A COP27 conference, the largest annual gathering of world leaders to address climate change, is just around the corner.
The UN Climate Change Conference will take place in Egypt from 7 – 18 November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, a remote Egyptian resort town between the deserts of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. It will bring governments together to accelerate global efforts to tackle climate change.
In order to reach a goal for COP27, four main topics must be discussed: climate finance, adaptation by helpful changes, loss and damage, and increased ambition.
A new study reveals that Egypt and the Middle East are warming faster than the rest of the world, with a predicted 5°C increase in warming by the end of the century. There is also much at stake in Sharm el-Sheikh, as the war in Ukraine is affecting food and energy prices and availability. Egypt has a significant role to play in Sharm el-Sheikh to promote these four key agenda items highlighted above. Egypt is also expected to continue to voice the demands and expectations of the global south—especially those of its direct African neighbors.
Participants will explore the way to successfully encourage more affordable finance for the green transition, and for adaptation, and if a greater learning and technology transfer between countries can be fostered.
By hosting this event, Egypt is expected to be able to influence the agenda items and bring more focus to Africa’s increasing needs for adaptation and mitigation financing and all countries throughout Africa and the Global South will be in a better position to raise their ambitions and, essentially, better put the national climate transition plans into practice.
Adaption by helpful change
Adaptation requires a strategy for meeting the challenges of change, and there are many reasons for hope. Countries around the globe are adapting, developing new technologies, adopting new forms of collaboration, recommitting themselves to protecting nature. Investments in climate technology are booming, from renewables to new carbon removal technologies to electric transportation. Clean energy continues to get cheaper every year. So, although the situation is difficult, there are many quite encouraging things happening. The challenge now is to make this happen faster, more broadly and more accurately.
Loss and damage
Loss and damage normally refers to the destructive impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided either by mitigation (avoiding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions) or adaptation (adjusting to current and future climate change impacts).
COP 27 will continue the push for countries to honor their Glasgow commitment to double adaptation funding by 2025, addressing the loss and damage suffered by the world’s most vulnerable people.
Is there general acceptance that loss and damage must be addressed in some form with stakeholders being concerned with concrete details, how do we define and fund that?
One positive step is the Danish government’s recent announcement to provide “loss and damage” funding to developing countries in the Sahel region and elsewhere, setting an example that other governments are sure to follow.
This involves strengthening the concurrent political commitments of various stakeholders and the wider global community to the climate cause. The February report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that we need to stay below the 1.5°C mark to avoid climate disaster and that we only have a decade to go before the carbon budget is exhausted in entirety. The report also noted that by 2030, emissions levels would need to be halved to meet this target. In other words, the international community has less than ten years to act.
This year, Egypt’s presidency for COP is very important as a middle-income, African, and Middle Eastern country hosting this event. As Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, the country’s chief climate negotiator put it: “The only good news – though I would hesitate to call it such – is that recent climate tragedies have received worldwide attention, leaving no doubt as to the terrible and unfair impacts of climate change.”
The works of the conference are awaited with confidence and they rely on obtaining concrete, mobilizing and effective results.