This year, all eyes are on Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, as hosts of the COP27. We have spent the past year discussing our failure to combat extreme weather events around the world, global carbon emissions caused by the energy crisis, and the war in Ukraine, with the result that we are not doing enough to protect the planet and scientific data continues to expose the extent of these concerns. COP27 should have been a 'down payment' on solutions to these problems, but will the leaders be able to achieve this outcome?
What is COP?
The COP summits are the largest and most important annual climate-related conferences globally.
After the Stockholm Declaration of 1972 recognizing environmental issues as international concerns, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted at the Rio Conference organized by the UN in 1992. This Convention was signed by countries agreeing to ‘stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in order to prevent the dangerous impact of human activity on the climate system’. So far, 197 different parties have signed up. Since 1994, when the agreement entered into force, almost every country in the world has joined in a global cliamte summit called the COP which is short for Conferences of Parties. During these meetings, countries negotiate to set legally binding limits on emissions. For example, by the terms of the Kyoto Protocol adopted at the COP3 in 1997 and the Paris Agreement adopted at the COP21 in 2015, countries agreed to accelerate their efforts in trying to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures by the end of the century, and to increase financing for climate action to promote this goal.
This year, parties met for the 27th time at COP27.
This issue was prepared in collaboration with Mazars Türkiye.