Why we all need COP 27 to be successful.

‘Every Government, every business, every investor, every institution must step up with concrete climate actions for net zero.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

The 2022 Emissions Gap Report by the UN [1] makes sobering reading.  Based on current plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions we are currently on track to see global temperatures increase by 2.8oC.  However, the Paris Accord requires a temperature rise of no more than 1.5oC. 

For us to meet the Paris Accord figure, we need to cut planned carbon emissions by another 45% before 2030.  Even if we attempted to restrict the rise in temperature to 2%, we would still need to cut planned carbon emissions by an additional 30% by 2030 [1].  You can see there is a lot of work to be done.

The solutions we have adopted to date are no longer enough to prevent global warming that will lead to extreme weather events.  We need a total transformation in everything we do, from the way we supply electricity, to our buildings and food systems.  Industry and all forms of transport need to change. 

We need to remove as much greenhouse gas production as possible from everything we do. The UN Secretary-General is right in saying ‘Every Government, every business, every investor, every institution must step up with concrete climate actions for net zero.’

COP 27 is taking place between the 6-18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt.  It has the strapline ‘Together for Implementation’.  This highlights how vitally important it is for the world to come together to implement the changes required to combat global warming.  All of us have an interest in this conference succeeding and in real change happening

The emissions gap report1 is quite clear on the policies that individual countries should adopt. These are:

Electricity Supply

·         Remove fossil fuel subsidies in a socially acceptable manner

·         Remove barriers to the expansion of renewable energy generation

·         Stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure


·         Support zero carbon industrial processes

·         Promote circular material flow

·         Promote low carbon products

·         Plan for a just transformation


·         Set a date to switch to zero emission vehicles

·         Regulate and incentivise zero carbon fuels for aviation

·         Invest in zero-emission transport infrastructure


·         Regulate toward zero carbon building stock

·         Provide financial incentives to build zero carbon buildings

Here in the UK, the requirement to achieve net zero by 2050 has been put into law.  However, we have a long way to go to achieve everything we need to do before 2030.  We are way off having the required policies, shown in the above list.

If we as a G7 nation are unable to implement the policies required, why would developing countries want to take steps to reduce global warming?  Shouldn’t we be leading the way?

Let us all hope that debate between world leaders, including our own PM who has now decided to attend COP27, leads to a real change in attitude.

All of us require COP 27 to do what it says on the tin and for the world to work ‘together for implementation.’  This is why we need COP 27 to be successful. 

For those of us working in the sustainability sector it means continuing to explain the importance of our work.  It also means bringing people on board and ensuring people have the necessary skills to enable us to achieve a just transition to net zero.

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Paul Beers

November 2022


  1. United Nations Environment Programme (2022) Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window -Climate Crisis Calls for Rapid Transformation of Societies. Nairobi. Available at: htps://www.unep.org/emissions-gap-report-2022t Accessed on 2/11/2022


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