The 2022 Conference of the Parties will be hosted by Egypt and their Environment Minister, Yasmine Fouad. “Resilience and adaptation” will be at the core of this conference as its African leader will focus on action, equity, and recovery. The conference will take place from November 7th to 18th in 2022.
One discussion could focus on the European Union finalization of their carbon border tax, which places a levy on imported goods that enter the European Union from countries with lower environmental standards. While this method influences industry standard setting, striving to create greener end products for consumers, it will likely leave developing countries behind as there seems to be no consideration for their ability to adjust to cleaner alternatives.
Emerging economies have pointed out that the European Union Carbon Tax will be unfair as it will be “discriminatory and against the principles of equity and [common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities].” This policy is seen damaging developing counties’ economies that are not a part of the European Union. The Egyptian host of COP27 is focused on equity and believes that this conference can be a way for less developed countries to voice their concerns. The most favourable outcome would be an agreement that allows these countries to still conduct trade with the European Union, while mitigating their trade-offs on the environment. This is the result that critics of the carbon tax call for, asking the European Union to support a just transition around the world, no just in their territories.
The next major issue that the Egyptian host wishes to present is biodiversity. Many of the environmental policies for the last decade have focused on mitigating the impact of industry on the environment and slowing climate change. These big picture initiatives have not often taken into account the organisms that make up the environment they are protecting. These talks on biodiversity will mark a movement towards environment conservation and restoration. The countries that have had the most damage to their ecosystems are in desperate need of repair and reconstruction. The United Nations would need to facilitate conversation about potential targets for 2030. While this will be a great first step, the participants will ultimately need to ensure they have strong plans and financing.
The largest initiative for this conference will be turning words into action with a balance of equity. The African COP will give developing countries on the continent more room to speak as they will be the focus of the climate summits leading up to COP27. African leaders hope to engage in negotiations leading up to the COP so that the conference can be focused on actions rather than communication. They also hope that countries will make good progress on the two-year work program on adaptation. The program generally invites updates on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Four workshops are meant to be conducted each year and would also require the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change to inform the work of the committee in June of 2022.
African nations and other developing countries will find the issue of financing to be of importance in this next conference. They wish to receive concrete pledges from rich countries that will help them make the changes these countries are asking of them. Financing will allow developing countries to develop greener economies which will benefit the richer countries as they use the resources the developing countries offer them. This financing will lead to more holistic changes in the international economy that create greener processes but do not leave developing countries behind.
Ultimately, the outcomes of COP27 depends on the work that gets done in the upcoming months of 2022. The countries will have reporting requirements under the Paris Agreement to meet for the first time and will need to come prepared to discuss biodiversity, equity, and recovery.
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Gerretsen, I. (2021, December 11). Egypt to host next climate summit, putting a spotlight on resilience. Retrieved from Climate Home News:https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/11/12/egypt-host-next-climate-summit-putting-spotlight-resilience/
Gore, T. (2021, December 7). EU must use its carbon border tax to support a just transition around the world.Retrieved from Climate Home News:https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/07/12/eu-must-use-carbon-border-tax-support-just-transition-around-world/
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