Blog: COP 27 – Egypt to Tame the World’s Fire

26 October 2022
Forest fires

By Sarmad Shahbaz, Commonwealth correspondent from Pakistan

The world is burning with the global temperature crossing the red line of 1.5 degrees Celsius for living beings. With the last eight years being the hottest ever on record, global decision-makers are working out measures to curb the climatic catastrophes of the present and the future.

This time Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt is ready to take action to tame the world’s fire as host of the 27th Conference of Parties on Climate Change – COP27. Also known as United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 12-day event commences in a few weeks, from 7th to 19th November, 2022. So what is expected out of the most high profile global meeting of this year?

The conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP), also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference is an annual meeting where world leaders join hands to work out policy measures, constructive agendas, and collective efforts in battling climate change and various climate-related problems.

This year, Egypt is hosting the climate conference, following the Glasgow COP26 of last year and forerunning the Dubai COP28 next year. The President of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has underlined the importance of the event, stating: “I deeply believe that COP27 is an opportunity to showcase unity against an existential threat we can only overcome through concerted action and effective implementation."

While marking the 30th anniversary of UNFCCC this year, heads of state, politicians, diplomats, civil society officials, activists, thought leaders, and members of the media and the public from the 198 signatory countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are set to join COP 27. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Dr. Sameh Shoukry, has been appointed as COP27 president-designate to lead the climate negotiations.

The primary agenda of COP27 focuses on practical actions that help reduce carbon emissions and address climate change adaptation, aiming at saving lives and livelihoods. Additionally, the emphasis lies upon a just, inclusive, and sustainable green economy. The COP27 also looks forward to better synchronization of work around the Sustainable Development Goals, leaving no one behind, and the implementation of the global Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Similarly, discussions around global financing to the tune of $USD 125 trillion by 2050 for climate action are also expected this November.

Another key issue to be taken into account at this COP is climate injustice. Climate injustice is a phenomenon or term used to describe the situation in which countries that contribute the least to the climate crisis nevertheless pay the highest price. For example, developing countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Columbia, Uruguay, Nigeria, Kenya and Sudan are facing the highest climate catastrophe. Small island states such as Vanuatu, Seychelles and Dominica are at risk of sea level rise and extreme weather events. This makes COP27 a decisive event on the fate of countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Various organisations and groups have highlighted the plight of these countries and the need to build climate resilience. The Commonwealth Secretariat, for example, have advocated strongly for the voice of small states and least developed countries, who have struggled in the face of successive global disasters.

As Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, put it:

“We live in a time of change, challenge and uncertainty. The pandemic cost Commonwealth countries more than $1 trillion in 2020 alone. We have a big job to do to help countries build back – and build back better. Climate change is now at code red for humanity – and the window for action is rapidly closing. We need action and urgency.”

Speaking at a COP27 Global Press Briefing, Amb. Wael Aboulmagd, Special Representative of the COP27 President said:

“We cannot underplay the threat that humanity is facing due to climate change; 4 per cent of global economic output could be lost by 2050 due to climate change and 5 million people die every year because of temperature extremes … which will only get worse as temperatures increase.”

In a nutshell, COP27 is focused on the pragmatic implementation of climate action. Climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. All this makes COP 27 a crucial event that advocates that no time is left to waste.

About the Author: Sarman Shahmaz is a Commonwealth correspondent from Pakistan. He is a freelance journalist and writes on national and international affairs.

Media contact

  • Josephine Latu-Sanft  Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • +44 20 7747 6476  |  E-mail