COP27: What are this year’s hot topics?

Nov 07, 2022 | written by:

With each year that passes, the climate crisis intensifies and the outcomes of the annual UN Climate Change Conference become increasingly critical.

So as COP27 kicks off in Sharm el-Sheikh this week, the eyes of the world are on our leaders. We're more aware than ever before, that for those in the nations hit hardest by climate change, this is not just politics, but potentially the difference between life and death.

This year’s event is set against a global backdrop that's particularly challenging – the war in Ukraine, a year of extreme weather events, and recent news that as things stand, there is “no credible pathway to 1.5C in place.” The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)'s Emissions Gap Report 2022 said that far from reaching the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming, policies currently in place would result in a 2.8°C temperature rise by the end of the century. And even if current pledges were implemented, there would still be a 2.4-2.6°C temperature rise in the same period.

So, with all this in mind, what’s top of the agenda at the summit this year?

At Treedom, we’re paying special attention to talks on deforestation. Last year, more than 100 leaders promised to end deforestation by 2030, with a total of 19.2 billion dollars pledged to protect and restore forests. You can hear more about this from our Forestry Manager Elisa Lanza, in this video on our social channels today. 

Mitigation will be one of the major topics at the conference, specifically how countries are going to actually implement their plans and pledges to reduce their emissions. This can include everything from switching to greener energy sources, to using new technologies.

Adaptation is another critical topic. What measures can countries put in place to deal with climate consequences? Of course this varies enormously between regions, but regular heatwaves, floods and droughts, as we’ve seen plenty of globally this year, are just a few examples of the changes countries must find tools to cope with.

Which leads to the most pressing, and most thorny of topics – climate finance. Developing nations, who have contributed far less to climate change, yet are hit much harder by its effects, are demanding financial support to protect their citizens. In 2009 developed countries pledged $100 billion per year to this end, but so far have fallen short. Undoubtedly COP27 will see loud calls for their commitment to be not just honoured, but improved upon.

Ahead of the summit, UN secretary general António Guterres said:

"The world is failing to protect people from the here-and-now impacts of the climate crisis. We need a global surge in adaptation investment to save millions of lives from climate carnage."

He continued: “Adaptation needs in the developing world are set to skyrocket to as much as $340bn a year by 2030. Yet adaptation support today stands at less than one-tenth of that amount. The most vulnerable people and communities are paying the price and this is unacceptable.”

Image credit: Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash



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