What is the climate conference in Egypt and why is it important?

Arid land

World leaders will discuss actions to tackle climate change at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt.

A year of climate-related disasters and broken temperature records follows.

What is the United Nations Climate Summit?

United Nations climate summits are held annually for governments to agree on measures to limit global temperature rise.

They are referred to as COP, which stands for “Conference of the Parties”. The parties are the participating countries that signed the original UN climate agreement in 1992.

COP27 is the 27th annual United Nations climate meeting. It will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November.

Why are COP meetings needed?

The world is warming from man-made emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

Global temperatures have risen by 1.1 ° C and are heading towards 1.5 ° C, according to United Nations climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

If temperatures rise 1.7 to 1.8 ° C above 1850 levels, the IPCC estimates that half of the world’s population could be exposed to life-threatening heat and humidity.

To avoid this, 194 countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, pledging to “pursue efforts” to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 ° C.

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Who will be at COP27?

More than 200 governments are invited.

However, some leaders of major economies, including Russian leader Vladimir Putin, are not expected to attend. Delegates from the country are still expected.

Other countries, including China, have not confirmed whether their leaders will take part.

The hosts of Egypt called on countries to put aside their differences and “show leadership”.

Environmental charities, community groups, think tanks, businesses and religious groups will also participate.

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Why is COP27 in Egypt?

This will be the fifth time that a COP will be hosted in Africa.

Governments in the region hope it draws attention to the severe impacts of climate change on the continent. The IPCC says Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world.

Currently, an estimated 17 million people are facing food insecurity in East Africa due to drought.

However, the choice of Egypt as the seat has sparked controversy.

Some human rights and climate activists say the government blocked them from participating because they criticized his rights record.

What will be discussed at COP27?

Prior to the meeting, countries were asked to present ambitious national climate plans. Only 25 have – so far.

COP27 will focus on three main areas:

Some areas not fully resolved or covered at COP26 will be withdrawn:

  • Funding for Loss and Damage: Money to help countries recover from the effects of climate change rather than prepare

  • Establishment of a global carbon market – to assess the effects of emissions on products and services globally

  • Strengthen commitments to reduce the use of coal

There will also be themed days for targeted talks and announcements on issues including gender, agriculture and biodiversity.

Are we expecting some critical points?

Finance has long been a problem in climate talks.

In 2009, developed countries pledged to donate $ 100 billion annually by 2020 to developing countries to help them reduce emissions and prepare for climate change.

The target was missed and carried over to 2023.

Climate finance graph

Climate finance graph

But developing nations are also demanding payments for “loss and damage” – the impacts they face now.

An option to make payments was excluded from the Bonn climate talks, after the pushback of richer nations that feared they would be forced to pay compensation for decades.

Discussions agreed by the EU should take place at COP27.

You’ll hear a lot of jargon:

  • Paris Agreement: The Paris Agreement united all the nations of the world for the first time in a single agreement on combating global warming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions

  • IPCC: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change examines the latest research on climate change

  • 1.5 ° C: Keeping global mean temperature rise below 1.5 ° C – compared to pre-industrial times – will avoid the worst impacts of climate change, scientists say

How will we know if it has been successful?

It depends who you talk to.

Developing countries, at the very least, will want the financing of losses and damages to be on the agenda. They’ll also lobby for a set date for when they might start getting paid.

Developed nations will seek greater commitment from large developing countries – such as China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa – to move away from coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels.

There are also commitments from last year – on forests, coal and methane – that more countries could subscribe to.

However, some scientists believe that world leaders are gone too late and, regardless of what was agreed at COP27, 1.5 ° C will not be achieved.

Read more about the main slogan of climate change

Read more about the main slogan of climate change

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