Bugle call on climate change: COP27
Date: 28th March, 2022
Publication: The Times of India
Amidst the ongoing needless Ukrainian-Russian war that has engulfed the world and its nations, a climate change organization has silently begun its preparations for the world’s largest climate change conference -COP27 later this year. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) more commonly referred to as COP (Conference of the Parties) is an annual event organized in varied locations around the globe to bring world leaders to discuss climate change and its impact.
The Kyoto Protocol agreed in Japan in 1997 committed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and undertake a pledge to actively work together to address climate change. The representatives of countries under the aegis of UNFCCC pledge support, assistance, and action-oriented timelines to tackle the global issue of climate change. The world had awoken to the burgeoning issue of climate change twenty-six years ago when the COP 1 was held from 28 March to 7 April 1995 in Berlin, Germany. Since then, 26 such conferences have been held in diverse locations in Switzerland to Argentina to Morocco to Indonesia to Mexico and other member countries.
India had the opportunity to host only the COP8 when the United Nations Climate Change Conference took place from 23 October – 1 November 2002 in New Delhi where all “all parties, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, shall continue to advance the implementation of their commitments to address climate change and its adverse effects in order to achieve sustainable development”.
The stress on sustainability was a key area of collaboration where countries pledged to “strengthening of technology transfer through concrete projects and capacity-building in all relevant sectors, including energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management, and the promotion of technological advances through research and development, economic diversification and the strengthening of institutions for sustainable development” as per the Delhi Ministerial meeting document.
While COP16 in Cancun, Mexico brought out an agreement of forming a Green Climate Fund (GCF) of a contribution of US$100 billion per annum from member countries, the Paris Agreement from COP21 agreed to limit long-term global temperature to well below 2 °C (3.6 °F) above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limit the increase to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) which meant a cut of 50% in global emissions by 2030 by member countries and leading industrialized nations. Later year COP26 brought all countries in Glasgow, United Kingdom to review the progress since Berlin COP1 and undertake further steps to mitigate the dangers of climate change.
The 2022 version of the climate change global gathering will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 7-18 November 2022. As Egypt takes over the Presidency from the United Kingdom as preparations have already begun with the outgoing President of COP26 Alok Sharma held meetings with the President-designate Sameh Hassan Shoukry who is an Egyptian diplomat and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Minister of Environment of Egypt Yasmine Fouad attended by the ministers of Electricity and Energy Mohamed Shaker, Planning and Economic Development Hala al-Saeed, International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat, and representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance.
The President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sis has started to take a keen interest in the organization of COP27 and has been reviewing its preparations. He has directed all ministries to provide adequate support for the successful conduct of the global conference on climate change. At the ‘World Sustainable Development Summit 2022’ held in February 2022 Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad spoke about “attaining resilience through climate governance and greening of national budget…..climate governance is very important to set the road at the national level.”
Setting a probable agenda for COP27, the UN Climate Chief Patricia Espinosa said “the science is clear: we must see more climate action this decade if we’re to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and, ultimately, the 1.5-degree goal” while urging governments to take immediate action by submitting more ambitious national climate action plans. The Cairo International Center for Peace has kickstarted a peer review workshop of CCCPAs training manual on climate responsive programming for sustaining peace in Africa in preparations for COP27.
On the 26th of March 2022, COP27 released it logo depicting the African sun embracing the ancient Egyptian Aten’s sun giving a rise to a new horizon. The first-ever Middle East and North Africa Climate Week 2022 which kickstarts from 28th March to 31st March 2022 in Dubai is in key focus keeping in mind the upcoming COP27 in an African nation. The hashtag #MenaClimateWeek is inviting global leaders, influencers, and climate change vocalists to assemble to discuss climate change and further the discussions on COP26. The Secretary-General of United Nations António Guterres has asked the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to present a plan in COP27 to protect by early warning systems against increasingly extreme weather.
While President-designate Sameh Hassan Shoukry is tasked with the enormous job to not only make COP27 successful, he also has the critical task to make the global summit a meaningful one with far-reaching consequences. The decisions, actions, and agreements adopted in COP26 must be implemented in the timeline agreed along with the fresh resolutions adopted by countries later this year in COP27.
Only time will tell the impact COP27 will have on our planet, till then fingers are crossed for developed, emerging, and poor countries to come together for the good of the planet.