What we think about COP27
The next international conference on fixing our broken climate, COP27, is upon us in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
(yes, we know that the left hand side is cumulative emissions, and the right hand side annual emissions – if anyone can find or make a graph for annual emissions vs. COPs please let me know!)
The habitability of God’s earth is in serious threat. It may still be possible to prevent the irreversible breakdown of our climate system, saving millions of species and billions of lives, but only if we halve global emissions before 2030. Current national pledges for carbon emissions put us 10% higher. The head of the UN, Antonio Guterres, said on 3 Oct 2022, that current pledges and policies are “shutting the door” on limiting global temperature to 2°C, let alone meet the 1.5°C goal. Mr. Guterres warned, “we are in a life-or-death struggle for our own safety today and our survival tomorrow”.
Paul Bodenham, trustee of Green Christian, said,
“It is crazy that after 26 COPs governments are still not tackling the real problem – fossil fuels. Carbon is not the problem – it’s our use of fossil fuels which emit them. The closest we got last time was to ‘phase down’ unabated coal power – a completely unenforceable formula. COP27 must find the guts to nail the problem. There can be no new fossil fuels, period. There can be no more reliance on fairy-tale technologies to extract their emissions from the atmosphere. The sooner governments give the markets that unequivocal signal, the more rapidly they will help to deliver the Paris Agreement.
There is one powerful way for the UK government to bring the fossil fuel era to an end. The UK is still COP president, and yet currently we exempt fossil fuel majors from our windfall tax if they invest more fossil fuel extraction. That’s utterly perverse. Given the immoral profits they are earning the Prime Minister should announce an end to that exemption at COP.
Sadly we expect that this will be the COP where hopes for limiting warming to 1.5C will slip out of our hands. It will be all the more important then for rich nations and fossil fuel companies to be held liable at COP27 for loss and damage in climate-vulnerable countries. And that needs more than words – it requires firm financial commitments. Meanwhile we’ve got to continue fighting for every fraction of a degree. We need that determination written into the final agreement, with mechanisms to force much more ambitious national commitments at COP28.”
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