After two weeks of intense talks, meetings and negotiations, this years 27th Conference of the Parties to the Unities Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) has now drawn to a close. With greenhouse gas concentrations reaching record levels, extreme weather events occurring across the world and a growing global energy crisis, COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries to combat this emergency.
In this weeks blog post we will explore the progress the conference has achieved and what we can do, both on a personal and global scale, to combat climate change.
What is COP27?
COP is the largest annual gathering on climate issues which aims to deliver action on an array of critical climate topics. Commencing from 6th to 18th November 2022, this two week event saw world leaders, climate activists and ministers join together in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, to discuss how countries can achieve global climate change goals, as agreed under the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement is a treaty which was signed by world leaders in 2015, to implement climate change solutions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach net zero targets.
This year followed on from the previous conference - COP26 - which was held in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2021.
What happened at COP27?
Over the past fortnight, discussions have taken place to evaluate if countries are successfully working towards meeting their climate change goals and to set further targets to create a safe future for the people and the planet. This year in Egypt the conference aimed to accelerate global climate action through emission reduction, increased adaption efforts and reviewing the flow of finance invested into the cause.
Exploring mitigation strategies: This years conference saw the implementation of the Glasgow Pact to review nationally determined contributions and the development of a program to increase ambition on mitigation. Work continues to limit the global warming temperature to the 1.5c target.
Enhancing adaption: We witnessed an enhanced global agenda for action on adaption at this years COP. Confirming what was agreed on in previous conferences with regards to the importance of placing adaptation at the forefront of global action.
Climate finance: Significant progress was made towards the crucial issue of climate finance. Increased transparency of finance flows and facilitated access will help meet the needs of developing countries, specifically for the least developed countries.
Global collaboration: COP27 enhanced negotiations to achieve tangible results. The advancement of partnerships and collaborations assist in delivering the four goals and ensures the world is adopting a more resilient and sustainable economic model. This year saw a wide representation and participation from all relevant stakeholders, in particular those from communities who are increasingly impacted by climate change.
These goals will be monitored and progress will be reviewed at the next event, COP28, which will convene in Dubai, 30th November to 12th December 2023.
How does COP27 affect us?
Climate change is a global issue that we all need to collaborate to overcome. Every year the temperature of our world is increasing and weather patterns are shifting as a result of human activities, primarily due to burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. These changes are having a grave effect on both the planet and human beings - ice sheets are melting, sea levels are rising, extreme weather events are resulting in injuries, disease and premature death.
The decisions and targets set at the COP27 could see adjustments being introduced to our everyday lives to mitigate climate change, such as being encouraged to move towards renewable technology and switching to sustainable transport.
How can we contribute towards climate change goals?
As quoted by Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, "The heart of implementation is everybody, everywhere in the world, every single day, doing everything they possibly can to address the climate crisis." This is not a crisis that can be tackled by world leaders alone, this requires everybody working together to minimise their impact.
There are many strategies in place to help reduce global warming, here are some small changes that you could implement into your day to day lives:
Reduce your use of plastic: Plastic is made from oil and does not break down quickly, so is often burnt - this is bad for the environment as it contributes towards increasing emissions and air pollution.
Responsibly keep your home warm: Part of the UK Governments net zero strategy focuses on reducing energy consumption in households, as a result, lowering emissions. The Help to Heat funding scheme consists of offering eligible homes grants for energy efficient retrofits, such as improving insulation. This helps the environment and will minimise your heating bills.
Reduce how much you consume: All of our lifestyle choices have an impact on the environment, from food to fashion. It is often found that we replace items faster than realistically needed, such as our mobile phones. Wasting materials, increasing unnecessary production and sending our barely used goods to landfill is putting a massive strain on our planet.
At Anglian Waste Recycling, we are passionate about minimising our impact on the local environment. We aim to provide our commercial waste clients with a responsible method of recycling to manage the waste generated by their business. By offering free waste audits we are able to work closely with clients so they can make sensible decisions about their waste streams and work towards corporate targets.
The conference event has allowed our headquarters to host some great discussions regarding what we can do as a business to contribute towards wider climate goals, as well as working towards our own company mission of reaching net zero. It has also encouraged conversations between our colleges to review small changes they could make in their personal lives.
Earths climate journey continues
The climate crisis is a global issue which we all need to strive to combat, not only for the health of future generations, but to save our planet before it's too late. Thanks to events such as COP27 which raise awareness of climate change, we now have the solutions to make a difference, now we all need to work together to action these strategies. By making better choices at home and for our businesses, we can tackle the climate crisis.