The UN Climate Change Conference (the official name for climate Conferences of the Parties) has happened every year since 1995. These two-week summits are an important space for world leaders, politicians, experts and a whole host of other people to discuss the climate crisis on a global level.

The annual conferences bring together those that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – an international environmental treaty addressing climate change – 30 years ago.

Nigeria has been an active participant in all the international climate agreements. It became a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, and a signatory to both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

The UN climate change conference, COP27, will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022.

COP27 will bring governments together to accelerate global efforts to confront the climate crisis. It is an important meeting because the latest science shows that climate change is moving a lot faster than we are, pushing ecosystems and communities to their limits.

There is a need to urgently scale up efforts to help people and nature adapt to a warming world and to implement climate solutions – which are already available across all sectors and can more than halve emissions by 2030. This is vital if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avoid the most devastating impacts on people and nature. 

In the year between COP27 and the last UN climate change conference, in November 2021, the world has changed. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent inflation spiraling. Energy, food and supply chain security have shot to the top of the political agenda.

Some issues to be deliberated on during the next COP27 meeting includes:

  • Mitigation work plan: This refers to efforts to cut planet warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. For example, swapping the use of fossil fuels for renewable energy.
  • Climate finance: this refers to funding that should be channeled to poorer nations to help them cut green house gas emissions and adapt to climate change effects that maybe severe and frequent.
  • Adaptation strategies: this refers to how best to adapt to the already apparent effects of climate change on communities.
  • Loss, damage and repair: this has to do with how to restore infrastructure affected by climate change.
  • Preserving biodiversity: humans cannot survive without plant and animals, so there is need to preserve biodiversity.

We are hopeful that, as citizens around the world increasingly demand action on the climate crisis, we can work together to focus on implementation and delivering an immediate response to the climate emergency.

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.

The next few years will be critical for Africa, the host continent of COP27. The time to act is now to secure a resilient and safe future for people and nature. There has been significant effects of climate change in various countries around the world. In 2022, a spate of extreme weather events around the world – from floods to heat waves – also highlighted the extent of the problem.COP27 is expected to provide a roadmap, strategies and guidelines to curb and manage the effects of climate change on countries. It is pertinent for countries to implement guidelines and make use of innovative ways unique to each country’s climate related issues. In order to protect its citizens from the harsh realities of climate change, countries need to take serious and deliberate measures to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Ahmed Farydah