Catalyzing leadership for a zero-carbon future
The 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties was held in Sharm el-Sheikh from 6 – 18 of November 2022.
CATF on the ground at COP27
Egypt hosted the 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh on November 6- 18, bringing leaders in government, civil society, industry, and finance from around the world together to raise ambition and accelerate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
COP27 was held at a critical moment in the fight against climate change and CATF was there to advocate for the changes we need, making sure the world’s most influential leaders understand that we must:
Develop the next generation of innovative clean energy and climate solutions
Center the development needs of the Global South and support those on the front lines of climate change
Move from ambition to action, accountability, and implementation
Reduce carbon emissions and methane emissions simultaneously
The Zero-Carbon Future Pavilion
A collaborative climate and innovation exchange at COP27
CATF experts and partners worked together at our COP27 Zero-Carbon Future pavilion where climate advocates, government officials, industry leaders, and experts from around the world took on the hardest climate and energy questions, shared innovative solutions, and highlighted the opportunities we have to transform the global energy system to address climate change.
We hosted over 30 events and panels, and featured two weeks of thought leadership and timely programming focused on addressing the full scope of the climate challenge and advancing an innovative, region-centric, and pragmatic vision for an emissions-free, high-energy world.
News from COP27
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Find answers to your common questions around COP.
What is COP?
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is an annual climate conference hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international environmental treaty adopted and implemented by countries all around the world in 1994 to address the issue of climate change. The parties refer to the 197 countries that ratified the agreement, representing almost universal global involvement.
The objectives of the UNFCCC are to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” and prevent human damage and interference with the climate system — and COP serves as a yearly meeting of the UNFCCC to discuss progress and take action on these goals.
When was COP started?
The first COP was held in 1995, after 197 countries ratified the UNFCCC. It was a milestone and set the stage for future protocols and agreements for nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Where is COP held?
COP is hosted by a different country each year and the first such meeting (COP1) took place in Berlin, Germany. Subsequent noteworthy COPs have been held in Geneva, Switzerland, Kyoto, Japan, Bonn, Germany, Paris, France, Glasgow, United Kingdom, and other major cities around the globe.
Who takes part in COP?
COP brings together thousands of diplomats, ministers, and negotiators from nearly 200 countries. The conferences are also attended by representatives from civil society, business leaders, academic experts, international organizations, activists, and the media.
What has been achieved at previous conferences?
Several landmark commitments, treaties, and funding mechanisms have emerged from these annual meetings.
At COP3 in Kyoto, Japan, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted with a commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses in industrialized countries. The Kyoto Protocol was ultimately replaced by the Bali Roadmap in 2007 (which included all countries rather than just industrialized nations) but laid an important foundation for later agreements.
In 2015, at COP21, the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted by almost all countries in the world, aiming to keep the rise in the global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also included provisions to strengthen the ability to adapt to climate change and build resilience and align all finance flows with “a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.” As part of the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to set emissions reductions targets and communicate these targets to the UNFCCC in the form of nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
At COP26 in Glasglow, UK, the launch of the Global Methane Pledge saw over 115 countries commit to reducing methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Methane is a harmful climate pollutant that must be mitigated alongside carbon dioxide to prevent near term warming and avoid passing irreversible climate tipping points.
Why is COP important?
While criticism of COP has rightfully questioned whether global climate talks are truly an effective method of implementing change and reducing emissions, conferences like COP are an important instrument in the climate advocacy toolbox. The climate challenge is one that requires multinational, multisectoral cooperation, and international forums can accelerate action in the right direction at a time when rapid emissions reduction is crucial — elevating the voices of those most vulnerable to climate change’s impacts on an international stage, creating opportunities to foster cooperation between countries who might otherwise be at odds, and providing a forum through which to ask difficult questions about creating decarbonization plans that can be achieved in the real world.
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