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This year saw quite a number of devastation as regards climate change, from extreme and erratic heat waves to floods in Pakistan and accusations flying about the worst polluters and contributors to climate change. So we can expect that the climate change conference was packed with many discussions heavy with emotions and palpable tension. The UN climate change conference, COP27, took place in the coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt from the 6th to the 20th of November and has sparked mixed reactions following the agreements and Disagreements. COP27 was laced with many debates on several sentimental matters and some positive advancements.
At the COP27 conference, several climate activists marched in protest of the damage and impact of industrialization and called for the operations of countries to pay for their impact. This was seen in the first week of the conference, with the demonstration also serving as an avenue to protest for the release of political prisoners. The air was filled with chants of “free them all’ and also calls for upholding the right of humans to protest and free speech. The demonstrators, alongside some other vulnerable countries, requested the financing of lesser countries that the effects of the climate impact have ravaged, and many speakers and delegates of these countries highlighted how much devastation and damage has been meted out to innocence across several regions and also reparation for the loss and damages for these countries. Goodwill Ambassador Sabrina Dhowre Elba was amongst the callers for developed nations to honor and provide climate finance to developing nations.
It was also a call against the continued extraction of fossil fuels by demonstrators and a moment when the president of the U.S., Joe Biden, was heckled while making his speech, with placards all conveying the desire for the eradication of fossil fuels.
The second week of COP27 was now focused on the agendas and so more advancements as opposed to the first week. Delegates entered into this second week of the conference with the hope that their agendas see some positive advancement. Several matters covered this week were related to Water security, gender equality, and biodiversity. The presidency of the climate conference unveiled an initiative known as AWARE (Action for Water Adaptation and Resilience). This is organized for the most vulnerable settlements in Africa and backed by the World Meteorological Organization(WMO), which advocates for water investment and seeks to decrease water loss in these vulnerable countries. Again the Adaptation Committee water adaptation fund was set up and is meant to provide 85 billion dollars for African countries by 2032 as a part of the water solution.
The EU came fourth with a more pronounced target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 57% by 2030. According to the EU’s climate policy chief Frans Timmermans, the EU is dwelling more on non-renewable and trying to conserve more energy. Still, online with emission targets, Turkey revealed a new climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 41%. Still, their plan has raised some concerns and doubts as there are no solid actions to replace the already existing power plants and stop coal projects, and the country is likely to increase its carbon footprint in a decade.
According to climate change executive secretary Simon Steel, the efforts to reduce the rise in global temperature and limit it to the 1.5°c is grossly insufficient. There seems to be a deviation from the Paris agreement temperature goals. According to Simon, while there seem to be some efforts, it is still grossly insufficient to meet the Paris agreement.
More about COP27 on Global warming concerns
1.5°c, a great indicator of greater temperature rise, may likely be surpassed by 2021 based on projections, which raises a lot of concern. The level and degree of concern seem to vary largely equal across the delegates and regions. The EU and many other developed countries strive to garner more attention for the matter to no success as the cover text missed out on including the removal of fossil fuels which is instrumental to this course. The island States, which are subject and more susceptible to annihilation if the temperature indeed gets above 1.5°c, felt these deeply. According to their climate envoy of the Marshall Islands, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, the text is insufficient, and there is a need to get rid of fossil fuels once and for all.
There was a lot to unpack after COP 27, and the highlights are more than we have space for in this article. Some people opine that the conference should have been more and some pain points are yet to be specifically addressed adequately. Funding for climate and payment to affected countries might be this conference’s major highlights. We expect to see clearer, actionable policy and a more refined process to deliver consistency and standardization. Moving forward, the newly launched initiatives from COP 27 and set targets would be under the world’s watchful eyes and would be subject to scrutiny by relevant stakeholders.