It’s everywhere right now. The annual climate summit by the UN is here once again, COP27. Seven years since the Paris Agreement was signed, created to change the world. During this time of uncertainty in the world, it’s time for those in power to unite and fight climate change.
But what is COP27?
COP27 will be the 27th time the annual event Conference of the Parties brings together the countries who signed up for the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. This year it’s hosted by Egypt in the city Sharm El Sheik with the goal of addressing climate change and its consequences, attended by world leaders, ministers and negotiators in one place.
The UN advertises COP27 as an event for countries to deliver on the Paris Agreement and address the issues of climate change evident in extreme weather conditions around the globe, the energy crisis and record high greenhouse gas emissions. Around half of the world’s population is highly vulnerable due to the impacts of climate change. Whilst heavier rainfalls and hotter summers could be bearable for us in the western part of the world, less fortunate or developed countries are at high risk of losing their livelihood due to floodings, droughts and storms.
The Paris Agreement is the main topic of COP27, being the most important international treaty on climate change, which almost all countries attending the summit have been binded to. The Paris Agreement’s main aims is to:
- Scale up their efforts to and support actions to reduce emissions
- Build resilience and decrease vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change
- Uphold and promote regional and international cooperation
Furthermore, with the current energy crisis in Europe there is a big discussion surrounding the origin of energy for European countries without having the support of Russian gas. With fossil fuels production such as coal being one of the most productive sources of energy, it raises concerns that European member states will continue long term to be involved in such energy production. This would mean that the EU would be going against the future of sustainable energy. In other words, COP27 is the prime place for the EU to work on solving the energy crisis without damaging the planet more than necessary.
Why is COP27 being scrutinised?
One week into the climate summit, plenty of judgements have been made. Before the summit began, Greta Thunberg, the famous young activist for climate change, announced that she won’t be attending COP27 as she views it as greenwashing. She claims it’s a way for public figures to show off and pretend they’re doing something good for the planet but with no real action taken. By countries drawing attention to the small changes they do for the good of the environment, they’re able to shadow the major decisions that actually contribute to climate change.
Moreover, COP27 was first sponsored by the massive corporate company Coca Cola, which made a lot of heads turn. The company has been branded as the “world’s top polluter” according to an environmental group due to their plastic pollution. This created an image of greenwashing for COP27 and had many activists demanding the UN to drop the company as their sponsor through multiple petitions. As of now it is unclear whether or not Coca Cola has retained their position as the main sponsor of COP27.
Are there any positives with COP27?
Whilst the climate summit does face certain scrutiny there are multiple matters which the UN does get right. COP is a good way to annually remind the public of climate change and that we need to make a change, as well as putting pressure on important figures around the world.
As of now, there are some positive changes that have been made, such as:
- The US will reach their emission target by 2030 due to their new Inflation Reduction Act
- The US, Japan and other countries offered India $20 billion to to exit coal
- More planet-friendly farming fund gets a $8 billion dollar increase
- Africa secures cheaper climate loans with an $8,5 billion deal
Moreover, this year COP27 made space for young people who are heavily involved in climate change to attend the climate summit. The activists are able to speak up and make their voices heard, as well as attend the frontlines where change is made.
The summit is still ongoing, important figures and world leaders alike are working hard to provide solutions for our planet. Seep will keep you updated.
If you want to learn more about sustainability make sure to check out our blog on 5 tips to reduce your plastic consumption and How to measure and reduce your personal Carbon Footprint.
Mina Skugge 18/11/2022