What to expect at COP27?

Shinta Noorsyahbani

This year’s COP27 (Conference Of the Parties) is just around the corner, taking place from 6 to 18 November. From promises about doing better to big issues likely to be discussed at critical negotiations, we're beginning to get a picture of what the summit could look like.

What is COP27 exactly, and how can it help solve the world’s most urgent environmental problems? In this blog we’ll delve into the importance of COP27 as well as what it means and what to expect from the UN’s international climate conference. If you would like to have a refresher on what happened during COP26, we would gladly refer you to our article on our news page: Recap: COP26.


The importance of COP27

COP is the decision making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC. The summit is attended by countries that have signed the UNFCCC, which is an agreement that came into force in 1994. Signed by 198 countries, the goal is to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. The conference will bring governments together to increase global efforts to fight the climate crisis (UNFCCC, n.d.).

The latest science shows that climate change is moving faster than we are, pushing our ecosystems and communities to their limits which highlights the importance of COP27. This year’s summit takes place in the Red Sea town of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Around 90 heads of state have confirmed their attendance so far, as was confirmed by a senior Egyptian official this week. It is expected that world leaders and representatives from more than 190 countries will attend the summit (Limb, 2022).

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 logo seen on a mobile phone. Photo by UNCTAD

COP27 matters because it provides the time and space for world leaders to carefully think about the latest climate science and enact change which can only be achieved collaboratively.


Summary: What to expect at COP27

Let’s outline what you can expect from the conference this year.

1. Days in themes

Clear deliverables are significant to achieve the temperature goals of the Paris agreement. By structuring the discussions within different thematic days, a wide range of subjects will be taken into consideration to ensure their full and effective engagement. The themes include (COP27 Official, n.d.):


- Finance
- Science
- Youth & Future Generations
- Decarbonization
- Adaptation & Agriculture
- Gender
- Water
- Ace & Civil Society
- Energy
- Biodiversity
- Solutions


2. Human rights issues

In preparation of COP27, human rights issues have been highlighted by the media. Critics have shared their doubts and concerns about Egypt as a host city, so it’s safe to say that we can expect themes that extend beyond the greenhouse gas emissions to be taken into consideration in the climate summit. We’re interested to see how the host city and COP as a whole will navigate through these issues (Michaelson, 2022).

3. Mitigation - Keep the 1.5°C target alive

As of December 2015, world leaders adopted the “Paris agreement” at COP21. A commitment to keep global warming below 2°C, above pre-industrial levels and preferably limit warming to 1.5 °C. As of now, we are unfortunately not on track to hit this goal. However, it is possible that we’ll see some more great commitments as world leaders accelerate their climate plans to meet the urgency to fight climate change.

This year, we can definitely expect the implementation of the Glasgow pact call to review initiatives in NDC’s (climate targets for mitigating GHG), and create a work program to aim on mitigation.

4. Adaption and Finance based targets

As opposed to mitigation, which is action to prevent further climate change, adaptation refers to the way the world changes in response to the effects of climate change. Extreme weather events have become the everyday reality of our lives. Adapting to loss and damage from climate catastrophes make finance flow a reality. It’s clear that this year’s targets are based around climate finance as well (COP27 Official, n.d.).

5. Political relations

COP27 has a crucial role to play in climate justice for Africa. The climate summit puts Egypt at centerstage to advocate Africa's energy transition and fight for its climate priorities. Governments ultimately need to work together to transform the way in which we interact with our planet. However, the world remains vulnerable due to COVID and the war in Ukraine. It’s an uneasy geopolitical time to gather world’s climate leaders, nonetheless, we’re hopeful that COP27 will inspire a sense of unity to achieve one common goal: to fight for our one and only planet.


Conclusion

This year’s COP is filled with global climate action through emissions reduction, scaled-up adaptation efforts and enhanced flows of appropriate finance. We’re excited for this year’s COP and the opportunities that it presents for navigating global corporations and climate action. Stay tuned for the key outcomes over the course of this year’s COP, we’ll make sure to report them and keep you up to date!


Sources


1. UNFCCC. (n.d.). Conference of the Parties (COP). United Nations Climate Change. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from: https://unfccc.int/process/bodies/supreme-bodies/conference-of-the-parties-cop.

2. Limb, L. (2022, October 17). What is COP27? Everything you need to know about Egypt’s landmark climate conference. Euronews. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/10/08/what-is-cop27-everything-you-need-to-know-about-egypts-landmark-climate-conference .

3. COP27 Official. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://cop27.eg/.

4. Michaelson, R. (2022, July 29). Fears that Egypt may use Cop27 to whitewash human rights abuses. The Guardian. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/29/fears-egypt-cop27-summit-human-rights-abuses.

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