The 27th Conference of the Parties, or COP27, took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November 2022 and marks 30 years since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted. COP27 brought together more than 45,000 participants including world leaders, negotiators and mediators along with climate activists and business representatives.
So, why is COP27 important?
Since 2015, under the legally binding Paris Agreement, almost all countries in the world have committed to:
Keeping the rise in global average temperature to ‘well below’ 2°C, and ideally 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels.
Strengthen the ability to adapt to climate change and build resilience.
Align finance flows with ‘a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development’.
Now, as the world is facing a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 sought renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the planet and to drive change worldwide.
What were the outcomes?
Despite commitments made at COP26, this year's UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Gap Report shows the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. There is still a clear need for immediate action to fulfil the 6 key objectives (adaptation, finance, renewable energy, net zero, loss and damage and biodiversity) and achieve net zero by 2050. This will require greater collaboration between countries, governments, businesses and individuals.
COP27 resulted in countries reaffirming their commitments to limit global temperature rise. The ‘Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan’ was agreed on 20 November 2022, as the conference extending into the weekend.
COP27 will be remembered for its historic progress on Loss and Damage, an unprecedented international commitment to enshrine fairness in the global response to climate change. A breakthrough decision was made to create specific funding to support developing countries in responding to loss and damage, marking important progress on this topic.
New pledges totalling more than $230mn were made to the Adaptation Fund.
The implementation plan stated that the move to a global low-carbon economy would require investments of “at least $4-6 trillion a year”.
Serious concern was expressed that the goal to jointly mobilise $100bn per year by 2020 had not been met. It urged developed country parties to meet the goal.
Despite significant progress being made at COP27, there is still a huge amount of work to be done. In his statement on the conclusion of COP27, UN Secretary General, António Guterres said, “The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition. To have any hope of keeping to 1.5, we need to massively invest in renewables and end our addiction to fossil fuels.”
Why are the outcomes important?
The decisions made at COP27 highlight how essential it is to empower everyone to engage in tackling climate action and working towards a net zero future. COP27 is a big deal for EDF, our customers, the UK and the planet. We must all come together to take co-ordinated action towards tackling the global challenge of climate change, reducing our carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
The UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, said that the UK would still “continue to lead the global effort to deliver net zero, because this is the way to ensure the security and prosperity of our country today and for generations to come”.
As the country’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, we are committed to helping the UK achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We’re busy helping to build Britain’s own wind, nuclear and solar supply to help the UK reach net zero and secure our future energy needs.
We must all act now and build on the progress made.