3 things to expect from COP27
COP27 will take place from 6-18 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, with more than 90 heads of state and representatives of 190 countries expected to attend. The annual UN conference will discuss the international commitment to energy transition with a focus on four main pillars: mitigation, adaptation, finance, and collaboration.
After the five-year follow up to the Paris Agreement last year at COP26 and the creation of the Glasgow Climate Pact, countries will need to show they are keeping to their commitments, and strive towards more ambitious goals.
This year, there will be three main goals: reducing emissions, helping countries deal with climate change, and securing support and funding for developing countries. Here’s what to expect at COP27.
Climate change mitigation refers to actions taken to lessen or stop the emission of greenhouse gases. Examples of mitigation include utilising cutting-edge technology and renewable energy sources, upgrading older equipment to improve energy efficiency, and implementing behaviour change measures.
It’s one thing to define mitigation, and another, much more complex thing, to implement. Last year, countries at COP26 agreed to deliver strong commitments to mitigation, but only 23 out of 193 countries have submitted their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UN so far.
A lack of follow-up action on the declared agenda could become a talking point. As such, the focus will be on implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact, which aims to mitigate emissions to maintain the goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Although, according to a new report from UN Climate Change, even the combined pledges of 193 parties under the Paris Agreement would still put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. This makes the Glasgow Climate Pact more important than ever.
It’s time to shift from “negotiations and planning to implementation,” says the Presidential vision statement for COP27.
Climate Finance and Adaptation
This past year saw devastating weather patterns all around the globe: flooding and excessive rainfall in Central and South Africa, intense wildfires across the US, and spectacular heat waves across Europe. Communities must now adapt to these climate crises, but poorer countries are suffering disproportionately.
At COP15 in Copenhagen, developed countries committed to financing $100 billion by 2023 to help combat this issue and support the transition to more sustainable energy production. Finalising this financing will be a massive milestone for many poorer countries that are directly facing the consequences of climate change, and an important agenda piece for COP27.
Achieving this financial goal will be a difficult feat and a topic of much debate. The original target date was set for 2020 but was missed and pushed back 2023. The last recorded information available, from 2019, shows that the equivalent of USD $79.6 billion of the 100 had been raised. Latest predictions show the current total being $17 billion short.
Loss and Damage
So, what is this topic of highly debated ‘loss and damage finance’? At its core, Loss and Damage refers to extreme weather events that effect communities to the point of disrepair which are caused by the rise of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), which comes mostly from rich industrialised countries. As such, developing countries, which are often the most affected, believe that they should receive compensation.
At COP26, loss and damage budgets have not been secured nor fully resolved.
Despite its necessity, the topic of Loss and Damage has not yet been added on the agenda at COP27. For this topic to be considered, it must be unanimously voted onto the agenda during the first day of COP27.
Action over words
This year’s COP might not secure a landmark deal like that of the Paris Agreement or Glasgow Climate Pact, but many are calling for it to result in action towards implementation, rather than planning.
If you’re interested in reading more about this topic, read our article about the legacy and impacts of COP 26.