It can’t have escaped your attention that the latest COP is now in full flow. COP27 is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6 to 18 and it follows on from last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, which, despite noble intentions, was considered to have fallen short in a number of key areas.
The agreement made in Glasgow will set the climate change global agenda for the next decade. The ultimate aim is to try to keep temperature rises within 1.5C in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. However, current pledges made at COP26 will only limit global warming to approximately 2.4C. It was therefore agreed that countries will pledge to make further cuts to emissions of CO2 at COP27.
Leading up to this year’s events, climate scientists have been clear that time is running out to make the necessary changes. Reaching the 1.5C target would require a 45% cut in emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 emissions.
With this knowledge on the mind of organisers and delegates, there is increased pressure to deliver meaningful agreements at this year’s event.
What can we expect from this year’s COP?
Due to its location and some of the issues that are being discussed, COP27 is being termed the “African COP”. Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change while at the same time being one of the least involved in the historical accumulation of emissions.
It’s hoped that this year’s COP will bring concrete actions and binding commitments on radically reducing emissions. Another key strand of this year’s COP is the push to ensure that the losses and damages caused by climate change in the global south are properly financed.
Some of the key areas that are being addressed include:
COPs, the UN Reducing carbon emissions is crucial if we’re to stand a chance of tackling climate change. Despite agreements at previous estimates that emissions in 2030 will be higher than in 2010, eliminating the possibility of limiting warming to below 2 ℃. Addressing this will be a key priority of COP27.
Developing world and sustainability
Floods in Pakistan, droughts in Sub-Saharan Africa and rising sea levels in the Pacific are just some of the critical issues developing nations are facing as a consequence of climate change. Big, historical polluters such as the UK and Europe will come under increasing pressure to help developing countries become more resilient and adaptive in the face of climate change by setting up ‘loss and damage’ funds.
Rainforest protection and restoration
A group of nations whose lands have extensive rainforest habitats, led by Brazil, are looking to form an ‘OPEC of rainforests’. Brazil, Indonesia and DRC are home to 52% of the world’s remaining primary tropical forests, which are crucial to avoiding climate catastrophe.
The newly elected Brazilian president Lula da Silva has pledged to work toward 0% rainforest loss in his country. COP27 could see these plans being firmed up, with new investment from leading economies into a billion-dollar rainforest fund.
At the forefront of Birmingham’s push for net zero
The challenges that COP27 presents are close to our hearts here at Woodbourne Group. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the issues we face as a planet, but we can all do things at a local level that cumulatively will make a difference.
Here in Birmingham, Woodbourne Group has been leading the way with the development of the world’s first mixed-use net zero carbon ready development, Curzon Wharf.
“Curzon Wharf isn’t just a development, it’s a manifesto that will position Birmingham as UK’s leading smart and sustainable city, helping to pave the way for the UK’s Green Revolution, says Woodbourne Group’s CEO, Tani Dulay, who recently joined more than 30 leading chief executives working in the built environment calling on the Prime Minister to prioritise net zero and nature restoration, to help build a resilient UK economy.
Issues such as emissions and putting plans in place to address the historical pollution that is adversely affecting poorer nations at the sharp end of climate change should be high on our agenda. As the crucible of the industrial revolution, Birmingham can now lead the way in the green revolution. With our long tradition of innovation and creativity, there’s a golden opportunity for the city to take a leadership role in the UK and beyond.
With community links across the planet, Birmingham can become a global champion when it comes to tackling climate change. But time is running out.
For us, sustainability isn’t just a box-ticking exercise or an exercise in greenwashing. It underpins everything we do.