COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh to Focus on Delivering on the Promises of Paris
The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 closed on 20 November 2022, delivering a package of decisions that reaffirmed their commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The package also strengthened action by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change, as well as boosting the support of finance, technology and capacity building needed by developing countries.
Finance is the cornerstone for implementing climate actions and scaling up ambition and hence it has been at the heart of the UNFCCC process and the Paris Agreement negotiations. The Glasgow outcomes also reiterated the centrality of finance as a catalyst for progress on all aspects of the global climate agenda and many Parties demonstrated the political will to deliver on finance commitments.
2022 witnesses several landmark science reports from IPCC, UNEP, and other institutions. Ocean science as well as outcomes from Oceans conferences including the 3rd UN Oceans conference are gaining relevance and linkages to the global climate agenda are evident. The science related to the UNCCD and UNCBD, together with Stockholm+50, are also clearly relevant and interlinked with the climate action agenda.
Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement and all the way to Glasgow in 2021, several energy intensive sectors and companies have come forward with plans and policies and actions aiming to reduce their carbon footprints and to gradually move towards decarbonization. Technologies are emerging as potential solutions to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
Adaptation and Resilience are of crucial importance to all parties and in particular developing countries. IPCC reports including the latest working group II report highlighted the devastating impacts endured by many countries across the world, and pointed to the fact that we are not on track to deal with current climate impacts nor are we prepared for the extreme weather events that are increasing in number and intensity.
The role of women in dealing with all aspects of the climate change challenge is central, crucial and indispensable. Women continue to bear a disproportionate burden from the adverse impacts of climate change, and despite some progress having been made over recent years, the gender perspective needs further work to be fully integrated into the processes of formulating and implementing policies and actions on the ground.
Water is the source of life and livelihoods. Climate impacts on water and the linkages to wider, cross cutting impacts on development and livelihoods are well documented and substantiated by credible scientific reports and analyses including most recently by the IPCC and numerous other institutions.
Climate action requires engagement with, and contributions from all stakeholders. Needless to say, Civil Society is an indispensable partner in the global effort to combat climate change. With this in mind CoP27 will hold a dedicated day to engage Civil Society and to ensure their views and perspectives are integrated in a meaningful manner. Participants will have a platform for sharing best practices and identifying challenges, as well as networking and developing multi-stakeholder partnership opportunities, it will showcase the role and contribution of civil society in this area and across the board in different forms of climate action and policy response.
Renewable energy, smart grids, energy efficiency, energy storage and a just transition in the energy sector are all elements of a much needed comprehensive vision of how energy ecosystems could evolve to in the near future. They are also components of a transformative energy future, challenges and opportunities for just energy transition.
All aspects of energy and climate change, including renewable energy, energy transformation, and a just transition in the energy sector, and Green hydrogen are all a potential energy source for the future.
Nature and ecosystem-based solutions to address the impacts of climate change on biodiversity are an important component of mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change on the environment. The means to mobilise global actions towards halting biodiversity loss and reducing the impacts of climate change and pollution, as well as addressing the impact of climate change on oceans, endangered species, coral reefs, and sustainability of protected areas are required to deliver ecosystem services to human, impacts of plastic waste on the aquatic ecosystems and species, ecosystem-based solutions and their link to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Possible solutions for the broad array of climate change challenges range from the holistic, cross cutting solutions such as greening of national budgets, or sustainable cities, multilevel action and sustainable transport, to sectoral solutions like waste management, alternatives to plastic, resilient infrastructure, green building with an aim to achieve a transformative implementation building on agreed deliverables under different agreements and a further ambitious pledge to reduce climate impacts and consider the role of cities in combating climate change. Sustainable transport, is another key sector that provides direct and cross cutting impact on climate change, pollution, quality of living and efficiency, in this regard it is important to highlight potentials for this sector, success stories and available opportunities.