Expectations and demands for the Egyptian climate conference

 Expectations and demands for the Egyptian climate conference

The Conference of the Parties (COP) started yesterday (6yh November) in Sharm El-Sheikh and will host the representatives of almost all global nations committed to reaching an agreement on climate change policies; but what are civil society’s hopes and goals for COP27?

By Federica Dossi

COP27 has officially started yesterday, 6th November, in the Egyptian coastal resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh and will continue until 18th November. During this annual meeting world leaders, delegates and climate groups’ activists meet to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way and respect the Paris Agreement’s pledge to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

This COP has been unofficially named ‘the implementation COP’: civil society’s expectations are very high, after all, in a world that has already reached +1.1°C warming, there is no more time to lose. These expectations are well summarized in the ECO bulletin, edited by an important group of environmental NGOs belonging to the Climate Action Network. Scientific evidence speaks clearly: the Paris Agreement must be fully implemented and there cannot be any room for the promotion of fossil fuels. 

Readily, these expectations are being disappointed; despite the fact that renewables are already the cheapest source of energy, the host country ministers maintain in their speeches a discreet openness to natural gas, seen as a ‘bridge’ to a green future.

COP27 is also the ‘African’ COP and this can only translate into a renewed request to Developed Countries, main causes of the climate crisis, to keep their past promises and to establish clear financing mechanisms to compensate for “Loss and Damage”. Indeed, the consequences of climate chaos are unfairly suffered by developing countries. Finally, environmental groups do not fail to emphasize that climate justice cannot be separated from respect for human rights, a topic that unfortunately will not be discussed much, given Egypt’s presidency of this COP.

Although the window of opportunity is closing fast, the science is clear and asks us not to despair: with the right policies, we can still meet the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. The eyes of the world remain on Sharm El-Sheikh.

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