COP27 – Was it a cop out?

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COP27 has concluded in Egypt, but was it worth it?

The COP27 omens were not good:

  • COP27 was held in the middle of nowhere, in a military dictatorship (Egypt) where questioning authority can land you in jail. Or worse.
  • The single biggest contingent at COP27 was made up of fossil fuel lobbyists.
  • COP27 was sponsored by the world’s single biggest producer of single-use plastic waste (Coca-Cola).

And so it ‘came down to the wire’, as usual, to deliver a pretty weak and insubstantial outcome. Our guess is that the carbon footprint generated by the event, and other COPs, far outweighs any benefits delivered (was anybody measuring?). Yes, there’s to be a fund set up to help offset the loss and damage caused to poorer countries by climate change. But there are no commitments involved. The elephant in the room was the urgent need to phase out all fossil fuels, but the petro-state lobbyists made sure that the elephant was shot by a billionaire trophy hunter. And the requirement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels was kind of mentioned. We’re already at 1.1 degrees and we’re on a pathway to 3 degrees, which will likely mean the extinction of all life on Earth. Yikes.

UN Secretary-General says it like it is

We’re fans of UN leader, Antonio Guterres, and he summed up the seriousness of the situation quite well: “Our planet is still in the emergency room. We need to drastically reduce emissions now – and this is an issue this Cop did not address. The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition.” And Alok Sharma, the UK’s COP26 president concluded: “I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5C was weak. Unfortunately, it remains on life support.”

Time for a giant leap.

Learn more

UN Climate Change on COP27 outcomes

Guardian on how world ‘still on brink of climate catastrophe’ after COP27

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By Gary Byrnes

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