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TOGETHER FOR IMPLEMENTATION: HIGHLIGHTS OF THEMATIC FOCUS - COP 27 AT SHARM EL SHEIKH – EGYPT
Published On: 2022-11-18
KEPSA participated in the 27th Session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that took place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 6th – 18th November 2022. COP27 President was H.E Minister Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's Foreign Minister. The conference was built on previous editions of the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC and brought together governments, the private sector, civil society, youth and children, and academia from across the world. The theme of COP27 was, ‘Together for Implementation’.
More than 100 world leaders gathered at COP27 to work towards the implementation of the existing climate agreements. “The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports detailed alarming adverse impacts associated with climate change and the urgency with which we need to address the climate crisis. As the world is already, witnessing recurrent climate-induced events and disasters, there is no doubt that climate change is an existential challenge that the international community guided by the convention and the Paris agreement needs to respond to without delay,” Said H.E Minister Sameh Shoukry in his opening remarks of COP27.
The world leaders held three roundtables on Just Transition, Food Security and Innovative Finance for Climate and Development. Just transition has been integrated into a number of countries including South Africa which incorporated principles of Just Transition in her Nationally Determined Contribution. It's important that just transition principles are integrated across all sectorial transition plans (in food and water, security, energy access, housing, and transportation.
The first thematic area of focus of CoP 27 was Climate Finance which took place on 9th November 2022. It is estimated that the world will require between $4 trillion and $ 7 trillion per year to shift towards sustainable development and meet the agreed Paris Agreement targets. The Climate Finance Day addressed several aspects of the climate finance ecosystem including innovative and blended finance, financial instruments, tools and policies with the potential to enhance access, scale up and contribution to transition as envisaged and needed including those related to debt and environment swaps. Access to low-cost finance was further addressed with pragmatic solutions, deals, commitments and pledges to reduce the cost of green loans. The day saw the launch of the," Reducing the cost of the sustainable borrowing," initiative in climate-vulnerable countries. The initiative is aimed at addressing the larger issues of deteriorating fiscal health under the threat of potential output losses linked to climate hazards and disaster recovery costs as well as transition risks that may hit the economy at large. Co-operation is important between all stakeholders from the government, private sector and civil society in climate financing. The report on 'Finance or Climate Action: Scaling up investment for climate and development' was launched by the High-Level Expert Group on Scaling up Investment and Finance to Deliver Climate Ambition and Development Goals, which was mandated by the CoP26 and 27 Presidencies.
The first ever Children and Youth Pavilion, in the history of the climate conference, was opened at CoP27, contributing to the visibility, engagement and empowerment of the voices of children and youth in fostering global climate conversation and policy making. The second thematic area of COP27 focused on Youth and the Future Generation Day, which was aimed at ensuring that the voices of the youth and future generations are heard. The impacts of climate change have significant effects on health, nutrition, education and the future of young people. They stand to be most impacted by the decisions made today in climate processes. The day also helped in widening the opportunities and innovative solutions highlighted by the youth in driving action and change including climate justice and intergenerational equity. Saniwise Toilet, offering solutions for waste management and access to basic needs, an innovation by a member of the Kenya Climate Business Information Network Kenya (CBIN-K), won the ImaGen Ventures @ CoP 27, and was the second-best innovation globally, announced at the Children and Youth Pavilion.
The second thematic day also focused on the importance of scientific developments and research in solving catastrophic long-term problems that the world is facing as a result of climate change. Science plays a key role in informing the climate process, providing critical evidence and number to build the case for action and the urgency of implementation. The day also focused on the IPCC 6th Assessment Report: How to Accelerate Global Climate Action, which reiterated that human activities have changed the climate. The various sessions concluded that scientists need to do more to make their data available and understandable in policymakers' fight against climate change.
The third thematic day focused on 'Decarbonization' as leaders from the public and private sectors discussed pathways and strategies to decarbonize industrial sectors including energy, concrete and steel. "The climate crisis is existential, overriding the very present and the need to look at every piece of the puzzle including decarbonization of industrial sectors that underpin the global economy," said CoP 27 President H.E Sameh Shoukry. At the opening session, John Kerry, U.S Special Envoy for Climate stated that "We are in an era where energy security, energy transition, and the affordability of energy have to be fundamental to the way we see the world." The day saw the launch of several initiatives including Sharm El Sheikh Methane Reduction RoadMap, and East Mediterranean Gas Forum Regional Decarbonization Initiative. Other areas of focus on the Decarbonization of the Fertilizer Industry that discussed ways for industry experts, technology, and financial institutions to come together to develop green fertilizers necessary to sustain low-carbon, affordable and secure agriculture, especially for developing countries.
The other thematic areas to be covered in the subsequent update include a focus on Adaptation and Agriculture, Gender Day, Empowerment of Civil Society, Energy Day and Biodiversity Day.