The 27th Conference of Parties (COP) is happening this week in Egypt.
Every year, world leaders get together for a big climate change pow-wow.
You’re used to seeing headlines about droughts, fires, and floods; COP27 is happening at a time when the climate is shifting from incremental change to uncertain reality.
The United Nations warned that the global effort to cut emissions is "woefully inadequate" and we’re on the “highway to climate hell”.
Quick History: 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (COP 21)
196 countries signed a treaty committing to limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, but preferably, to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This is a big deal. Global leaders acknowledged the climate crisis and publicly agreed to #ActNow.
4 things to know about COP27
1 - Less talk, more action.
Last year, COP26 in Glasgow delivered a host of pledges. Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to countless empty promises.
Egypt says their conference will be about implementing these pledges and upholding the Paris Agreement, with a specific focus on concrete action and measurable results.
The 2020s are declared as the “decade of action” that comes with an agreement to phase down unabated coal production and fossil fuel subsidies.
2 - Coca-Cola is COP27’s main event sponsor.
Yep, you read that correctly. Coca-Cola, the world’s leading polluter of plastics in 2021 is sponsoring the event.
Coca-Cola has responded by cutting plastic use in packaging and bottling and ”reducing absolute carbon emissions 25% by 2030, with an ambition for net-zero emissions by 2050”.
3 - China's Raising Eyebrows
Responsible for 27% of global emissions, China is the world’s biggest current emitter.
4 - Greta is a No Show
Greta Thunberg, the legendary Swedish climate activist, will not attend.
She criticizes the global summit as a forum for “greenwashing”. Saying the COP conferences are mainly used as an opportunity for leaders and people in power to get more attention”.
On Sunday, Thunberg called for more people to get involved in climate activism, saying the time had come for “drastic changes” to the status quo.
“In order to change things, we need everyone – we need billions of activists.”
What’s the actual game plan to safeguard the future of our planet?
Mitigation: Keep the 1.5°C target alive and keep warming below 2°C. But mitigation requires action. COP27 could be a moment for nations to increase ambition, deliver on the Paris Agreement, and see Glasgow NDCs implemented.
Adaptation: Climate-amplified weather events, like heatwaves, floods, and wildfires are becoming annual occurrences rather than once-in-a-century events. The Global Goal on Adaptation was a pivotal outcome of COP26. It included a goal to double funding to developing countries for adaptation by 2025, which was seen as a success of COP26 and one COP27 hopes to build on.
Finance: Address the reality that climate finance and transparency are essential to achieve the goals of The Paris Agreement. Progress still needs to be made to deliver on the Paris goal of $100 billion annually in climate finance between developed and developing countries (right now, that goal isn’t projected to be reached until 2023).
Collaboration: COP27 aims to have governments, civil society, and businesses work together to help the world transition toward a green economy and alleviate the worst impacts of our climate crisis.ypt this November.