11 Oct 2022
Why climate conference COP27 matters
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP27 will be held in Egypt later this year. Egypt assumes the presidency of COP27 with a clear recognition of the gravity of the global climate challenge and appreciation of the value of multilateral, collective and concerted action as the only means to address this truly global […]
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP27 will be held in Egypt later this year. Egypt assumes the presidency of COP27 with a clear recognition of the gravity of the global climate challenge and appreciation of the value of multilateral, collective and concerted action as the only means to address this truly global threat. COP is hosted by a different government every year. The first such meeting – ‘COP1’ – took place in Berlin, Germany in 1995.  The commitment of this COP is to support an inclusive, transparent and party-driven process to ensure timely and adequate action. Significance of Africa  With the strapline, ‘Together for implementation,’ COP27 is billed as an ‘African COP’ in reference to its location. Africa is determined to show its leadership in climate action through showcasing its contributions to global movement to tackle climate change, its role in facilitating and mobilising action at scale, its vision for a just and sustainable future to its people and to the wider global population. The hope is that COP27 will be the turning point where the world comes together and demonstrates the requisite political will to take on the climate challenge through concerted, collaborative and impactful action. It is envisioned to be a platform where agreements and pledges will get translated to projects and programmes, where the world shows that it is serious in working together. COP27 is taking place in a highly climate-vulnerable country in the Global South. So adaptation, which has long received less attention and less finance than mitigation, should come into focus at COP27. Also this year one of three ‘technical dialogues’ as part of global stocktake will happen at COP27. It will assess the collective progress towards fulfilling the Paris Agreement. Challenges and Outcomes The IPCC report ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ states that around half of the world’s population is ‘highly vulnerable’ to the impacts of climate change, with those in highly vulnerable regions already 15 times more likely to die due to floods, droughts, and storms compared to regions with very low vulnerability. COP27 is a rare opportunity for parties and observers to come together and grapple with a challenge that is impacting all of humanity. The IPCC has made it clear that we are now in extraordinarily dangerous territory. This urgency is recognised in the convening of countries at COP27 and in the call for countries to revise their NDCs (nationally determined contributions) ahead of the conference. “I deeply believe that COP27 is an opportunity to showcase unity against an existential threat that we can only overcome through concerted action and effective implementation,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi had said.
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