COP 27

ByFahad Ali

Associated with maritime trade


November 13, 2022

COP 27

Fahad Ali describes an
important moot

COP 27 stands for “conference of parties” and it happens every year. This is the 27th time it has been convened. It is a meeting of governments that have signed onto the world’s major climate change agreements: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, or the Paris Agreement. The gathering is hosted by a different country each year, and this year it is being held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, from 6-18 November,2022. It will be attended by world leaders, think tanks, heads of governments and international financial inst¬i¬tu¬tions to review the implementation on the objectives agreed in the past conference and chalk out an action plan for the future. COP is the highest decision making body under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The convention was adopted in 1992 during the ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro, with the treaty entering into force in 1994 and 196 countries ratifying it.

This year, the parties will focus on mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration to find sustainable solutions to climate change. COP27 will be a moment for countries to fulfill their pledges and commitments towards delivering the objectives of the Paris Agreement to enhance the implementation of the Convention. This year should witness the implementation of the Glasgow pact call to review ambition in NDCs, and create a work program for ambition on mitigation. Among other visions of COP27 are a global agenda for action on adaptation, financial action plans for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and increased cooperation between governments, private sector and civil society to introduce new solutions and innovations for alleviating the adverse impacts of climate change.

The event is an opportunity for the signatory nations to discuss everything from steps they are taking to adapt to the impacts of climate change, to financing climate action. This gathering is in response to the recent warning of the United Nations that the world is far from its goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and that this is an extremely dangerous portent for future climate conditions for the planet that has already started to suffer the consequences of global warming. It is now very obvious that the current policies would lead to 2.8 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, implying that countries need to reduce emissions significantly more to keep the Paris Agreement goal within reach.
If every country and private company meets its climate goals, warming could be limited to 1.8 or 1.9 degrees Celsius but there are still questions about whether enough is being done to make those goals a reality. In this context it is mentioned that every degree does matter, 1.5 degrees is the scientific goal of a climate that remains stable. After that, things become exponentially more difficult. The pressure is more on the largest emitters like the US, Europe, China, and India to be more ambitious because they contribute far more greenhouse gas emissions.

The meeting takes place with the backdrop of several climate-driven disasters this year, including the devastating flooding in Pakistan and severe drought and famine conditions in East Africa. The world is about 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial average proves most countries are not prepared for even that amount of warming. This year has been devastating in climate-related weather disasters with countries already experiencing dangerous and expensive impacts of climate change such as flooding or food and water insecurity and are expected to pressure wealthier countries like the U.S. to provide more funding to help them adapt or relocate. This idea known as loss and damage financing suggests that countries that contributed emissions that have led to global warming should do more to help communities who contributed less to the problem but are already feeling the impacts.

It is generally agreed that the timing of COP 27 is very apt as many countries have of late been witnessing the disastrous effects of climate change. Record rains, flash floods and heat-waves have swept the entire globe, engulfing even the developed world. The US, Europe and the UK, as well as the Indo-Pacific region, have suffered alongside the usual climate disaster hotspots in Africa and South Asia. Although the participants primarily concern themselves with reducing emissions and limiting global temperature rises, equipping the developing world with the tools and finances necessary to build climate-resilient infrastructure is very much on the agenda this year. Developing countries are increasingly coming around to view compensation for the ravages of climate change perpetrated upon them by the big polluters as their moral right. Developed nations, on the other hand, are obviously reluctant to concede any ground that may dent their coffers.

In COP 27 countries will expect decisive responses to the latest science and concrete and actionable steps towards implementation of the Paris Agree¬ment. A key part of an effective response will require demonstrable political will from wealthy nations to scale up finance and acknowledge loss and damage as a separate category of finance to address recovery and rehabilitation from climate-induced disasters. The spotlight will be on the increasingly severe impacts of climate change being felt by developing and vulnerable countries. The ask will be to fix the finance system beyond the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to appropriately resource the achievement of climate and development goals and agree on new ways of collaboration at the UNFCCC to enhance delivery of emissions reduction, scale up climate finance, support adaptation and address loss and damage.

Given the pile-up of complaints and slow progress on Paris Agreement goals, intense diplomatic activity will be required outside but complementary to the COP negotiations. In a world where crisis is the new normal, the integrity of the multilateral system will be at stake. The developing and vulnerable countries will lose no opportunity to flag risks of green-washing and violations of human and nature rights. COP27 presents an opportunity to shape overarching political narratives for global climate action at the end of 2022 and into 2023. This is an important time for getting a grip on the climate crisis and unlocking a new scale of climate finance to deliver climate-aligned development pathways this decade. The 2021 Adaptation Gap Report concluded that the finance gap is larger than previously thought and keeps widening with estimated adaptation costs reaching $280bn-$500bn per year by 2050 for developing countries. Reports show that in 2020, $16.7 trillion were deployed for Covid-19 recovery across the globe but less than 12 per cent went on adaptation measures.

Pakistan is all set to place adaptation at front and centre of the implementation agenda at COP27. Secretary General António Guterres has been championing Pakistan’s cause ever since the calamitous monsoons hit and has lent weight to the argument for climate compensation. Climate change does not respect geographical boundaries, nor does it discriminate between north and south, rich or poor. Combating it is a problem facing all of humanity, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Sharm El Sheikh will set the stage for COP28. This puts a big responsibility on the host government for a successful outcome. Confrontation and contestation need to be replaced by collaboration and agreement. Vilification will not solve the climate conundrum, while a delay in responsive action will bring humanity a step closer to an apocalyptic end. The planet is hur¬tling towards its sixth extinction and pinning hopes only on futuristic technologies is not a safe option. TW


The writ of international law
The writ of international law
M Ali Siddiqi looks at a crucial...
Resurgence of fascism
Resurgence of fascism
M Ali Siddiqi describes a dangerous...
President Xi Jinping
XI on his way to ruling China for life
M Ali Siddiqi talks about apparent...
Governance and equitable distribution of resources
Governance and equitable distribution of resources
M Ali Siddiqi talks about Governance...
The Need For Pakistan
The Need For Pakistan
M A Siddiqi expresses surprise...
The Presence And Essence Of Pakistaniat
The Presence And Essence Of Pakistaniat
M Ali Siddiqi describes a strong...

Get Newsletters


Subscribe Us