What is COP27? This year’s crucial climate talks, explained

(China Dialogue, 13 Sep 2022) The next round of UN climate change negotiations is fast approaching, this time hosted by Egypt.

In November 2021, the world has changed. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent inflation spiralling. Energy, food and supply chain security have shot to the top of the political agenda.

Though some governments have used the crisis to step up the pace of efforts to decarbonise and improve energy efficiency, some have focused on finding new fossil fuel sources to increase energy security in the short term. Others, such as Poland and some politicians in the UK, are wrongly blaming soaring energy costs on measures to tackle climate change. 

Despite the two country’s declaration of cooperation at COP26 in Glasgow, the China–US Climate Working Group has been suspended, and bilateral meetings on several issues have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the science and impacts of climate change are clearer. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has published new reports on mitigation and adaptation. They warn that without “immediate and deep” emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible to constrain average global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

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China Dialogue, 13 Sep 2022: What is COP27? This year’s crucial climate talks, explained