COP27: A little background
The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) will once again deliver new information, guidelines, and decisions concerning climate change. As humans, we are getting increasingly concerned about our environment and how we can best save it. We can now see the damage we have been impacting on Mother Earth over the years.
Thankfully, the United Nations signed the UN climate agreement in 1992 to address this global issue. There have been 26 conferences since that time. During the 21st conference held in 2015 in Paris, the Paris Agreement was adopted as an international treaty on climate change. The 27th (COP27) will hold this year from 6-18 November in Egypt.
But what outcomes can we expect from the conference this year?
The likely focus of COP27
We can expect the focus of the COP27 to be on climate adaptation, solid plans, and financing to enable even developing and small island countries to get involved in tackling the climate crisis.
More specifically, this year’s conference will likely focus on the “how.” I say this because COP26 was focused on the “what”:
- Countries pronounced their intentions to cut their carbon emissions
- All attending countries agreed to take drastic measures if, after 12 months following COP26, they were still not aligned with the steps necessary to keep the Earth below 1.5°C of warming
- Richer nations agreed to fund poorer countries with $100 billion per year towards tackling the climate crisis
- 137 world leaders agreed to stop and reverse deforestation by 2030
However, nobody at the COP26 discussed details on “how” they will implement these intentions.
In my opinion, such actionable plans will be the focus of the discussion at COP27. Besides, Egypt says it wants to move beyond negotiations to implementation.
Seeing November 9 slated as Finance day in the COP27 schedule, it’s fair to expect serious talks on climate finance. Egypt and other developing countries will be keen on how they hope to benefit from the
But do we really expect this global conference to begin and end with climate change?
Most certainly not! With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war amid the food crisis and inflation, there is so much going on in the world beyond climate change. For poorer countries with limited access to Covid-19 vaccines, the need to save themselves will likely take precedence over saving the planet.
Egypt as the president of COP27: what to expect
Freedom of the press is highly limited in Egypt, so access to COP27 may be a problem for media houses. Journalists have suffered unreasonable detentions, criminal investigations, and travel bans in recent times. If we hope to get the full, unfiltered picture of COP27, such restrictive measures would have to be relaxed. But for now, we can only expect the worst while hoping for the best.
– By Zina Athanasiadou