater frequency, costing lives and devastating communities and economies.

The year 2022 has seen a surge of dramatic and undeniable effects of global warming such as destructive fires, heat waves, droughts in Europe, deadly floods in Pakistan, and forced displacements due to rising sea levels and scarce resources.

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What was achieved at the previous COP?

Kyoto – 1997, the basis

In 1997, for the first time in the history of mankind, industrialized nations and economies in transition committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by adopting mitigation policies. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted and was set to last until 2010.

During COP 2018 in Doha, the Kyoto Protocol was extended from 2010 to 2020.

Paris – 2015, the instrumental treaty

The Paris Agreement that emerged from COP21 was by far groundbreaking.

After 20 years of negotiations, almost 200 countries (both emerging and industrialized) signed the Paris Climate Agreement to tackle the climate crisis.

The world nations unanimously agreed to keep global warming below 2 ºC above pre-industrial levels and continue efforts to limit it to 1.5 ºC.

To achieve this very ambitious goal, all states have committed to publishing their targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They are available on the United Nations website.

Glasgow – 2021, pursuing the efforts

According to The New York Times, the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference concluded with landmark agreements to “revisit and strengthen their emissions targets by the end of 2022”.

103 nations signed the Global Methane Pledge implementing a 30% reduction of methane emissions (gas that increased temperature). Dozens of other countries pledged to gradually phase out their use of coal and gasoline-powered vehicles over the next few decades.

The conference also resulted in billions of dollars in commitments to support forest conservation efforts. More than 100 world leaders promised to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.

What’s at stake for COP27?

In recent years, the main debate of the annual climate summit has been to determine who bears financial responsibility for the climate crisis.

Wealthy countries want to help developing nations transition from fossil energies to renewables ones.

While vulnerable economies demand compensation and funding to face the consequences of climate change that already strike them such as drought, floods, and forced displacement of people due to rising waters and famines.

This study shows that wealthy countries of the planet have been responsible for half of the world’s emissions since 1850. Many countries with very low emissions are extremely vulnerable to climate change

For example, small island nations are facing the rise of water. Some of these nations gathered in a group called V20, or the Vulnerable Twenty group, and require urgent funding to cope with the effect of climate change. Among them: Madagascar, the Maldives, Nepal, the Philippines, Saint Lucia, Vanuatu, Vietnam, etc.

This year, Pakistan endured violent floods, considered worsened by the climate crisis, leaving ⅓ of the country under water and causing 40 billion in damages.

Wealthy countries pledge to fund climate adaptation and mitigation projects in poor countries for 100 billion per year. The Green Climate Fund was established at the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun.

Its purpose is to help developing countries transition to low-emission and climate-resilient economies. To date, the fund has raised $11 billion spread between 204 projects to help vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

The city of Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt, where COP27 is being held.
The city of Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt, where COP27 is being held.
Photo by Hamza Atfy on Unsplash

Did countries do what they pledged to do in previous COPs?

According to a new report from the Climate Transparency Initiative, only 3 countries of the G20 are honoring their financial commitments: France, Japan, and Germany. The majority of rich countries, which are major emitters of greenhouse gases, fail to meet their pledge to fund $100 billion for climate adaptation.

The USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Italy combined should be responsible for providing USD 61bn, but collectively only provided USD 8.35bn in 2020.” states the Climate Transparency Initiative.

The report graded each country based on its emissions reduction targets, its climate finance contributions, and its progress in transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

The climate transparency report calls on wealthy nations to “at least double” their climate finance contributions by 2025 to help close the “ambition gap.”

It urges all countries to take immediate action to increase their ambition levels and do what is necessary to avoid dangerous levels of global warming.

However, some countries are on track to reach their commitments. The U.S recently passed a law to fund the country’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies. With this allocation of $370 billion, the country aims to reduce its emission by half in 2025.

COP 27 Focuses

This year’s climate summit will focus on three main topics:

  • Funding for loss and damage and adaptation projects for emerging countries
  • Prioritizing sustainable transport solutions such as low or zero-emissions vehicles and shipping
  • Reducing methane emissions to keep temperature from increasing over 2 degrees Celsius.

About the author

Melanie Manard

Melanie Manard is the founder of The Conscious Insider, a digital platform for sustainable and ethical lifestyle. She is passionate about eco-friendly fashion and sustainable design. You can usually find her reading, cooking or riding her bike.