What Happened to COP27? 

It's seems that there was a huge amount of media and support surrounding COP26 but COP27 seems to have slid under the radar a little, so what's important for us to know? 

A new "breakthrough" and "historic" agreement has been made confirming a “Loss and Damage” Fund for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters. While we can all agree this can only be a good thing, we all know of the devastating impacts of the Australian wild-fires, the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in India to name but a few - This fund will help ensure that countries affected by climate related disasters have the financial backing to rescue and re-build both their physical and social infrastructure, however The Guardian Reports "Now comes the difficult part – the fund must be set up, and filled with cash. There is no agreement yet on how the finance should be provided and where it should come from." 

The countries in attendance also reaffirmed their commitment to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5'C of pre-industrial levels. At COP26 governemnts reviewed the Paris Agreement 2015, which stated limiting the temperature to less than a 2'C rise, however after further research a 2'C rise was deemed too dangerous, so instead they agreed to a revised 1.5'C limit.  In a comment shared on The UN website UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition. The red line we must not cross is the line that takes our planet over the 1.5 degree temperature limit. We can and must win this battle for our lives". 

India proposed a revolutionary commitment to phase out all fossil fuels. This comes after the historic decision at COP26 in Glasgow last year to phase out the use of coal, this landmark decision was the first time fossil fuels had been included in the final text. Unfortunately after much debate leading late into Saturday night, India were unsuccessful in their proposal, however governments re-stated their pledge to continue phasing out the use of coal. 

Adaptation was another key theme at COP27, with "governments agreeing on the way to move forward on the Global Goal on Adaptation" according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They added "[decisions] will conclude at COP28 and inform the first Global Stocktake, improving resilience amongst the most vulnerable. New pledges, totalling more than USD 230 million, were made to the Adaptation Fund at COP27." Adaptions refer to things like building flood defences, re-growing forests and mangroves and preserving wetland areas. The Guardian reported that "Of the $100bn a year rich countries promised they would receive from 2020 – a promise still not fulfilled – only about $20bn goes to adaptation. In Glasgow, countries agreed to double that proportion, but at Cop27 some sought to remove that commitment. After some struggle, it was reaffirmed."

A World Bank reform was also up for discussion - it sounds like a fabrication, we know, but we can assure you it is very real. The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. A number of countries have called for the reform as the group "have failed to provide the funding needed to help poor countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis." 

Last but very not least, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have released a new data that calls for urgent and severe cuts need to be made to greenhouse gas emissions otherwise there will be catastrophic impacts. The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, despite this some countries refuted IPCC's quotes in the COP27 final text and instead opted to include "tipping points" which refers to which heads the warning that climate change isn't a gradual or linear process, but rather we risk causing "feedback loops" that will lead to "rapidly escalating effects." Some examples of the potential ruinous effects include "heating of the Amazon, which could turn the rainforest to savannah, transforming it from a carbon sink to a carbon source, and the melting of permafrost that releases the powerful greenhouse gas methane."

It's little wonder there was less media surrounding COP27, it's a bit doom and gloom but its increasingly important as organisations for us to ensure we are not only aware of climate issues, their impacts to our operations and our members, but also the expectation from members that we're not only leading their professions, but ensuring that there is a sustainable future for them to operate within those professions.

Posted November 22, 2022 by Kimberley Moreno

Log in to join the discussion, just hit reply to add your thoughts...

Not viewing the right article? Click here 

0 Replies
Posted November 22, 2022 by Kimberley Moreno

Log in to join the discussion, just hit reply to add your thoughts... 

Not viewing the right article? Click here

0 Replies

Have a Story to Share?

LATEST SECTOR NEWS