On the 6th November, the UN will open its doors for the 27th round of global climate change negotiations at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt. Though there is a momentous amount to be done, including closing the 1.5C emissions gap and mobilising billions of dollars in climate finance, the conference is facing rough political headwinds. The impacts of the Ukraine-Russia conflict on European energy markets have triggered a cost-of-living crisis, resulting in several countries backtracking on climate pledges by re-opening mothballed fossil fuel powerplants. This is exacerbated by the souring of China and US relations, whose bilateral pact brought much-needed momentum to COP26 in Glasgow.
Yet, another year of climate extremes, including the most severe flooding in Pakistan’s history, wildfires burning over 600 000 hectares of land in Europe and multiple temperature records broken again, has underlined the crucial importance of making COP27 one of progress. With Africa the host continent, we can expect questions on adaptation and on compensation for damage from physical climate risk to be a major theme of discussions.
Here we outline some of the main questions ahead of the negotiations, underling where we think progress may be made.