Climate Change

What happened at COP27? News from the UN climate summit

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a statement at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

'We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator,' said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his opening address. Image: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Tom Crowfoot
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Climate Change

  • This round-up explores articles from the Forum on the COP27 climate talks, which took place from 6-18 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • From funding early warning systems to a treaty ending fossil fuel use, these articles provide key insights into what happened over the past two weeks.

1. COP27: The top quotes from climate and world leaders at the UN summit

Convening in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, world leaders, policy-makers and delegates from nearly 200 countries engaged in key discussions around tackling climate change. So what were some of the top quotes?

Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing. Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
A chart showing global average temperature anomalies from 1850 to 2022.
How global temperatures have risen over the past two centuries. At COP27, world leaders shared their views on climate action. Image: Our World in Data

In the face of impending catastrophe, whose warning signs are already unbearably disastrous, weak action is unwise. No action is dangerous.

William Ruto, President of Kenya

Read more on the top quotes from world leaders at COP27.

2. First Movers Coalition backs deal for low-carbon concrete and cement at COP27

The Forum's First Movers Coalition (FMC) came together at COP27 to provide a progress report, a year on from when it was launched by President Biden at COP26.

Since COP26, the FMC has grown from 25 to 65 members, which includes companies and governments seeking to decarbonize the heavy industry and long-distance transport sectors responsible for 30% of global emissions.

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The FMC's latest announcement at COP27 includes pledging to purchase at least 10% near zero carbon cement and concrete by 2030.

Learn more about the FMC's latest announcement at COP27.

3. COP27: $3.1 billion plan to achieve early warning systems for all by 2027

UN Secretary-General António Guterres unveiled his plans to ensure everyone on the planet is protected by early warning systems within the next five years. "Vulnerable communities in climate hotspots are being blindsided by cascading climate disasters without any means of prior alert," he explained.

To combat this, Guterres unveiled a plan which calls for new targeted investments of $3.1 billion between 2023 and 2027 to provide early warning systems for everyone on the planet.

Discover more about the UN Secretary-General's plan.

4. Sinking nation Tuvalu calls for treaty ending fossil fuel use at COP27

“We all know that the leading cause of climate crisis is fossil fuels,” said Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano in an address to world leaders. “Tuvalu has joined Vanuatu and other nations in calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to steer our development model to pursue renewables and a just transition away from fossil fuels.”

Such a treaty would include ending the expansion of oil, gas and coal, and financing a just transition to renewable energy.

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Both of these Pacific Island nations are extremely vulnerable to sea level rise caused by climate change, despite such nations contributing little to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Find out more about the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

5. Here's how African leaders can close the climate finance gap

COP27 was dubbed the African COP, as it provided a platform for African nations to discuss a climate finance package to bridge this gap and advance the African Union’s Climate Strategy.

For Africa, a just energy transition requires industrialized countries to honour their pledge of $100 billion annual climate finance, yet African leaders must also explore alternative financing solutions, given the scale of the challenge, say experts.

A graphic depicting climate finance flows in Africa across 2019 and 2020.
COP27 provided a platform for African nations to discuss a climate finance package to bridge the gap. Image: Climate Policy Initiative

At COP27, James Mnyupe, Presidential Economic Advisor for the Government of the Republic of Namibia helped launch SDG Namibia One, a fund that aims to develop Namibia’s green hydrogen economy by streamlining access to public, private and philanthropic capital.

Explore how else African leaders can close the climate finance gap.

6. Just catching up on COP27? Here's what you need to know

COP is an annual conference that provides a chance for countries to act together to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations.

At COP27, nature protection and food security were 2 out of the 5 key areas for action. Find out why COP27 matters and what the key areas for action were.

COP27 was described as a "make it or break it" opportunity to turn ambitions into actions, according to Senja Kuokkanen, Climate & Circular Economy Team Sustainability Manager for Finnish oil company Neste. Learn more about why this summit was so important.

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How is the World Economic Forum fighting the climate crisis?

High on the agenda at COP27 was climate change adaptation, which refers to adjusting our behaviour and building improved infrastructure to better cope with changing weather patterns. In 2021, extreme weather events cost the global economy an estimated $329 billion. Read more about why adaptation was a hot topic at COP27.

Another important topic at COP27 was 'loss and damage', or 'climate reparations'. Developing countries are at the frontlines of the climate crisis, facing the loss of life and serious economic damages despite their historically low greenhouse gas emissions. Explore why 'loss and damage was a key focus at COP27.

Leading climate scientist Johan Rockström shared his 3 urgent actions ahead of COP27. From shifting pledges to real-world action to putting more money on the table, find out more about Rockström's priorities for COP27.

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World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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