The world faces an unprecedented crisis as global temperatures continue to rise, leading to devastating environmental impacts such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and species extinction. COP27, the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, was an important event that took place in November 2022.
This year's edition of COP27 launched a five-year work program to promote climate technology solutions in developing countries. COP27 also made significant progress on mitigation, and governments were also urged to review and strengthen their 2030 targets in national climate plans by 2023 and to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and coal power. The conference also held a technical dialogue as part of the first global stocktake, a mechanism for increasing ambition under the Paris Agreement, which was achieved in large part due to the efforts of Christiana Figueres, a key figure and architect behind the agreement.
Christiana, the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is still today at the forefront of the fight against climate change.
Christiana Figueres: The Future We Choose
In her new book, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, Figueres offers two possible scenarios for the planet. "One is a future in which we have made the necessary changes to avert the most catastrophic effects of global warming and ensure the sustainability of human civilization. The other is a future in which we have failed to make those changes and face the consequences of unchecked global warming."
Figueres identifies three key actions that must be taken to ensure a more sustainable future.
- First, the world must commit to a rapid and profound transition to clean energy. This transition must be led by governments, with businesses and citizens following their lead.
- Second, the world must develop and implement nature-based solutions that support the global transition to clean energy.
- Finally, the world must ensure that the most vulnerable populations, who will be most affected by climate change, are provided with the resources and support necessary to adapt to a changing world.
The COP conferences are always a crucial opportunity for governments, businesses, and citizens worldwide to take the necessary actions to ensure a sustainable future. The world must take action now or suffer the consequences of unchecked global warming, the author writes. Christiana Figueres' book provides an important reminder of the urgent need for action and outlines the steps that must be taken to ensure a better future for the planet.
Conference of Parties is an important global event that focuses on climate change and the potential risks it poses to our planet. This event is held annually to discuss the latest developments in climate change and develop strategies for reducing emissions and mitigating the risks. This year's COP27 was especially important, as many countries are facing the worst effects of climate change ever seen. Sustainability experts such as speaker Christina Figueres are always invited to these events to pass on knowledge of the impacts of climate change and the best actions to take.
Outcomes of COP27
Several announcements were made at the conference, including the launch of a package of 25 new collaborative actions in five key areas: power, road transport, steel, hydrogen, and agriculture.
The UN Secretary-General announced a $3.1 billion plan to ensure that everyone on the planet is protected by early warning systems within the next five years. The UN Secretary-General's High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Commitments published a report at COP27 with guidelines for ensuring credible and accountable net-zero pledges from industries, financial institutions, cities, and regions.
The G7 and the V20 (also known as the "Vulnerable Twenty") also launched the Global Shield against Climate Risks, with initial funding of over $200 million.
Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Walloon Region of Belgium announced a total of $105.6 million in new funding for the Global Environment Facility, which aims to address the immediate climate adaptation needs of low-lying and low-income states.
The Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership announced at the G20 Summit held in conjunction with COP27, will mobilize $20 billion over the next three to five years to accelerate a just energy transition.
And lastly, the Forest and Climate Leaders' Partnership, which aims to unite action by governments, businesses, and community leaders to halt forest loss and land degradation by 2030, was also launched at the conference.