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The UN COP27 Climate Summit

On Nov. 6 to 18 the United Nations met for the 2022 Climate Summit in Egypt. This meeting, also referred to as COP27, addressed the human impact of climate change, steps and procedures for taking action and bettering the environment. COP is a politically generic term meaning “Conference of the Parties.” This term is not only used for the climate summit, but for generally critical global meetings. Though the term is generic, COP has been recognized as the Climate Summit after the signing of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in 1992. This is the 27 global meeting, hence the 27 following COP. Some of the most famous COP agreements are the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Though this may seem like a global issue, only those countries who signed the UNFCCC meet annually to discuss the damages to the climate. The 27 COP meeting has faced some trouble concerning its meeting location. As many meeting places do, there are restrictions as to what can be said or done in regard to COP27. Egypt is a restrictive country, limiting press rights and freedom of expression and belief. Environmental activists are cautious as to what they can and can’t do as this summit continues.

This year over 200 countries will attend the meeting, with hopes to further last year’s COP26 meeting. The meeting will not only include important political figures but; scientists, business owners, researchers, and climate activists who strive to better the environment. 

The main concern of COP27 and many other meetings in the past has been keeping global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius. In 2019, NASA published an article about the dangers of global temperatures rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Researchers states “Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would reduce the number of people frequently exposed to extreme heatwaves by about 420 million, with about 65 million fewer people exposed to exceptional heatwaves.” This year COP27 addressed the ways in which we can make those numbers happen. The specific topics are clean energy enhancements, more severe natural disasters, and more sustainable fixes to modern technologies. 

One of the main aspects of the agreement draft is being brought up as a cause for concern. European and Asian countries push for more fossil fuels and less coal-powered energy. The concern with this comes from environmentalists who say increasing fossil fuels will put us on a path that kicks up climate change and does not decrease our chances of keeping the global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Though there is no final draft of the COP27 agreement yet, the figures discussed this disagreement during the two-week convention. 

COP27 agreements have been discussed and criticized by activists more recently. Protestors argue against developed countries that refuse to cut back on fossil fuels. More developed countries are concerned with helping lesser developed countries overcome environmental disasters, rather than cutting back on fossil fuels. Environmentalists warn that the consequences of this could be drastic.