COP – Conference Of the Parties

Since 1995, representatives from almost all nations in the world have been meeting annually to agree on a coordinated and global response to the environmental, social, and economic challenges caused by climate change. The 27th international summit, COP27, will take place on November 6th in the city of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. In this article, we analyze in detail the main expectations for this COP and why it could be crucial for the future.

Why is this a key COP for the future?
COP27 is undoubtedly one of the most sensitive and crucial in history, given that the geopolitical context and energy crisis have slowed down global efforts to achieve the goal of keeping global warming at 1.5°C, and have questioned the relevance and priority given to these types of issues.

A successful COP27 will then be essential to demonstrate that international cooperation for the fight against climate change is still alive. Conversely, a COP that fails to live up to expectations could jeopardize its credibility and the progress made to date.

The legacy of the COP26 in Glasgow and the role of COP27

Although the results of COP26 were deemed inefficient and unambitious by certain interest groups, it is worth noting the achievement of certain important milestones. Firstly, the Glasgow Climate Pact was agreed upon, which aims to dedicate efforts to the mitigation and adaptation of climate change through financial assistance to less developed countries, the progressive phase-out of coal, and the cessation of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels, among others.

In addition, several multilateral agreements were reached on issues such as methane emissions reduction, fighting deforestation, and ending financing for fossil fuels abroad. Another major milestone was the resolution on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which allows for the creation of transparent market mechanisms to facilitate cooperation between nations seeking to meet their emission reduction targets.

However, for various reasons, in the last year, nations have not made progress commensurate with their commitments, despite the importance of this aspect being emphasized by Alok Sharma, President of COP26, at the closing conference: “We have kept the ‘1.5 degrees’ alive, but its pulse is weak and will only survive if we fulfill our promises and translate commitments into swift actions.

Thus, under the slogan “Together for Implementation,” COP27 will seek to focus not so much on the announcement of new commitments or negotiations, but on the implementation of concrete and effective actions, also responding to one of the strongest criticisms made by civil society for years.

What can be expected from COP27?

Presenting itself as the “Africa COP”, the summit has defined the following four objectives:

  1. MITIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE: Countries are expected to move from a commitment to emissions reductions to the announcement of concrete policies and measures to achieve agreed-upon goals.
  2. ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE: At COP26, it was agreed to double funding for the implementation of adaptation measures to the consequences of climate change. There is an expectation that at COP27, a plan will be announced that allows this commitment to be met fairly and transparently.
  3. FINANCING: Different interest groups are confident that at COP27, the richest countries will demonstrate tangible progress in fulfilling the promise to provide USD 100 billion per year to less developed nations to finance climate projects, and that a more ambitious commitment will be announced in the future.
  4. COLLABORATION WITH THE MOST AFFECTED NATIONS: Since UN negotiations are based on consensus, reaching an agreement will require “the inclusive and active participation of all stakeholders.”

What would make this COP Edition a success?

Recent natural disasters have shown that the consequences of climate change are already a reality and that this results in significant damage and losses, especially for the most vulnerable countries. Making progress in the negotiations on this issue would therefore be considered a great success by the countries most affected by climate events.

On the other hand, it would be considered an achievement if major economies such as China, Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa announce their withdrawal from fossil fuels, even if it is done progressively.

Finally, and above all, the COP27 will be considered a success if the commitments made by the nations translate into concrete policies and action plans that can be implemented quickly.

Rodrigo Gómez from Auren Consultores España