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Why is COP27 important, and what can we expect from it?

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP27, will take place from November 6 to 18 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. This meeting aims to review last year's resolutions and pave the way for new ones.

What is the COP?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a body that is part of the UN, responsible for responding to and managing the climate emergency. During the UN Climate Conference of the Parties, different countries come together to take action and achieve previously agreed collective climate goals. The COP sets an ultimate goal: to achieve stabilization of CO₂ concentrations in the atmosphere.

This year the 27th Conference will be held from November 6 to 18, 2022 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. The Heads of State and Government will participate on November 7 and 8, and a high-level segment will be held from November 15 to 18, attended by ministers. The convention passed through Madrid, Spain, in 2019, and last year it passed through Glasgow, Scotland.

Why is the COP important?

The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995. Since then, most countries in the world have met annually to discuss climate change, with the aim of both stopping the deterioration of planet Earth and demonstrating the global coordination that can exist between countries.

Each year new purposes and goals are proposed to be achieved in the fight against climate change, however, each year there may be variations in small details.

It is important that these conferences are held annually because the fight against climate change is joint and is not limited to a single country, it is crucial to meet with all -or the majority- to be able to agree on measures that help curb possible natural catastrophes.

In this year's case, the COP will be held in Egypt to catch up. In other words, last year in Scotland new goals were proposed to achieve, and the work of this year's meetings will be to see what path these goals are taking and how to achieve them before it is too late.

What to expect from COP27?

Topics we can expect at this year's conference are how to pay for climate action, mitigation, how to adapt to the new climate, and how to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.

As far as mitigation is concerned -which is the set of measures to minimize the destructive impact of global warming - all parties are required to take immediate action to reduce emissions and limit global warming.

Unlike mitigation, adaptation aims to ensure that progress is made to improve both resilience to climate change and the treatment of the world's most vulnerable communities. This is where finance in, as it is crucial to make sure that the promised $100 billion per year to developing countries is paid out.

Last COP21, the Paris Agreement was adopted to limit global warming below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limit it to 1.5 °C. For now, the goal has not been reached, and no new measures are expected to be adopted this year, but ambitious commitments are expected from world leaders to accelerate the goals.

The other topics you will hear about are nature and how to reverse deforestation, the food crisis, solutions for sustainable water and a net-zero resilient future, and the decarbonization industry.

How to personally help against climate change?

Individually, we cannot end climate change once and for all, but we can take action to help limit it. As the United Nations, by changing the way we move, the type of electricity we use and the food we eat, we can make a difference in the world.

You can save energy at home by reducing heating and air conditioning, changing LED bulbs and energy-efficient appliances, washing clothes in cold water, and keeping clothes wet instead of using the dryer. We can get around on foot, by public transport or by bicycle, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. When it comes to nutrition, eating vegetables can significantly reduce our environmental impact, as plant-based food production tends to generate fewer emissions. And as always, it's important to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle.

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