Sunday 6th November marked the start of the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) which is being held in Sheikh, Egypt. Bringing together World Leaders and diplomats from 196 countries to ensure the implementation of the Glasgow Climate Pact and the Paris Agreement. Inspired's experts have been closely monitoring the outcomes of the summit.
- The Ukraine war and energy crisis casting shadow over discussions
- UN Secretary General proclaims we are on the ‘highway to climate hell’
- UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, launching the ‘Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership
- The Indian Minister of Environment unveils details of the ‘early warnings for all executive action plan’
- Mideast leaders launch the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’
- UK Government announce major climate support package
- COP27 Presidency launch the ‘Sharm-El-Sheikh Adoption Agenda’
To keep up with the latest updates and news coming out of COP27, visit Inspired PLC’s COP27 Insights Hub and sign up for daily updates straight to your inbox.
COP27 opens with ‘loss and damage’ high on the agenda
The COP27 agenda must be agreed upon before it can officially begin. But there was much debate this year on whether to include ‘loss and damage’ funding as an agenda item for the first time.
The conference was scheduled to begin at 10 am on Saturday morning, however, the agenda wasn’t confirmed until 1 am Sunday morning. This has led many to speculate that this may be the most difficult climate summit in history.
This is still however, a significant victory for developing countries at COP27 who are eager to make progress following the devastating floods, droughts and storms caused by climate change. Of which, these impacts are becoming more frequent and severe.
Ukraine conflict and energy crisis can’t overshadow climate change commitments
UN diplomats have expressed frustration that some governments have been ‘distracted’ over the past year. Which has resulted in little progress on their net zero commitments.
During the ceremonial opening speech, COP26 President Alok Sharma handed over the UK presidency and stressed that climate action must be a priority.
“We have been buffeted by global headwinds that have tested our ability to make progress” says Alok.
“Putin’s brutal and illegal war in Ukraine has precipitated multiple global crises, energy and food insecurity, inflammatory pressures, and spiralling debt. These crises have compounded existing climate vulnerabilities, and the scarring effects of the pandemic. And yet, despite this context, there has been some progress in implementing the commitments we delivered in Glasgow.
“The UK is here to reach ambitious outcomes across the agenda, including on mitigation, on adaptation, and on loss and damage.”
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell added, “If there is one defining crisis of our time, it is climate. All the other things, interest rates, cost of living, even wars come to an end. But climate change just marches on.
“Yes, the world is distracted, but Sharm-El-Sheikh gives us an opportunity to refocus.”
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, also addressed these concerns, “Putin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine and rising energy prices across the world are not a reason to go slow on climate change. They are a reason to act faster.
“Because diversifying our energy supplies by investing in renewables is precisely the way to ensure ourselves against the risks of energy dependency. It is also a fantastic source of new jobs and growth.”
Day one highlights
UN Secretary General proclaims we are on the ‘highway to climate hell’
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres stressed in his speech to COP27 attendees on Monday 7th November, that the world was losing the fight against climate change, while also urging coal to be completely phased out by 2040.
“We are in the fight of our lives, and we a losing”
“Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.”
World leaders launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership
The UK’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak hosted the Forest and Climate Leaders’ event on Monday, pledging the UK’s continued support for conserving threatened forests around the world. The Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) was launched at the summit by the Prime Minister.
This partnership will allow over 140 world leaders to achieve the COP26 commitments by 2030. Halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation, while promoting sustainable development and rural transformation.
These actions are crucial to adapting to climate change and can contribute up to 30 per cent of the reductions needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Twenty-six countries have committed to drive forward at least one of the FCLP’s action areas, which are:
- International collaboration on the sustainable land use economy
- Mobilising public and donor finance to support implementation
- Shifting the private finance system
- Supporting Indigenous People’s and local communities’ initiatives
- Strengthening and scaling carbon markets for forests
- Partnerships and incentives for preserving high-integrity forests
Mideast leaders launch the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’
The Middle East Green Initiative Summit was held by Middle Eastern leaders on Monday as the oil-dependant realm increasingly seeks to transform and diversify green economies.
