Climate change “humanity’s biggest challenge in modern times”: COP27 President as climate summit opens in Egypt

Sharm el-Sheikh: The United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, or COP27, opened in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.

“Our conference which starts today is the 27th session and 30 years of the journey we started together in the life of UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change),” said COP27 President Sameh Shoukry during the opening plenary. “Egypt is determined… to renew our commitments, scale up our ambitions and to seriously start the implementation and achieve collective bilateral action through efficiently dealing with humanity’s biggest challenge in modern times,” he added.

This year’s UN Climate Conference takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, against a backdrop of extreme weather events worldwide, an energy crisis propelled by the war in Ukraine, and scientific data reiterating that the world is not doing enough to tackle carbon emissions and protect the future of our planet.

The COPs are the biggest and most important annual climate-related conferences on the planet, according to UN News.

In 1992, the UN organised the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in which the UNFCCC was adopted and its coordinating agency – what we know now as the UN Climate Change secretariat – was put into place.
In this treaty, nations agreed to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to prevent dangerous interference from human activity on the climate system”. So far, 197 different parties have signed it.

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Since 1994, when the treaty entered into force, every year the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits or “COPs”, which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’.

“During these meetings, nations have negotiated various extensions of the original treaty to establish legally binding limits on emissions, for example, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, in which all countries of the world agreed to step up efforts to try and limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures, and boost climate action financing,” UN News reported.

This year marks the 27th annual summit, or COP27.

Last year’s COP26, which marked five years since the signing of the Paris Agreement, culminated in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which kept the goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive.
Advancements were made to make the Paris Agreement fully operational, by finalizing the details for its practical implementation, also known as the Paris Rulebook.

At COP26 countries agreed to deliver stronger commitments this year, including updated national plans with more ambitious targets. However, only 24 out of 193 countries have submitted their plans to the UN so far.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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