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  • Writer's pictureKyle Vath

What is "COP27"?

If you have been listening to the news, you might have heard people talking about "COP27" ("COP" stands for "Conference of the Parties"). But what exactly is this and what do you need to know? The folks at 350.org have put together a brief primer on "11 things you need to know about COP27":

  • COP27 is a meeting where world leaders make agreements and decisions to tackle the climate crisis and since 2015, based on the Paris Agreement, prevent global temperature from rising beyond 1.5°C.

  • The conference this year met from November 6-18, 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

  • Last year at COP, the US and 38 other countries agreed to stop financing international unabated fossil fuel energy by the end of 2022.

  • This year, their focus was on following up on the promises made last year on fossil fuel financing to ensure no backtracking, calling for climate financing for fast deployment of renewables and efficiency to ensure energy access and transition, while making sure the communities who are at the frontlines resisting big European projects like East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline and gas infrastructure are heard loud and clear. They supported calls for compensation over climate impacts to not hinder the development of the regions in the Global South and further entrench them into debt and poverty.

Who Attended?

  • World leaders, heads of states, ministers, climate activists, civil society, fossil fuel lobbyists, and CEOs were there.

What is at stake?

  • The climate crisis is rapidly accelerating, and every day we delay action, our options get narrower. In order to stop the worst effects, we must limit global heating as much as we possibly can — every fraction of a degree counts.

  • In order to do that, the world must avoid any new coal, oil, and gas development, move towards electrification and energy efficiency, and redirect financial flows toward the vast deployment of renewable energy.

  • Right now with the current national plans, we are on track for nearly 3 degrees of global heating. We need to see action across the globe to drive down emissions and transition to a fair and sustainable economy.

  • Countries must fast-track their efforts to reduce emissions and commit to more ambitious climate goals. There have been swathes of weak commitments from them over the years, and most recently last year at COP26 in Glasgow. But this is a smokescreen for inactivity. Delay is the new denial-we need radical action now because the cost of climate inaction is much higher than the cost of climate action. Incremental change will not get us to where we need to be.

What were the results?

  • In negotiations that went down to the wire over the final days, countries reached a historic decision to establish and operationalize a loss and damage fund, particularly for nations most vulnerable to the climate crisis.

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