COP27: a Conference of the Parties focusing on international solidarity
COP27 was held in Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022. While COP26 in Glasgow aimed to increase global ambitions in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, COP27 deepened ambitions and implemented action in order to retain the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. COP27, which was held in Africa, was also that of solidarity and cooperation between developed and developing countries.
The conclusions of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that the rising of the average global temperature is accelerating and the signs of warming that have been observed are almost entirely due to human activity. This high-speed global warming increases threats to our international prosperity and security. Rising sea levels, more intense and frequent extreme weather events, falling agricultural yields and the proliferation of pathogens are described by the IPCC as direct consequences of climate change.
The IPCC does however highlight that there is still a short window to limit warming to 1.5°C if States swiftly and significantly reduce their emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.
To speed up global efforts on emissions reduction, France and the European Union have called for a robust mitigation working programme to be drawn up at COP27. France and the EU have committed to reaching climate neutrality in 2050, and presented plans to reduce their emissions that are consistent with this commitment.
In 1992, during the Rio Summit, 154 States, recognizing the existence of climate change resulting from human activity, decided to work together to limit global warming. This gave rise to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (or UNFCCC) and its decision-making body, the Conference of the Parties (or COP).
A COP session brings together the 198 Parties to the Convention each year. Each session is an opportunity to take stock of the application of the Convention, give details on the implementation of decisions and negotiate new commitments with individual or shared objectives. Decisions are adopted by consensus.
The European Union has taken the most tangible, operational and committed measures. The European Council meeting of December 2020 committed to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 55% between now and 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This target should enable climate neutrality to be reached by 2050.
In the first half of 2022, various aspects of the European Green Deal under which these commitments fall, were put in place, in particular the key texts in the legislative package known as “Fit for 55” for the implementation of the European Union’s nationally determined contribution (NDC).
The energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine led to the adoption of the REPowerEU strategy, which aims to strengthen the EU’s energy independence while accelerating its energy transition schedule.
Furthermore, France is active in every area of climate diplomacy and supports multi-stakeholder coalitions (States, local government bodies, civil society, and the private sector), such as the International Solar Alliance, the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, and the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests. The One Planet summits, launched at the initiative of the French President in 2017, have become a forum for the financial commitment of States, local governments, international organizations, businesses, private banks and insurance companies. At COP27, France defended its coalitions of private and public funders, supporting the climate and biodiversity, with the ambition of preserving our only planet.
France is contributing its diplomacy to help countries most exposed to the impact of climate change, especially in Africa. International climate finance is a major subject at COP27. Advanced economies, which are responsible for the majority of past greenhouse gas emissions, have a duty in terms of solidarity with developing countries. Climate finance enables cooperation so that every country may be equipped with the most effective technologies and practices to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. It is in this spirit that France has launched partnerships for a just energy transition with South Africa alongside COP26, and then with Indonesia, Vietnam and Senegal. These partnerships aim to help these countries implement their economies’ decarbonization goals in return for financial and technical support from several countries.
Updated: November 2023