Summary of COP27 climate talks

The 27th Conference of Parties that took place in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, finished on 20 November. The second most attended event held high-level talks and press conferences and hosted over 35,000 participants.

the aspects of esg

Even though the timing of the conference was a little unfortunate – the first week coincided with the US midterms elections and the second with the G20 Summit in Bali, in addition to negotiations extending into the weekend that also saw the start of the World Cup in Qatar – the summit still had key takeaways and delivered some success:

Climate change is negatively impacting and threatening human rights, physical and mental health, cultural and educational rights and it could impact our future. With that in mind, the United Nations highlighted the urgent need to respect human rights in climate-related actions.

Global warming has been caused by developing and industrial countries. For many years, developed nations have made it clear that they would not want to be forced to pay compensation to developing countries for their emissions and climate damaging activities. At this year’s conference the Parties finally agreed that dedicated funds should be established before COP28 to provide financial support for loss and damage to countries that are suffering from the consequences of climate change. Details are still to be decided including how much money should be committed and who will provide it. ‘We do it because we think it’s the right thing to do,’ stated EU negotiator Jacob Werksman.

The current energy crisis, sparked by the war in Ukraine, brought up discussions around the global energy market and how some European countries were forced to fall back on coal. Hopefully this will be temporary as leaders were insisting these measures were only a short-term fix. European countries are rushing for natural gas. Germany has signed a deal with Egypt regarding green hydrogen and liquified natural gas export; other governments were also looking into similar projects. We will not be able to decarbonise our global economy without greening our industries.

Seven years ago, the Paris Agreement created a commitment to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C. At last year’s conference, COP26, the Parties agreed to keep that commitment alive as well as naming coal as a problem and agreeing to reduce its use. This year’s conference holds to that agreement but unfortunately does not go beyond it. Many countries have been critical about the lack of ambition on the 1.5C target.

Last year’s conference also outlined a framework for a carbon trading scheme. At this year’s conference, the Parties filled in some of the details and applied different rules depending on who buys the credits and for what purpose. While the buyer would not be advised to offset their emissions, there was reportedly nothing to stop them doing so, which could open the door for double claiming and could fuel greenwashing activities. Development on this agenda item could be seen at COP28.

Next year’s conference will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates and will take place in Dubai in the first two weeks of December. It will be interesting to see the development of the already existing ambitious goals.

Boglarka Radi, 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.

Subsidiary Governance Summit, 20 Feb 2024 Download this year's course catalogue Defining governance: An exploration of practitioners’ role and value Engage Governance podcast series FTSE 350 Boardroom Bellwether survey Join our upcoming training for governance professionals

Search CGI