Updated: Nov 19, 2022
The main target is to move quickly from words to deeds, keeping feet on the ground. The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change officially opened on Monday, the 7th November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt) with a long series of key topics on the agenda. The attempt to involve the world’s leading countries in a joint effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a long-lasting process. Despite the great commitment, neither Kyoto in 1997 nor Copenhagen in 2009 have fully achieved the fixed targets. The big question is: Will we be able to meet the goals set at the COP21 in Paris in 2015? Can we really provide keeping global temperatures by 1.5°C? COP27 is therefore assuming a decisive role.
As a matter of fact, the global approach to the cause is jeopardised in thousand of nuances also considering the greater or lesser impact that global warming can cause on different geographical areas. Of course, decision makers from the poorest Countries have always put the 1.5°C threshold (above pre-industrial levels) as a necessary condition to remain seated at the ''work table'. Some territories, like the Maldives and all bigger or smaller islands and archipelagos, are extremely worried about an increase in global temperatures up to 1.5°C that would lead to the total destruction of most of their territory that develops a few meters from the sea. Luckly, a larger number of continental countries are joining the cause for a stronger sense of solidarity and eco-commitment with an increased awareness of the fact that everything is interlinked in natural ecosystems and the hazardous human interference can impact well beyond individual borders (freeriding effect).
Business-as-usual scenarios are extremely worrying, predicting a global average temperature rise up to more than 3.5°C. The official report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in 2018 showed the world public opinion a bitter truth. Raising the original threshold by half a degree, that is 2 °C, the consequences on the entire earth ecosystem would have been much more devastating, with special regard to food supplies, extreme climatic phenomena and endangered species, putting at risk the survival of many more human beings. Many politicians and activists got involved to claim Net-Zero by 2050, followed by some multinationals, part of the financial sector and increasingly local businesses. In Glasgow, the 1.5°C goal was still considered as feasible but, as for this years' summit, some begin to think that continuing to think it is doable could be misleading, after seven years when gas emissions have constantly raised. According to IPCC graphics, we would need to reduce emissions drastically by 43% or more earlier than 2030. Daniel Shrug, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University has recently asked himself: "Who believes that we can halve global emissions by 2030? It is so completely outside the realm of the technology and economics and politics of the world. Is it technically feasible? I guess. But it’s so far from reality that it’s kind of absurd”. Only a few of all scenarios elaborated by IPCC (97 in total) avoid the overshooting. The currently average rate of Planet Earth temperatures fluctuates between 1.0 - 1.3 °C above the pre-industrial era. Most recent studies show that the risk of reaching, and maybe bypassing, 1.5 °C is quite possible in on of the next five years (Source: World Meteorological Organisation). And the most relevant matter is whether the overshoot would involve just a short time or a multi-year time, with related consequences on the living conditions of the Planet.
Consequently, the need to act collectively is a must shared by most at COP27. The need not to regress technologically is equally a necessity as to minimise inequalities between countries in the North and in the South of the World. It will also be necessary to be realistic and not to set excessively ambitious targets according to the latests technical studies and research. Anyway, we must not give up recalling what recently stated by Professor Daniel Shrug, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University : It is always the case that reducing the severity of climate change is a worthy investment". So, we need to act now and do it all! ***
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MONACŒCOART® offers you an exclusive journey through the most meaningful highlights at COP27 Opening Summit.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM COP27 OPENING SESSION
"In these days our Planet's population will cross a new threshold. The eight-billion member of the human family will be born. These milestones put into perspective what this climate conference is all about. The eigh-billion baby would ask: What have you done for our Planet when you had the chance? The answers are in our hands and the clock is ticking. We are in the fight for our lives and we are loosing, unfortunately. Greenhouse emissions are keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our Planet is fasting approach its tipping point that would make climate chaos irreversible. We are on a high way to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator. Human activity is the cause of climate problems, so a human action must be the solution".
António Guterres, UN Secretary General
"I deeply believe that COP27 is an opportunity to showcase unity against an existential threat that we can only overcome through concerted action and effective implementation".
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt
"We urge our partners in the global North to step up their climate Finance to the global South. Team Europe is providing its fair share of the 100 billion dollar promise for the second year in a row. We have exceeded 23 billion euros despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian War. The big Bug of our Climate Finance goes already for adaptation. So, it is doable and we call on others to step up to. Europe is staying the course! Let's do this journey together!"
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU
"It is important to work in partnership with territories that are most affected by climate change ...we need to continue fighting the mitigation. We need to phase our economies away from coal".
Emmanuel Macron, President of France
"After the era of negotiations, we enter the era of "doing". As a human community we must do more, do it better and, above all, act quickly so that our societies respect the trajectory set by the Paris Agreement. We must do all we can to keep global warning under the 1.5°C cap".
Pierre Dartout, Minister of State of the Principality of Monaco
"We intend to demonstrate that there is no contraction between ecology and development. We need to involve the private sector, the producing economy. We need to invest in technological innovation. no one can escape the global challenge".
Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of Italy
"When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II addressed COP26 last year (set in Glasgow) she reflected how history has shown that when Nations come together in common cause there is always room for hope. When we began our COP Presidency just one third of the global economy was signed up to Net Zero. Today it is ninety percent. The UK was the first major economy in the world to legislate for it and we will fulfill our ambitious commitment to reduce emissions by at least 68 % by 2030".
Rishi Sunak, British Prime Minister
"This gathering must be the moment to re-commit our future and our shared capacity to write a better story for the world. Let's build on our global climate progress. Raising both our ambitions and the speed for our efforts. The climate crisis concerns human security, economic security, national security and the very life of the planet".
Joe Biden, President of the United States of America
"We have a credibility problem all of us: We're talking and we're starting to act, but we're not doing enough. (...) We must see the so-called 'dash for gas' for what it really is: a dash down a bridge to nowhere, leaving the countries of the world facing climate chaos and billions in stranded assets, especially here in Africa".
Al Gore, Former Vice President of USA & Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
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