The initiative will plant 50 billion trees to restore an area equivalent to 200 million hectares of degraded land across the Middle East. It’s aim is to reduce global carbon levels by 2.5 per cent.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledged $2.5bn in funding towards the initiative during the summit. He also unveiled ambitious plans for Saudi Arabia to rely on renewables for fifty per cent of its electricity generation by 2030 — removing forty-four million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2035.
Pakistan Prime Minister, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said that the initiatives goals were fully in line with Pakistan’s forest policy and the Pakistan Green Movement which has a focus on protecting and managing forests and wildlife by 2030.
“Pakistan expresses its full commitment to the goals of this initiative and looks forward to working closely with all member countries, in order to work to protect the planet from climate change.” Sharif comments.
Roundtable discussions commence
The first high-level round tables for world leaders began on Monday following the summit’s inauguration. Focusing on transition, food security and innovative finance for climate and development.
Shri Bhupender Yadav, Indian Minister of Environment unveiled details of the Early Warnings for All Executive Action Plan. A programme that will cover disaster risk knowledge, observations and forecasting, preparedness and response, and communication of early warnings.
Yadav commented, “With climate finance still scarce, climate adaptation in the form of early warning dissemination is key in safeguarding lives, and livelihoods. Early Warnings for All plays a part in not just containing the immediate physical impacts, but also mitigating the far-reaching long-term socioeconomic implications that follow.
“India has been working on strengthening end-to-end early warning systems for all hydro-meteorological hazards. This had led to concrete results. We have reduced mortality from cyclones by up to ninety per cent over the last fifteen years. On both east and west coasts, we have nearly 100 per cent coverage of early warning systems for cyclones. Similarly for other hazards, such as heatwaves, we are making swift progress, leading to much greater resilience of our communities.”
Day two highlights
Climate finance dominates discussions
Climate finance has been a hot topic during the World Leaders Summit discussions. Rishi Sunak announced a major new package of climate support at COP27 on Monday. The UK Government has committed to triple funding for climate adaptation from £500m in 2019 to £1.5bn by 2025.
Day two discussions centred around the importance of private finance within developing markets to aid in the transition to clean energy sources and other climate solutions. The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, called on the global north at the summit to follow the EU’s example and commit to climate financing in the global south.
“Team Europe is providing its fair share of the $100 billion promise. It is doable, and we can call on others to step up too.” Leyen commented.
To make the significant changes that are needed in such a short timescale to halt climate change, substantial funding will need to be raised. Public funding will need to develop new infrastructure for a greener economy, and private finance will need to fund innovation into new technologies.
Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda announced
The UN Climate Change High-Level Champion and the Marrakech Partnership have launched the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda in response to the devastating impacts of climate change on vulnerable people and communities.
Thirty Adaptation Outcomes will be developed as part of the agenda by 2030 to enhance resilience for four billion people living in the most vulnerable communities to climate change. It’s these outcomes that will provide global solutions that can be applied locally to address the climate context, needs and risks of local communities. As well as deliver the transformation of systems necessary to protect vulnerable communities from climate hazards such as extreme heat, drought, flowing and extreme weather.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell commented, “The Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda firmly puts key human needs at its core, along with concrete, specific action on the ground to build resilience to climate change. As the growing number of climate emergencies throughout the world clearly shows, focusing on adaptation is a crucial, pressing necessity.
“The Adaptation Agenda outlines multiple actions and combines the commitments of governments and non-party stakeholders into a joint vision and a joint plan. We need all stakeholders on board to deal with current and future impacts of climate change, and this is a prime example of how that can happen.”
INSPIRED PLC HAVE GOT COP27 COVERED
Over the next two weeks, COP27 leaders will be discussing more key areas of interest for sustainability-focused organisations, such as how we will drive the global transition to net zero and how we can effectively decarbonise cities, regions, and the built environment.
Inspired’s experts will continue to track what’s going on at COP27 and translate key announcements into practical advice for your business. Make sure you don’t miss out by signing up for our updates over on Inspired’s COP27 Hub.
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