One year after one of the editions with the most ebullient negotiations, where some encouraging global alliances and a number of promises emerged, this year’s UN Climate Conference takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, against a backdrop of extreme weather events worldwide, an energy crisis propelled by the war in Ukraine, and scientific data reiterating that the world is not doing enough to tackle carbon emissions and protect the future of our planet.
If COP 26 culminated in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which kept the goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive, but with a weak pulse, COP 27 takes place moving from negotiations, and “planning for implementation” for all the promises and pledges made so far.
The plans submitted by most signatories of the Paris Agreement are still not ambitious enough to limit global temperature rise, a new report by UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) warned last month. Therefore, this years’s conference focus on three main goals:
How are countries reducing their emissions? All parties, especially those in a position to “lead by example”, are urged to take “bold and immediate actions” to limit global warming well below 2°C.
How are countries going to adapt and help others do the same? Ensure that COP27 makes the “crucially needed progress” towards enhancing climate change resilience and assisting the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Make significant progress on climate finance, “the elephant that never leaves the negotiation room”, including the delivery of the promised $100 billion per year to assist developing countries.
The World Economic Forum has highlighted 5 key areas to keep an eye on in the negotiations over the coming days:
“There is no way to keep 1.5 alive without stopping and reversing deforestation, transforming our food and land use systems, and protecting ocean ecosystems. Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. This is not only bad for animals and plans, but also erodes the very foundation of our economies, livelihoods, health, and food security worldwide. (…) It’s hoped that examples of implementation will become apparent at COP27. The Nature Pavilion at COP27 will be an important hub for these multistakeholder partnerships.”
“The food crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, stretched supply chains, and energy prices, means that agri-commodity prices have skyrocketed. This is particularly affecting: as of 2021, over 820 million people are suffering from hunger. (…) Achieving climate-resilient food systems that can address the world’s growing needs requires collaboration across governments, businesses and smallholders. At COP27, there will be a specific focus on how we scale the solutions required to meet our growing food demand in a climate-resilient way, which means commercializing innovative technological solutions and promoting agroecological practices which are often more climate-resilient than industrial farming methods.”
“The IPCC reports that 3 billion people could face physical water scarcity with 2C of global temperature rise, which will effect Africa and other climate-vulnerable regions acutely. In addition, water security is a key priority of the Egyptian COP presidency. It is therefore essential that COP27 will see strengthened collaboration between governments, businesses, innovators and other key actors. Urgent water solutions are key to achieving a sustainable and resilient net-zero future.”
“Concrete, steel, aluminium, and chemicals—as well as the ships, planes, and trucks that move them—are currently responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, and that is projected to grow. The key to transition these global sectors is to drive down the prices of clean methods and technologies, compared to the carbon intensive conventional techniques.”
Source: UN | World Economic Forum