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Key milestones to COP27: the year ahead

The COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow is credited with keeping hope alive of limiting global warming to 1.5C and so avoiding the worst damage to climate-vulnerable countries and communities. However, as documented in the CASA blog, it also left significant work left over for the run-up to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, including the expectation that countries would further increase the ambitions of their climate actions – and finance flows from high-income to low and middle-income countries – in 2022.

Here is a snapshot of key moments for climate diplomacy, both within the UNFCCC process and beyond, when we may expect to hear critical messages from the most climate-affected people on their expectations for ambitious climate action:

  • The release of the IPCC’s Working Group II Report on Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation, 28 February 2022. This key report, one of the Sixth Assessment Report cycle, will present the consensus of scientists on the extent of losses and damages already suffered as a result of human-induced climate change, and critical thresholds for planetary health that are being approached as the atmosphere warms. Importantly, the report will also assess which modes of adaptation hold great potential, and what progress could be achieved through shifts in financing and governance. Its messages will prompt serious reflection and much international commentary.
  • LDC5 conference will be rescheduled for the first quarter of 2022, after its postponement due to Covid-19 – and it is expected to incorporate strong climate and environment streams in the context of sustainable economies. The Conference for Least Developed Countries will be hosted by the State of Qatar; follow the website for further updates.
  • Stockholm+50 Conference, 2-3 June 2022.This world conference, 50 years after the seminal Stockholm Conference of 1972, the first UN conference on the Environment, will highlight the interlinked planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and waste.
  • Details of the UNFCCC’s intersessional meetings from 6-16 June 2022 will be important technical meetings for keeping up momentum on commitments from Glasgow’s COP26.
  • United Nations Oceans Summit, in Lisbon, Portugal, 27 June – 1 July 2022. Now rescheduled two years after its original date, this world conference will be important for Small Island States and climate-vulnerable countries with low-lying coastal zones highly exposed and vulnerable to sea level rise, and at risk from climate risks to ocean ecosystems (such as changes to fisheries productivity). The ocean-climate nexus will be one of several key themes.
  • London Climate Week 2022, 25 June – 3 July 2022.  This annual event, which aims to ‘harness the power of London’ for global action for a net zero, climate resilient future, will take a hybrid (virtual/in-person) format this year. This is also the year when London Mayor Sadiq Khan heads up the C40 coalition of mega-cities taking action on climate.
  • G7 Meeting of Heads of State and Government, in Schloss Elmau, Germany 26-28 June 2022. Germany has declared that “strong alliances for a sustainable planet” are top of its priority list for its Presidency of the G7 in 2022. The G7 membership, including the host nation, are no stranger to climate-related losses and damages. Many across the world will be watching to see whether the communique and related announcements shift levels of ambition on climate finance to the most climate-affected countries and communities worldwide, as well as stronger climate mitigation ambition.
  • The New York Climate Week 2022, and UN General Assembly, in September 2022.
  • COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, 7-18 November 2022. Work on the Global Stock Take of action on the Paris Agreement will be on the agenda, as will, specifically, reporting against the Glasgow-Sharm El Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation. Secretary of the UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa, has declared that she expects Parties to the Paris Agreement to have submitted more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions and Long Term Strategies for emissions reduction by the time of COP27.

Reporting by CASA’s Mairi Dupar. Please send your updates and suggestions to: casa@odi.org.uk We will update this article as more information becomes available.

This article has been updated to mention that the UN Secretary General’s intention to convene global heads of state for a stocktake on climate progress will be timetabled for 2023.

Image: healthy ocean, courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service

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