COP27 – Highlights from the second week

As COP27 enters its second week, the conference continues with more discussion on decarbonisation, further negotiation on loss and damage funding, the decrease of methane emissions and on the voices of women. The following summary will cover some of the second week's highlights.

Renewable energy

Cut methane emissions

The first week of the conference closed with the announcement of an ambitious plan from the US Environmental Protection Agency: tracking methane emissions by the oil and gas industry and a plan to cut methane emissions further. Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide because it can trap heat in the atmosphere. As mentioned in last year’s conference and our COP26 summary, the scheme to cut 30% of methane emissions by 2030 was already agreed upon by more than 100 countries at COP26.

Decarbonising shipping

As mentioned in the week one summary, the UK and US will launch a Green Shipping Corridor Task Force to unite experts in the sector to unlock cleantech innovations to decarbonise. By the end of week one, ten leading shipping and green-hydrogen organisations signed a joint statement. They agreed to work together towards zero-emissions vessels by 2030 and aim to fully decarbonise the shipping sector by 2050 by using green-hydrogen-based fuels.

This is the first public commitment that connects the shipping sector to low-carbon fuel producers.

Climate refugees and loss and damage

Climate diplomacy is failing to act with anything like urgency needed, highlighted the PM of Antigua and Barbuda. Particularly island nations such as Antigua and Barbuda or the Marshall Islands are now exposed to the danger of rising sea levels and are threatened by relocation and become climate refugees.

Wealthy nations have contributed far more to climate change than small islands or developing countries. Therefore, the debate and the negotiations are still on for new funds to pay compensation: the polluters must pay the price. Developing countries argue that vulnerable nations already have many funding options that could be improved.

Gender and climate change

The role of women in dealing with all aspects of climate-related issues is crucial. The majority of the world’s poor are women. The gender perspective still needs to be integrated into processes and actions.

14 November was Gender Day at COP27. UNFCCC has recognised the importance of equality and inclusion for all genders by establishing a dedicated agenda item addressing gender and climate change issues.

The Executive Director of UN Women, Ms Sima Sami Bahous, noted that the world is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 by 2030. Their report brought up meaningful facts, such as the climate crisis negatively impacting women more than men.

‘Women and girls are doubly affected—first by the crisis itself, and further by a set of enduring repercussions that are specific to women’s lives, and that we must tackle as an equal priority.’

Water Day

Water and the effects of the climate crisis came to the centre of discussions on 14 November. The WHO stated that by 2025 half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas, and issues related to water are intrinsically linked to climate change.

The focus on water at the conference seemed to have many success stories around how water systems have been successfully adapted and how to address water scarcity issues in the face of climate change, which brought policymakers, researchers and civil society together.

Boglarka Radi

Boglarka is a Doctoral Student at London South Bank University in Corporate Governance and Business Ethics and an associate member of The Chartered Governance Institute of UK & Ireland.

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