At the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, world leaders are debating how to combat climate change. It comes after a year marked by extreme weather conditions and temperature records. 

What is COP27?

Every year, the United Nations (UN) holds climate summits to encourage governments to agree on steps to limit global temperature rises. They are known as COPs, or ‘Conference of the Parties,’ for short. The parties are the participating nations that ratified the first UN climate accord in 1992. The 27th annual UN climate conference is known as COP27

Why is it taking place?

The world is warming as a result of human-caused emissions, primarily from the use of fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is part of the UN, global temperatures have increased by 1.1C and are on the verge of 1.5C. 

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Half of the world’s population may be exposed to heat and humidity that pose a threat to life if temperatures increase by 1.7C to 1.8C above levels of the 1850s, according to the IPCC. 194 nations committed to “pursue efforts” to keep global temperature increases to 1.5C when they ratified the Paris Agreement in 2015, which was meant to stop this.

Who is attending COP27?

There are more than 200 governments invited for the UN event. Vladimir Putin is not scheduled to attend, but Russian delegates are expected to participate. China and other nations have not made their leaders’ attendance known.

Egypt, the hosts, urged nations to put aside their differences and “show leadership” on the subject of climate change. Businesses, think tanks, community organizations, religious organizations, and environmental charities are all participating.

Where is it taking place?

The conference is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort on the Red Sea. In Africa, the COP is being held for the fifth time this year. Governments in the area are hoping that it will raise awareness of the continent’s serious climate change effects. One of the world’s most vulnerable continents, according to the IPCC, is Africa.

In east Africa, where there has been a drought, 20 million people are thought to be food insecure. But there has been debate over the location’s selection—Egypt. 

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Things that are being discussed at the summit

Countries were requested to submit comprehensive national climate plans prior to the meeting. So far, only 25 nations have done so. COP27 will concentrate on three key topics:

1. Emissions reduction

2. Supporting nations in their efforts to combat and prepare for climate change

3. Providing technical assistance and funding to developing countries for the aforementioned purposes

Some issues that were not fully resolved or covered at COP26 will be addressed, such as:

1. Funding to assist nations in recovering from the effects of climate change rather than just preparing for them

2. Creation of a global carbon market to assess the costs of emissions on goods and services on a global scale

3. Strengthen the pledges to cut back on coal use

There will also be days with specific themes related to things like gender, agriculture, and biodiversity.