COP 27: 2022 UN Climate Change Conference


2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference. (2022, December 19). In Wikipedia.

COP 27 is an international climate change conference that brings countries apart from the UN together to discuss environmental issues. The annual summit started on November 6, 2022, and ended on November 18, 2022, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The yearly summit speaks about climate change and how to reverse the impact we’ve caused before the damage is permanent.

One of the events at the summit is the roundtable, which talks about actions that will be done before 2030. The roundtable spoke about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, gasses that release heat into the atmosphere, creating a warmer planet. Carbon dioxide emissions are one of the most significant climate change issues right now. Greenhouse gases account for 25% of CO2 emissions and we recently hit a new record from fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions. If we do not reverse the amount of carbon pollution, Earth could only reach 1.5 ℃ (34.7℉) heat in just ten years. Luckily, the summit talked about ways they are aiming to fix this. $15 million is being used to remove carbon dioxide in nature-based areas in Asia and to restore land in the Philippines. Additionally, Turkey intends to cut 41% of its carbon emissions by 2030. Other news also includes a new breakthrough in nuclear fusion. This will ultimately lead to the production of clean energy commercially. This is made using carbon-free electricity, meaning it will not have any greenhouse gas emissions.

Although this is great news for restoring clean air, the COP27 summit majorly contributed to the increase in carbon emissions. The climate summit is to create ways to help the environment, but because 45,000 people attended the meeting, it created a large carbon footprint of 1,236 lbs per person of carbon dioxide. If the meeting had been online or over the year, the damage could’ve been avoided.

Protestors are a large part of the climate summits but due to Egypt’s strict laws on protests, the number of activists was limited. Outside of the area where the conference took place, no activists are allowed in Egypt so protestors needed to have approval from the United Nations. This protest was one of the only times demonstrators could publicly speak about the fate of Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prisoner in Egypt known for his activism against Egypt’s authoritarian government. A popular activist Greta Thunberg was absent from this year’s conference due to the amount of greenwashing. Greenwashing is the act or practice of making a product, policy, activity, etc. appear to be more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than it really is.

A topic besides the environment mentioned at the conference was the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the summit about the need for peace between the two countries before environmental issues like fossil fuel and oil production problems can be solved. Ukraine is a large contributor to the fossil fuel industry and with the current violence between the countries more natural gasses could be lost.

Officials claimed that Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest (LEAF) will be attributed $1.5 billion to protecting forests and preventing deforestation. 26 countries joined the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) to reverse deforestation by 2030, which is about 35% of the world’s forests. Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also stated that he would make sure to protect the Amazon Rainforest, “ to have zero deforestation and the degradation of our biomes.”

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs Accelerates Coral Reef Resilience Action (GFCR) provided $187 million to protect the coral reefs from further damage. By 2032, 100 cities in Africa will be supplied with $5 billion in new water solutions for better access to clean water and resolve many other water issues such as storm and wastewater management.

Hopefully, these claims at COP27 will help make a difference in the outcome of our environment and spread awareness to people about the environmental crises happening on the planet.