What is COP?
COP (Conference of the Parties) events are meetings created after the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 154 countries in 1992, in a bid to take action on the worst effects of climate change. COP meetings are held most years to discuss strategies and monitor progress.
The most recent COP is the 27th, and was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, starting on 06 Nov 2022. The key findings of COP27 are as follows:
A groundbreaking fund on loss and damage was approved in the implementation plan where top emitters will compensate vulnerable developing communities that suffer the greatest effects of climate change. U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry in a closing statement applauded the deal to “establish arrangements to respond to the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable communities around the world.”
With 636 fossil fuel lobbyists granted access to the talks it’s no surprise that agreements on mitigation only include a coal phase down and ignore emissions from the use of gas and oil despite countless papers reaffirming the need to stop burning fossil fuels, the single largest cause of the climate crisis accounting for 91% of global CO2 emissions as the graph below shows.
Source: Carbon Brief. Global CO2 emissions (black line) separated out into from fossil (grey) and land-use change (yellow) components between 1959 and 2022 from the 2022 Global Carbon Budget. Note that fossil CO2 emissions are inclusive of the cement carbonation sink. Data from the Global Carbon Project chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts.
Mitigation commitments on forests, ecosystems and halting deforestation from Paris and Glasgow were renewed but not built upon, although big food companies blamed for high emissions and rainforest depletion released a new roadmap to reduce emissions to align their business practices with the 1.5C targets.
To be able to reach net zero emissions by 2050 about US$4 trillion per year needs to be invested in renewable energy. To put this in context, globally, fossil fuel subsidies were $5.9 trillion or 6.8 percent of global GDP in 2020 and are expected to increase to 7.4 percent of global GDP in 2025
Carbonbrief: COP 27 Key outcomes for food forests land and nature
Global Witness: Everything you need know about COP
Global Witness: Our verdict on COP27: A polluters’ parade
The COP26 summit explained here
COP26: What was agreed at the Glasgow climate conference here
Whether COP 26 was a success here