Industry News

COP 27: What’s at stake?

An Article Writen by Climate Challenges –

From 7-17 November 2022, Egypt will host the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27), with a view to build on previous successes and pave the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the climate emergency.

With each COP, the urgency to slash emissions and build resilience to the climate emergency on our doorstep, becomes ever greater. And yet, despite small glimmers of progress, we are still nowhere near the scale and pace of climate action needed to secure a net zero and resilient world by 2050. The latest NDS synthesis report shows that while emissions are no longer increasing after 2030, there is no evidence of a rapid downward trend science says is necessary this decade.

National governments must radically and rapidly strengthen their climate action plans and implement them before 2030, creating the conditions to collaborate with non-State actors so we can all go further.

The good news is that progress towards a net zero and resilience world in the real economy is well and truly underway. Businesses, cities and regions are powering rapid and transformational changes. But whilst this progress is welcome, the time is now for non-State actors to double down and deliver in response to increasingly heightened impacts.

In the midst of interlinked climate, energy, nature and food crises, the stakes have never been higher. At this COP27, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions would like to see:

  • Translation of commitments & pledges into implementation
  • Elevation of adaptation and resilience
  • A credible stocktake of progress
  • A holistic approach that balances mitigation, adaptation and loss & damage
  • ‘Assets to flows’ to scale finance
  • Regionalization, localization & collaboration
  • A just, managed, financed transition

Together with High-Level Champions for COP26 and COP27, Nigel Topping and Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, the Climate Champions’ Team will be on the ground at COP27 representing multiple sectors across the global economy. The sectors below are just several of the many the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions work with to help converge and accelerate action that takes us to a net zero and resilient world.

Clean Power:

If COP26 was notable for impressive financial and climate commitments from primarily countries in the Global North, COP27 is an opportunity to show the shift from commitments to action and implementation.

Clean power for the sake of the whole world needs to be not just about future financial commitments, but actual project development, and especially for large parts of Africa and Asia, an emphasis on providing a just and equitable energy transition.

For Clean Power, COP27 is going to be about credibility and action. Countries in South America, Africa, and Asia are watching Europe and North America to see if commitments translate into implementation, and for real action towards a just and equitable energy transition, especially in light of the energy crisis in Europe, and questions about the role of gas.

This is also a COP where the concerns of the Global South need to be central: energy access, clean cooking, and adaptation should be at the forefront.

Land Use & Nature:

COP27 is a critical COP for nature as it precedes the delivery of the Global Biodiversity Framework to be developed under the Convention of Biological Diversity at COP15 in Montreal Canada from the 7-19 December.

COP27 will be an opportunity to understand Parties’ focus on NbS as they enhance NDCs and strengthen national adaptation plans. COP 27 will also be an opportunity to keep pressure on delivery of key nature-related announcements made at COP26.

In this decade we must halve emissions, enhance resilience and regenerate nature as planetary boundaries are closely approaching.

Parties can seize the opportunity to enhance their NDCs with nature-based solutions whilst delivering their sustainable development plans.

How can someone take action:

  • Investors must stop investing in the conversion of intact ecosystems, especially deforestation and businesses that deplete nature and start funding high integrity NbS
  • Investors can sign the following letter to facilitate delivery of their existing net zero commitment and increase investment in NbS
  • Companies must commit to science-based targets for climate and nature, and to disclosing their impacts and dependencies on nature throughout their value chains
  • Governments must deliver an ambitious global framework and action agenda for biodiversity at the upcoming COP15 and fully recognize nature’s role as a key climate solution in the formal outcome of COP27
  • Investors, companies, governments and civil society must work together with great urgency to reduce and reverse the socio-economic drivers and pressure causing nature’s decline and rising GHGs


Due to the relevance of water for climate adaptation and enhanced resilience, the Egyptian COP presidency has placed water as a core topic of COP27. The planned Water Day, which involves a Water Initiative and a prominently placed Water Pavilion under the lead of the Egyptian Presidency, will provide new and important opportunities for raising awareness on the strong interplay between water and climate resilience. The Initiative on water and adaptation (AWARE) is also essential and should be seized to enhance resilience action. This initiative offers many starting points for improving the integrity of water and climate change adaptation. Joint action should be used to sharpen the initiative, to ensure that it can act sustainably and purposefully without duplicating existing initiatives and create impact beyond COP27.

The Egyptian Presidency is placing implementation issues at the heart of COP27 – so what we need to see from this COP is urgently improved implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. The focus should be, in particular, on countries and vulnerable people affected by water-related risks and threatened water security. Based on the planned thematic days of COP27, the following adaptation-related and water-related topics will play a key role here: Financing, Adaptation, Water, Biodiversity and Energy. Other cross-cutting themes include gender and youth and civil society.

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