What is COP?
COP stands for "Conference of the Parties" its origins lie in the 154 countries signed the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in June 1992, agreeing to combat harmful human impacts on the climate. Since then, almost annual COP meetings have been held to discuss how these goals can be achieved, monitored and what progress has been made. Currently, 197 countries are taking part. The decisions taken in the conferences consist of a range of agreed items, including strengthened efforts to build resilience to climate change, curb greenhouse gas emissions and provide the necessary financial support for both.
Who is involved in COP?
Besides politicians, diplomats, and representatives of national governments and other government officials, there are lobbyists from different economic sectors, NGO participants, and environmental protection organizations.
COP 26 took place end of 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, with the participants agreeing to a new deal known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, with its major decisions on:
- Reaffirmation of developed countries to support developing countries with USD 100bn annually to combat climate change
- However, the mobilization of these USD 100bn per year by 2020, agreed upon in 2009, was not yet met
- Agreement to reduce the gap between existing emission reduction plans and required emission reduction goals
- All attending countries agreed to amend their plans in the twelve months following COP26 if they were not aligned with the 1.5°C goal
- This means that at COP 27, attending countries should discuss their new ambitious emissions reduction plans
- Nations should reduce reliance on coal power and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels
- More than 100 countries pledged to reverse deforestation by 2030.
COP 27 will focus, among other topics, on specific plans how to reach the goals, financial support, and fossil fuels usage. We could say that COP 26 focused on "what" and COP 27 should be more focused on "how". This year's host country, Egypt, said it wants to move from negotiations and planning to implementation.
The main items on the agenda are:
- Climate finance and the mobilization of the USD 100bn per year
- Debt relief for countries suffering the worst from climate change
- However, this idea is still discussed controversially between industrialized countries and developing countries since it was rejected at COP 26, but it may see a resurgence at COP 27
- The fate of fossil gas will also be a topic
- Integration of just transition principles across all sectoral transition plans (food & water security, energy access, housing, transportation, health, etc.)
- Investing in the Future of Energy e.g. Green Hydrogen
- Climate Change and the Sustainability of Vulnerable Communities.
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