Each year, the United Nations brings together leaders from almost every country for global climate summits. Creating climate action on a global scale has long been a difficult, complex challenge. Progress, so far, has been slow and hard-earned. But the UN’s yearly Conference of Parties (COP) has helped galvanize global momentum around the goal of reducing carbon emissions and reaching net-zero by 2050. These conferences are an invaluable opportunity for nations to come together, communicate climate targets, and share their progress.
COP27: Coming Together on Climate Action
The UN has held annual climate summits since 1995. This year’s summit—COP 27—is taking place starting this week in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-18. Around 90 heads of state and representatives from more than 190 countries are in attendance.
Last year, following COP26, we wrote a recap of the conference and its major takeaways. The over-arching themes of global climate action—the emissions goals and temperature targets—will structure this year’s COP, as they have in the past. But other, more specific areas that haven’t been fully resolved at previous conferences will be revisited and emphasized at COP27. With thematic days centered on finance, youth, gender, and water, leaders will have the chance to take deeper dives into key topics. Some of the focused conversations include:
- New emissions projections and what they mean for our path towards existing temperature targets
- Climate finance and wealthier countries’ obligation to help poorer countries
- The importance of providing funds that help countries recover from climate damages, rather than just prepare for them