So the world’s largest climate event, COP27, now happening in Egypt meets the usual challenges. But a few key points stick out over all the media covered and dozens of press releases I’ve received:
- Policies and promises for carbon targets are not lining up. Not enough action towards climate change is happening fast enough. This is old news. We hear it every year.
- Egypt is criticised for its double-faced stance as “wanting” to be progressive yet it holds free-media activists in prison. This news is rising above the smog. Free media means that people can start reporting factually and accurately against the world’s leading greenwashers like Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco is responsible for 4% of all global carbon emissions. If you don’t care about climate change, just go skiing on one of their fake ski hills. Or go live on The Line.
- Egypt, and dozens of other poorer nations, in development, meanwhile, are asking the richer carbon hungry nations to pony up and pay for the effects of climate change. Also old news. But it’s fair.
- Greta Thunberg is not bothering to go to the event this year which once crowned her as the unlikely princess against climate change (that was COP24). This year? COP27? It’s “greenwashing” she told the media.
- The tomato soup can incident, sadly, seemed to be the year’s biggest media stunt against climate change. Kids being washed away in floods? These images no longer affect us. We need soup streaming down things we care about, and find holy.
So what’s COP27, if you are asking?
Some 200 nations from around the world are meeting this week in Sharm el-Sheikh, a beach and diving town in Sinai, Egypt, to discuss climate change problems and solutions. The United Nation’s climate event, COP takes place every year. Every time a new one is held, since the first, they add a number. So this year we are at COP27. And this year businesses, governments, activists and companies are meeting from November 6 to 18 to discuss, solve and deal with the pressing problem of our generation.
Also every year the messages become more urgent, yet key activists known for making statements at the annual UN event, like Greta Thunberg, aren’t even attending this year.
She’s skipping the “greenwashing” event, as she calls it, because the UN’s climate conference will be “used as an opportunity for leaders and people in power to get attention”.
At last years’ COP26, the wealthier nations of the world agreed to pay $40 billion per year by 2025 to help developing nations build defenses against floods. An UN report says that this sum is about 1/5 of what these countries need to hold back the effects of extreme weather effects.
Estimated annual adaptation needs are between $160 billion to $340 billion by the end of the decade, and up to $565 billion by 2050, a new UN report reveals. You can get the Adaptation Gap Report here.
“Countries must urgently ramp up action to adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change, as efforts now are too little and too slow,” the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in its latest report, published on Thursday.
Climate data from UN reports
UNEP also publishes an annual data report. This might be helpful for students, businesses and governments lobbying and pressing for change. Climate change is a global problem and we must act locally with our own actions, but also we must influence stakeholders.
A recap from UNEP: “To limit global temperature rise to below 2°C aiming for 1.5°C, as promised in the Paris Agreement, countries must cut 30 gigatonnes of GHG emissions annually by 2030. The necessary solutions exist yet currently more emissions are entering the atmosphere making it harder to keep the planet safe.”
UNEP adds: The world’s wealthiest 1 per cent emit more than twice the emissions of the poorest half combined. That is why developed nations must step up to make rapid and large-scale emission reduction and support developing countries as they build low-carbon economies and make adequate climate adaptation.”
To end this climate brief in a way that makes sense for today and Egypt, read a little more about Hassan Fathy. He had a dream for the people of Egypt, and an appreciation for vernacular architecture. Living, building and thriving closer to the land and our planet may cut out the need for capitalism that makes us ever so hungry for more.