Topical Focus – COP27

Together for Implementation

Countries are set to come together and take action towards achieving the world’s collective climate goals at COP27 in Egypt, the first climate change conference held in Africa for six years 
 
Writer: Jack Salter
 
 
“I deeply believe that COP27 is an opportunity to showcase unity against an existential threat, that we can only overcome through concerted action and effective implementation.”
 
Welcoming the world with conviction to the upcoming 2022 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP27, is Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of Egypt. 
 
This year’s conference is being hosted in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh, at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. An international tourist destination popular with both Egyptian and foreign visitors alike, the world will turn its attention to Sharm El Sheikh this November for reasons other than the region’s natural and cultural beauty, as world leaders once again convene to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. 
 
Sharm El Sheikh is the ideal destination to host an inclusive and sustainable COP27, with a demonstrable track record of hosting international events and a commitment to green transformation, having taken major strides in the adoption of sustainable accommodation, transportation, energy, waste management, and tourism operations.
 
In preparation for COP27, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has provided further support to the Egyptian government. For example, UNDP has cooperated with large hotels in Sharm El Sheikh to help install solar rooftops, whilst small-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed in landmark buildings throughout the city.
 
USD$6.2 million was granted by UNDP to the Egyptian government in June 2022, meanwhile, to finance the transformation of Sharm El Sheikh into a green city by 2028 and support the development of green infrastructure in the coastal resort.
 
The project aims to rationalise resource consumption, whilst focusing on water desalination, increasing the frequency of recycling and energy recovery from waste, as well as installing solar panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and promoting sustainable tourism in Egypt.
 
Opportunities to support green transport and limit the use of plastic have also been explored ahead of the conference, all of which are efforts that confirm Sharm El Sheikh as a leading driver of the energy transition in Egypt, setting an example for other cities to follow.
 
Effective action
COP27 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
 
In the three decades and 26 climate change conferences since, the world has come a long way in the fight against this global phenomenon and alleviating the negative impacts on our planet, equipped with a better understanding of the science and the tools to address the causes and consequences.
 
Building on the outcomes of COP26, held in Glasgow in 2021, this year’s conference will deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency, from the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to building resilience and adapting to the inevitable effects of climate change.
 
COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement in the face of a growing energy crisis, record GHG concentrations, increasingly extreme weather events, and to implement effective and concerted action.
 
The slogan of COP27 itself – Together for Implementation – highlights this urgent need for action and tangible, concrete solutions to the challenges of climate change, rather than just promises.
 
Egypt will spare no effort to ensure that COP27 is the moment when the world moves from negotiation to implementation and words are translated into actions, collectively embarking on the path towards a sustainable, greener future for generations to come.
 
Dedicated themes
Implementation requires the input and contribution of all stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental.
 
With this in mind, a series of panel discussions, roundtables and events have been organised across 11 key thematic days.
 
These dedicated themes come as part of COP27’s efforts to enable broad interaction with various stakeholders, where the voices of women, youth, civil society, and indigenous people will be central to discussions. 
 
Finance Day, for example, is the conference’s very first thematic day and will address several aspects of the climate finance ecosystem, such as financial instruments, tools and policies that have the potential to enhance access and contribute to the clean energy transition.
 
Other key focus areas include the promise of innovation and clean technologies, as well as the centrality of agriculture and water to the climate crisis. COP27 will also highlight the role of science, in addition to biodiversity loss, the energy transition, and decarbonisation efforts.
 
Bringing COP27’s series of thematic days to a close on November 17th is Solutions Day, where government representatives, businesses and innovators will share their experiences, ideas and best practices, potentially building alliances and collaborations going into the future.
 
Egypt looks forward to welcoming COP27 to Sharm El Sheikh, where the world will come together once more to reaffirm its commitment to the global climate agenda.