Will COP27 reinvigorate the drive to net zero?

COP27 will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt between the 6th and 18th of November 2022.

While the reactions to last year’s COP26’s success have been mixed, it is acknowledged that businesses are driving some much-needed actions. But more needs to be done.  

Prior to the 2015 Paris Agreement, the international treaty on climate change mitigation, experts predicted that temperatures may climb by up to 6 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial average. The Paris Agreement commitments put the world on course for a 2.7-3.7°C increase. 

COP26 or the Glasgow Climate Pact pledges made in 2021 would further reduce global warming to below 2°C. However, the implementation of the COP26 pact has been varied across countries. Optimism for the further uptake of COP26 pledges – and additional commitments- will shape the upcoming COP27 conference.

The COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact (‘the Pact’)

The Pact; while not legally binding; included the following:

  • Climate Emergency – Countries agreed that the effects of climate change will be significantly less severe if temperatures rise by 1.5°C rather than 2°C.
  • Taking Action – The Pact calls on all nations to produce more ambitious national action plans in 2023, rather than in 2025, as was originally planned.
  • Fossil Fuel – Countries eventually agreed to a measure asking for a phase-down of coal power and a phase-out of “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies in what was possibly the most contentious decision during COP26[1].
  • Climate Finance – The Pact reaffirmed the developed nations pledge to fully and urgently deliver on the US$100 billion support goal for developing countries. The Pact also asks for doubling the amount of money available to developing nations to help them adapt to the effects of climate change and build resilience.
  • Paris Rulebook – Countries agreed on the implementations of the Paris Agreement’s operational details; known as the Paris Rulebook.
  • Loss & Damage – Countries agreed to strengthen the Santiago Network; which provides vulnerable countries with technical support, expertise, and resources to manage climate threats.

Other announcements included:

  • Forests – 137 nations made a historic commitment to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
  • Methane – The Global Methane Pledge, signed by 103 nations, including 15 major polluters, intends to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels.
  • Cars – Over 30 countries, six major vehicle manufacturers, and others, such as cities, have stated their intention to make all new car and van sales zero-emission vehicles by 2040 globally and 2035 in leading markets.
  • Coal – Support to South Africa, the world’s most carbon-intensive energy producer, was announced to help the country achieve a fair transition away from coal and toward a low-carbon economy.
  • Private Finance – Private financial organisations and central banks revealed plans to reallocate trillions of dollars toward the goal of worldwide net zero emissions.
COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh

A lot has changed since the end of COP26 in Glasgow; economies are currently suffering globally, inflation and borrowing cost are high, energy prices have skyrocketed, and many countries are going through a cost-of-living crisis. Global factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other geopolitical events are influential in the reduced international and national focus on climate change. With the economic crisis, the temptation to place sustainability and the goal to reach net zero on the back burner will be high. Some countries are already abandoning or at least pausing their net zero transitions plans. Tackling climate change and establishing a green economy is however essential for building a resilient and sustainable future; and the hope that COP27 will reinvigorate the drive for net zero and hold countries accountable to their commitments and pledges is therefore high.

The COP27’s goals and vision have been set around the following four pillars:

  • Mitigation – to keep global warming to well below 2°C and keep the 1.5°C objective alive; COP27 will be the opportunity for countries to fulfil their pledges and commitments specified in the Paris Agreement, implement the Glasgow Pact, and develop a programme for ambition on mitigation.
  • Adaptation – recognising that extreme weather phenomena such as heatwaves, floods, and forest fires have become a daily occurrence in our life; COP27 will place climate adaptation at the forefront of the global action by setting an agenda for actions to confirm what was agreed upon in Paris and further reinforced in Glasgow.
  • Finance – recognising the need for increased transparency of financial flows and easier access to satisfy the requirements of developing countries; COP27 will follow up on the commitments made during previous COPs and track progress on the delivery of the annual $100 billion pledge from developed countries.
  • Collaboration – it is clear that the COP’s negotiations are built on consensus, and attaining an agreement will necessitate the inclusion and active engagement of all parties. “Governments, the private sector, and civil society must all work together to change the way we interact with our planet”. COP27 aims to turn the COP26 outcomes into action; and this will start by the implementation of the Glasgow Pact.

ITPEnergised understands the difficulties that individuals, businesses, and governments encounter. Our dedicated team of consultants and engineers act as trusted advisors and deliver solutions, expertise and support to our clients and partners to guide them on the path to sustainability and net zero.

Following COP27, we will reflect on its successes or shortcomings, and we hope you’ll join us in the discussion.

[1] Many nations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) voiced disappointment that the wording on coal was drastically softened (from phase-out to phase-down) and hence was not as ambitious as it could have been.


United Nations Climate Change Conference UK 2021, COP 26 The Glasgow Climate Pact

United Nations – COP26: Together for our planet

COP27 Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt 2022