Following the buzz and commotion around last year’s twenty-sixth conference of parties on climate change held in Glasgow, it is no surprise that expectations this year struggled to keep up.
With war continuing in Ukraine, consequent energy dynamics as well as a cost-of-living crisis, governments have plenty on their minds to keep them busy. The United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, otherwise known as COP27, was dubbed by the media as the "implementation" COP. However, it is difficult to say, coming out of the last two weeks, despite the hordes of announcements, that progress on meeting 1.5⁰C has been successfully achieved. Whilst the twenty-seventh conference of parties was a success in bringing together over 45,000 people – from academics and activists to investor and politicians – in the words UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: "More must be done". We look at the wins and the disappointments of the key annual climate conference:
While expectations were low, arguably these expectations were exceeded through a number of announcements:
Over 500 scientists signed a letter stating that whilst 1.5⁰C is still in play, we will overshoot for at least several decades and that the impact of this cannot be understated.
Doom and gloom aside, the geopolitics are now more favourable: the surprising strength of the Democrats in the US midterms and Lula’s win in Brazil certainly offer great reasons for hope. Biden and Xi Jinping met in Bali opening the way for future bilateral talks between two of the world’s largest economies and emitters. However, even greater of a reason for hope is the work of the private sector and investors. COP27 was a bit quieter in terms of investor representation this year, however the number of financial players committing to net zero through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) has grown from 160 in April of 2021 to 550 just last week, with more than 160 having set interim targets.
The innovation and opportunities continue to arise every day, with companies discovering new ways to sequester carbon and launching new tools to protect against the impacts of climate change. So, for those reasons and many more, we remain committed to mitigating against the impacts of climate change and hopeful for the future.
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