The 27th annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27, will begin in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. It has been dubbed the "African COP," with officials and campaigners believing that the conference's location will result in stronger representation of the continent's interests in climate negotiations.
According to the meeting's hosts, Africa has a unique chance to link its climate change goals with its other objectives, such as raising living standards and making countries more robust to weather extremes. Organizers anticipate about 40 thousand attendees, the largest number ever for a continental climate summit.
Since the inaugural iteration of the meeting in 1995 in Berlin, the United Nations climate summit has rotated annually among the five U.N. categorized regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, central and eastern Europe, and western Europe. It is the sixth time that an African country has hosted the United Nations climate summit, with Morocco, South Africa, and Kenya serving as previous hosts.
At the first African summit, held in Marrakesh in 2001, historic agreements on climate funding and other important choices on land use and forestry were adopted. Three subsequent meetings across the continent were successful in addressing concerns such as climate change adaptation, technology, and planting the seeds for the 2015 Paris Agreement. Marrakech is also the last African city to host the event, having hosted a second COP in 2016 with the objective of implementing some of the Paris objectives.
Nations agreed to restrict warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), with a goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) as part of the Paris Agreement, which is seen as a significant accomplishment of the United Nations climate conferences (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Moreover, despite the fact that analysts do not anticipate consensus between nations to reach the same level as in Paris, expectations on the continent are high for the next meeting,The leader of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Mithika Mwenda, stated to the Associated Press that the summit "presents a rare chance to place Africa at the centre of global climate negotiations" and that she hoped the meeting will "really deliver for the African people."
Mwenda stated that the continent's "unique requirements and conditions" must be taken into account as it seeks to boost access to energy for millions of people while also combating climate change and restricting the usage of fossil fuels, He added that negotiations must prioritise how vulnerable countries will adapt to climate change, address compensation from high-polluting countries to poorer ones, known as "loss and damage," and seek financing avenues for both the transition to cleaner energy and the building of climate change resilience. Numerous developing nations expect the United States and a major portion of Europe, which have historically produced the most greenhouse gas emissions, to pay for climate change-related damages.
Rich countries' climate finance commitments, such as the $100 billion-per-year vow to help poorer nations meet their climate targets, have not yet been fulfilled. According to the Egyptian organizers, the summit should focus on how countries can carry out commitments made in prior years.
Africa's hopes for COP27 are that a new goal on financing will be reached, according to Jean-Paul Adam, head of the climate change division at the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, who added that there must be "clarity as to what will be provided as grants and what will be provided as concessional loans, with the remainder being handled through prudential private sector investment."
Mwenda stated that it is also the responsibility of industrialised nations to swiftly reduce emissions in order to fulfil the global climate target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. African countries account for only 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but experts say they are extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change because they lack the ability to rapidly adapt to a warmer climate.
Landry Ninteretse, regional director of the environmental group 350Africa.org, stated that the climate summit will be a true test of world leaders' commitment to combating climate change, Ninteretse stated, "We are tired of years of hollow rhetoric and unmet promises." "We are now seeking only effective financial structures that redress loss and harm in a fair, transparent, and accessible manner.
Ninteretse concurred that "the largest emitters must commit to swiftly reducing emissions" and "helping the most vulnerable nations to climate change by financing climate projects."
As national interests have clashed in previous COPs, conflicts and hard-line attitudes have emerged, causing alarm for those anticipating tangible results from the negotiations, Mwenda, a veteran of the climate negotiations circuit, stated that "discussions tend to be long, intransigent, and confrontational at times." In 2015, however, the globe adopted the Paris Agreement, marking a significant milestone.
According to experts, the success of the COP in Paris was the exception, not the rule, and there is still more work to be done to combat climate change,"Three decades of negotiations have passed, but the effects of the climate problem, like floods, droughts, and other extremes, endure," Mwenda added.