COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh to Focus on Delivering on the Promises of Paris

The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 opened today with the key aim of ensuring full implementation of the Paris Agreement. According to a UN Climate press release, Discussions at COP27 begin near the end of a year that has seen devastating floods and unprecedented heat waves, severe droughts and formidable storms, all unequivocal signs of the unfolding climate emergency.


At the same time, millions of people throughout the world are confronting the impacts of simultaneous crises in energy, food, water and cost of living, aggravated by severe geopolitical conflicts and tensions. In this adverse context, some countries have begun to stall or reverse climate policies and doubled down on fossil fuel use.

COP27 is also taking place against the backdrop of inadequate ambition to curb greenhouse gas emissions. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CO2 emissions need to be cut 45% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels to meet the central Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This is crucial to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.

A report published by UN Climate Change ahead of COP27 shows that whilst countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward, efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Since COP26 in Glasgow, only 29 out of 194 countries came forward with tightened national plans.

“With the Paris Rulebook essentially concluded thanks to COP26 in Glasgow last year, the litmus test of this and every future COP is how far deliberations are accompanied by action. Everybody, every single day, everywhere in the world, needs to do everything they possibly can to avert the climate crisis,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell. “COP27 sets out a new direction for a new era of implementation: where outcomes from the formal and informal process truly begin to come together to drive greater climate progress — and accountability for that progress,” Mr. Stiell said.

In his opening address, the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary asked governments to focus on three critical areas at COP27. The first is a transformational shift to implementation of the Paris Agreement and putting negotiations into concrete actions.

The second is cementing progress on the critical workstreams of mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage, while stepping up finance notably to tackle the impacts of climate change.

The third is enhancing the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability throughout the UN Climate Change process.