The Conference of Parties (COP) is an annual meeting where states that have consented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gather, to discuss and negotiate international action on climate change. Last year’s COP 27 was held in Sham el-Sheikh, Egypt. It particularly focused on implementing the earlier adopted Paris Agreement, endorsed at COP 21 in 2015.
The Paris agreement aims to limit carbon emissions and reduce global warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and also, to reduce and limit the earth’s temperature to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. COP 27 aimed to make progress towards achieving these earlier identified goals. The conference is significant for actors to align their vision for a safer world and enhance their decision-making towards achieving a climate-friendly environment.
As clearly put forward by Townend (2022), “COP 27 is a rare opportunity for parties and observers to come together and grapple with a challenge that is impacting all of humanity. Although the COP is taking place in the midst of a worldwide, poly-crisis”. He adds that, “climate action and cooperation can offer practical solutions for food, energy, nature, and security challenges as well as a crucial hub for international cooperation and discussion on these matters.”
After several weeks of effort, considerable development was reached. There was the establishment of a fund for damage and loss responses for the most vulnerable nations i.e., developing countries. Ighobor (2022) used the recent floods in Pakistan and Nigeria to illustrate how this is a game-changer for venerable nations. In Nigeria, a lot of farms and homes were completely destroyed. Families were forced out of their homes by heavy floods. About 14,000 farms were destroyed and wiped off by heavy floods in Kano State.
Of great importance, there was the adoption of a new global market mechanism. The new mechanism will allow countries to trade carbon credits, which represent emissions reductions achieved thr ough projects or actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is intended to encourage more significant emissions reductions by providing a financial incentive to countries and companies.
In summary, the conference saw progress in the negotiations around climate finance, with advanced economies committing to increasing their funding for climate action in developing countries. This funding is seen as essential to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to help developing countries transition to low-carbon economies. Overall, COP 27 is seen as a success in terms of making progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. However, many stakeholders also recognized that much more needs to be done to tackle the urgent and pressing issue of climate change. Hence, there is much anticipation for the upcoming COP 28 which will be held in in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), later this year.
Ap. (2022, November 12). COP27: Un Climate Change Talks near halftime with key issues unresolved. Business Standard News. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/cop27-un-climate-change-talks-near-halftime-with-key-issues-unresolved-122111201007_1.html
Masood, E., Tollefson, J., & Irwin, A. (2022, November 21). COP27 climate talks: What succeeded, what failed and what’s next. Nature News. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-03807-0
Ruth Townend Research Fellow – Climate Risk and Diplomacy. (2022, November 2). What are the key issues at COP27? Chatham House – International Affairs Think Tank. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.chathamhouse.org/2022/08/what-cop27
United Nations. (n.d.). COP27 closes deal on loss and damage: ‘a step towards Justice’, says UN chief | UN news. United Nations. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/11/1130832
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Mr. Farid Iliyasu Illo is a Lecturer II of the Department of International Relations, Skyline University Nigeria. He holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from University Utara Malaysia (UUM) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs Management.