Gearing up for COP27

United Nations Climate Change Conference more commonly referred to as the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, COP27 is just around the corner, commencing from 6th November to 18th November. World leaders are getting ready to address the two-week-long conference at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

First held in 1995 in Berlin, Germany, this conference aims to recognize and discuss consolidated efforts to achieve the aim of preventing the global rise of temperatures above 1.5ºC. Marking the 27th anniversary, this year's COP is of crucial importance as it comes after the world faced some major climate-related disasters and broke record temperature levels in several regions. In the first half of 2022, the planet lurched with climate disasters that caused a heavy material impact, driving insured loss of nearly $35 billion, marking a 22% rise above average for the past decade.

Accomplishments from COP26

COP 26 was infamous amongst most participants who considered it to be a failure. Nevertheless, the Glasgow Climate Pact which mentioned phasing down coal, delivering financial help to developing countries, and ambitiously reducing greenhouse gas emissions was born out of it. 140 participating nations promised to slash deforestation levels drastically and more than 100 signatories signed the Global Methane Pledge, promising to slash methane levels by 2030

Major highlights of this year’s COP

The Egyptian COP leading this year’s summit adds a notable factor in shifting the balance of power from the developed countries to the less developed and most affected countries. This year will see six round tables for driving engagement amongst heads of state, civil society, the private sector, and international financial institutions in contrast to heads of state addressing the gathering with individual speeches previously. The following days will witness thematic discussions on topics like finance, decarbonization, water, and gender. This year’s summit will also set the stage for re-igniting discussions on the loss-and-damage fund for developing countries which remains an unfulfilled agenda from COP26. The major targets for the conference would be to materialize efforts in order to implement the Paris Agreement.

Global assessments of climate action plans of most countries indicate a vast gap in realizing the climate goals by 2030. Amidst a tumultuous global scenario with economic and geopolitical tensions which is further deepening food and energy crises, nations are not seeming to fare well in scaling up climate action. The discussions of COP27 will be creating the base for the first Global Stocktake to be held in COP28 that will assess the progress of acting upon the Paris Agreement. Thus, the upcoming conference is going to be of critical importance to draw the silhouette of the immediate climate action for the world at a time when climate change presents a grim picture.

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