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COP27 takes on the baton for combating global climate change in Egypt

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) opened in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on 6 November. The 27th Conference of the Parties will take place under the Presidency of Egypt from 6-18 November.

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

The second is mitigation, adaptation, financing of loss and damage, while stepping up finance to tackle climate change. The third aspect is increased transparency and accountability throughout the UN Climate Change process.

The Climate Summit got off to an encouraging start after a marathon 48 hours of pre-Summit talks finalized the list of items for the fortnight-long negotiations. Following this, over 100 world leaders arrived in Sharm El Sheikh to attend the high-level leaders' segment of the talks.

An important agenda for the official negotiations includes Loss and Damage or providing financing for developing economies. This is a first for a COP Summit. It will be the most important negotiation topic at the 27th UN climate talks. Vulnerable nations have tirelessly appealed to the international community for help to cope with the devastating climate impacts for which they hold little responsibility.

Friends, today a new era begins – and we begin to do things differently. Paris gave us the agreement. Katowice and Glasgow gave us the plan. Sharm El-Sheikh shifts us to implementation. No one can be a mere passenger on this journey. This is the signal that times have changed

Simon Stiel, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary

Starting with the World Leaders Summit, the first two days included the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit which featured important High-Level Side Events. Under the guidance of two high-level climate champions, UK's Nigel Topping and Egypt's Mahmoud Mohieldin plans and targets for a range of sectors and initiatives will be presented in multiple events in the Climate Action Zone in COP.

Significance of the event

COP27 is taking place against the backdrop of inadequate ambition to curb greenhouse gas emissions. UNFCCC supported initiatives in sectors such as sports, fashion, tourism, events and aviation and will announce higher ambition and increased collaboration to align these sectors with the 1.5 degree Celsius target of the Paris Agreement.

The energy sector, which is responsible for almost three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions, is also inseparable from people's livelihoods and aspirations. Industrial sectors account for nearly 40 percent of global energy consumption and more than 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The transformation of these sectors is vital to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

However, growing demand for basic materials keep emissions increasing and climate policy responses remain lacking. The side event by IEA at 'COP: Unlocking industries' net zero transformation brought together a panel of experienced actors to highlight how they are tackling the challenge of reducing carbon-intensive activities in hard-to-reduce sectors. 

The upcoming sessions will delve deeper into transiting to carbon neutral energy systems like hydrogen and renewables, greater implementation of storage and of e-mobility.

The aim of this event is to bring together decision makers from industry and government to discuss their experiences in public-private and international cooperation and to explore new ways to accelerate the industry's development to a cleaner future. 

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