The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), which will take place from November 6 (Tomorrow) to 18, will bring together leaders from around the world to discover how to stop climate change. All this, in the midst of energy, economic and geopolitical crisis.
The COPs are held annually to analyze the environmental situation of the planet and make concrete decisions to ensure that the Earth does not warm up by more than 1.5°C by the end of the century. This 2022 will be the twenty-seventh edition. The Egyptian city of Sharm el Sheik will host the talks this time. Egypt wants this to be the “African COP” to give voice to the demands of the continent.
What is COP27 looking for?
The purpose of the COPs is to meet the climate objectives agreed in two of the most important climate documents that exist: the framework of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Macro Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The main objective of the Paris Agreement is to keep the planet’s temperature below 1.5 °C with respect to pre-industrial levels, that is, between 1850 and 1900. For its part, of the UNFCCC is to stabilize the concentrations of gases greenhouse.
It is expected that this particular summit will address a fundamental issue: how to achieve financing against climate change for the poorest countries, which are also the most affected by the environmental crisis.
One difficulty that arises this year is participation. Some 30,000 people, including government and international organization delegates, academics, activists, businessmen and journalists, are expected to attend the summit.
The last year has been filled with natural emergencies, such as hurricanes, droughts, heat waves and the melting of the polar ice caps. This, coupled with the supply crisis and inflation in the wake of the war in Ukraine, highlights the urgency of finding solutions.
According to the International Energy Agency, the energy crisis generated by the conflict is a good opportunity to make the transition to renewable energies. This is due to the evidence of a dependence on fossil fuels that has consequences beyond the climatic and environmental ones.
What are the key points?
Broadly speaking, there are four: mitigation, adaptation, financing and collaboration.
To this point, the objective remains the same as when the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015: to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 °C and, but advance all efforts so that the 1.5 °C threshold does not surpass the pre-industrial ones. levels To do this, it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and propose actions to capture carbon. This year, countries are expected to present new emission reduction plans (known as NDCs).
However, the United Nations Science report explains that the last seven years have been the warmest on record. There is a 48% chance that, for at least one of the next five years, the annual mean temperature will temporarily be 1.5°C higher than 1850-1900 mean. In other words, the limit established by the Paris Agreement is exceeded for a time.
For the experts, the ambition needed to achieve the emission reduction commitments for 2030 must be seven times greater than what is currently in this field to meet the objective of the Paris Agreement.
One of the results of the United in Science report is that in 2021 global CO2 emissions of fossil origin reached the levels prior to the 2019 pandemic, after having fallen by 5.4% in 2020 due to confinements. Furthermore, global CO2 emissions in 2022, through May, are 1.2% higher than the levels recorded during the same period in 2019.
In addition to reducing emissions to prevent global warming from increasing, for COP27 it is essential to develop strategies to adapt to its consequences.
The UN reported that the number of nature-related disasters has multiplied by five in the last 50 years. That alone has generated daily losses of US$202 million.
According to the United in Science report, early warning systems, that is, methods to warn when a natural disaster will occur, are a means that allows adaptation to save lives and also to reduce loss and damage from disasters.
That is why one of the main priorities at the international level is to ensure that everyone on Earth is protected by Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS) in the next five years. However, this requires the collaboration of various agents and financing solutions.
In this sense, António Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, highlights that the magnitude of recent phenomena such as heat waves in Europe, floods in Pakistan or prolonged droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States, “have nothing natural”.
All the mentioned solutions need financing that allows them to be carried out. Money is required for green energy, resilient infrastructure and for adaptation policies.
Here we must talk about the commitment that was raised since the Paris Agreement, in 2015, that developed countries must deliver 100,000 million dollars a year to developing countries and thus finance their energy transition and climate action.
The countries that finance are expected to be precisely those that emit the most polluting gases. According to the World Resources Institute, the two countries with the most emissions are China and the United States, followed by the European Union. Together they account for almost half of the CO2 produced in the world.
In addition, according to the commitments, a loss and damage fund must be developed to compensate for the climatic consequences that affect the most vulnerable countries, which in turn are the ones that have contributed the least to climate change.
In the same line of financing, the collaboration of all countries and the public and private sectors is necessary to ensure the participation of all communities, including the most vulnerable and affected by climate change.
According to the UN, extreme weather events have long-lasting socio-economic consequences, especially on the most vulnerable communities which may also be the least prepared to respond, adapt and recover from climate change. More than 3.3 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change. Hence the importance of cooperation.
However, there is no doubt that the list of challenges facing world leaders attending COP27 is long and complicated.
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