I like to consider myself an eternal optimist but at this year’s COP27 – UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt – hope was hard to find.
I showed up to Sharm El-Sheikh truly and deeply questioning the value of the multilateral climate process, the relevance of my attendance – whether all this was justified. I’m convinced this unease and tension was felt by many as the hypothetical scenarios we used to discuss are now playing out diastrously across the world.
- What good do these events bring about?
- Are they just about world leaders flying in on their private jets?
- A place for fossil fuel advocates to exert control over governments?
- A place for people to meet their friends on the beach?
- Or maybe a space of transformation – for aligning the global community to send clear signals, build legal frameworks, and develop new partnerships for solutions that will get us out of this crisis?
I sple with Patricia Espinosa – the woman who has been leading UN Climate Change (the UNFCCC) for the past six years to hear her perspectives.
Highlights from the conversation:
- Governments alone can not deliver on this agenda – they have a central role and responsibility to take but real transformation and action will be happening in communities, industries, and beyond.
- The Climate Change COP process has sent a clear signal and established a legal basis upon which action can happen. This international governance framework has offers a basis for which nations can be held to account. You can see this in some of the court cases being brought about by young people and civil society at the national level.
- Civil society stakeholders – youth, academia, Indigenous Peoples – while “observers” to the process play a key role in raising ambition – from the decision on 1.5 degrees in Paris to the push for loss and damage in Sharm.
“Progress does not always move in a straight line but instead it zizags in fits and starts. Progress isn’t guaranteed. It’s not inevitable. It’s something that has to be fought for.”
More to come on my thoughts from #COP27.
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