COP27 in Egypt: Reason for hope or doomed to disappoint?

© Sayed Sheasha, Reuters

Activists have criticised previous UN climate talks calling them slow, complex and ineffective. As countries across the world fail to meet climate commitments to keep global temperatures below a fateful 2 degrees Celsius, can this year’s COP27 in Egypt rise above the failures of the past — or is it destined to disappoint?

For almost 30 years, the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) has been the cause célèbre of international climate talks. This year’s COP27 kicks off on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, under the aegis of the UN. Some 200 countries will take part, along with various companies, NGOs, scientists and journalists.

Although these monumental talks are meant to bring solutions on how to tackle climate change, they are often criticised for bringing a scant number of results to the table. A witness to last year’s COP in Glasgow, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg branded the conferences as “greenwashing [...] not really meant to change the whole system”. The 19-year-old will not be attending COP27.

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