Why you should care about COP27

November 6, 2022
As you’re reading this, I’m touching down in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the annual United Nations climate change convention (aka COP27).

This is where representatives from nearly every country on Earth will be gathering for the next two weeks to negotiate and make progress on global goals for tackling climate change. Everyone from heads of state to grassroots activists will be there – ministers and lawmakers, other NGOs, foundations, corporate executives, journalists, and more. 

But it’s not just about who’s in the room – those NOT in the room can get involved and help increase pressure on decision-makers in Egypt too. 

That means you! Click here to sign the petition to stop the corporate capture of the process and kick big polluters out of COP.

To be blunt, the stakes right now couldn’t be higher. The latest scientific reports have shown that the world is not at all on track to reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5C. Fossil fuel emissions have already pushed temperatures up 1.1C, leading to catastrophic extreme weather events on every single continent this year. Many of the droughts, floods, and heat-waves have been historic and record-breaking. This next decade is truly a critical window to achieve a system-wide transformation to avoid further warming.

It’s not going to be easy – but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Renewables met all of the world’s growth in demand for electricity during the first half of the year. Projections indicate that global demand for every fossil fuel has reached a peak or plateau. International bodies are all pointing towards the current moment we’re in and calling it a historic turning point.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be on the ground at COP27 with a small team of campaigners from Stand.earth who lead our work to protect forests from Canada to the Amazon, move the fashion industry off of fossil fuels, expose false climate solutions (like biomass), and push for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. We’ll be co-organizing press conferences and panels with Indigenous leaders, meetings with elected officials, petition deliveries, and so much more.

In short, there’s going to be a lot happening, and we’ll be following it. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (and your email inbox!) for timely updates straight from Egypt. 

Here are some other important things to be aware of as you follow the coverage coming out of COP27.

  • This year’s convention is all about implementation and follow through.
    • Previous years focused more on the ‘what’ – and COP27 is more about the ‘how.’
  • COP27 needs to centre climate justice
    • A key focus of the negotiations this year is who’s going to pay to finance the plan agreed to at previous UN conventions and how much they’re willing to cough up (look out for references to “loss and damage,” “adaptation” and “mitigation” to name a few). Climate-driven disasters are already disproportionately harming low and middle income countries, while the wealthier countries (including Canada and the US) are driving the bulk of the problem, so this one’s a really big deal. 
  • Remember it’s taking place in Egypt.
    • There are significant human rights issues, financial and safety barriers that are preventing many people from attending COP27 due to its location, as well as harsh restrictions on public protest that will limit the actions of civil society participants.
  • As always, beware of greenwashing and the fossil fuel lobby.
    • Yup, COP27 is being brought to you by Coca-Cola. The fossil fuel industry is still allowed to sponsor the annual UN climate convention, and oil and gas lobbyists on the ground will be doing everything they can to block climate action and advocate for expanded production.

Whew – that was a lot. But I hope that download helped lay the groundwork for why it’s worth following along and engaging from wherever you are during COP27. 

The work the Stand community is doing – from taking on greenwashing corporate banks like RBC, to protecting old growth forests, to working with local governments to phase out fossil fuels – is making a difference. 

I’ll be carrying that mantra with me as I go into this next two weeks, and as we all do what we can to make our message loud and clear on the world stage.

–Solaye Snider