Theme:

  • COP 27 took place in November 2022 in Egypt.

What is COP:

  • The United Nations Climate Change Conferences take place yearly in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These are the formal meetings of the 198 countries (Conference of the Parties, COP). In these conferences, countries assess their progress in dealing with climate change and establish legally binding obligations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Objectives of COP:

  • COP was created to take necessary decisions to achieve the objectives to fight climate change.
  • Stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
  • Environmental experts, Ministers, Heads of state, Non-governmental organizations as well as civil society and the private sector to work together against climate change.
  • United Nations Climate Change Conference is held every year to discuss new solutions as well as reflect on older ones.
  • It strengthens public awareness about climate change, especially among young people.

Achievements:

  • The adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, which promises to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in industrialized countries, was later replaced by Bali Roadmap in 2007. It includes all countries and not just the developing industrialized ones.
  • In 2009, under COP15, it was collectively decided to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees, and richer nations also pledged to finance the long-term climate change goals of developing nations.
  • The creation of the Green Climate Fund is another achievement of COP summits. The fund receives voluntary donations from rich nations and distributes this money to projects which help low & middle-income countries to cut emissions and to adapt to climate change.
  • In 2015, under COP21, with the Paris Agreement, it was agreed by all countries to continue to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.
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COP27 – Achievements & Failures:

  • For 2022, Egypt had the presidency for the COP27, which was held from 6th November to 18th November.
  • The most noteworthy outcome of COP27 is the establishment of a fund for loss and damage caused by extreme weather events or climate change. A transition committee will look at what type of funds are needed and from where the money will flow. The committee will also address the thorny issue of whether donor countries should include ‘transitioning economies’ such as China or Qatar. The committee’s findings will be presented at COP28 and then negotiated.
  • There was no strong commitment to phase out all fossil fuels and reduce methane emissions.
  • There was also no clear call to expand renewable sources of energy.
  • While nations remain committed to the 1.5 degree Celsius target, it is not backed by sufficient action. All the measures that would have had a big impact have been blocked, and as a result, we are no longer on track with the 1.5-degree limit.

Conclusion:

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) recognises that all nations are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and calls for special measures to mitigate their effects, particularly in poorer nations that lack the capacity to do so on their own. But COP27 was a failure as it fell short of what was required. The crucial topic of mitigation, or reducing emissions, received too little attention at COP27, despite the fact that there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to achieve the objective of keeping global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less.

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