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Where is COP 27? By Alexis Celnik, Extinction Rebellion

1 November, 2022
By Alexis Celnik, Extinction Rebellion

Wondering whether to get involved in this year’s mobilisations for COP27 on 12th November? Perhaps you don’t know where COP27 is being held?

Take a look at this quick read by Alex Celnik from Extinction Rebellion to find out more…


Where is COP 27?

A year ago we were witnessing the UK throw its energies into hosting COP 26, an event that was deemed the critical gathering of world leaders and policy makers of our time. It had a singular purpose: to ensure that 1.5 degrees was the maximum we would allow the temperature of the planet to rise by. 

Special Envoy John Kerry kicked things off 100 days prior to COP 26 at Kew Gardens with his World War Zero speech, which was an impressive call to arms for the countries of the world to treat the race to net zero as the emergency it was. His speech referenced the world wars and how the countries involved changed their entire economies with the support of state mandated information campaigns in record speed, in order to ensure public support for these wars that we could not afford to lose. This rhetoric reminded us that we could not afford to lose the current war we are fighting – that of man-made climate change – and that we do have the ability to make the changes needed at the pace required.

The urgency of his speech reflected that of the world’s scientists; in 2018 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) decreed that we had just 12 years to ensure that global temperature rise did not go above 1.5 degrees in order to limit the worst effects of climate change to something that humanity would survive. For every fraction of a degree that temperatures rose above 1.5, millions more would be at risk of flooding, famine, fires, and economic collapse.

His was the speech that the world needed to hear and to act on. However, its impact was bitterly short lived and it was all downhill from there. 

The largest group represented at the conference was the fossil fuel lobby, the essential 1.5 degree limit was abandoned as pledges made by the delegates set us on course for a 2.8 degree rise, and the goal of having an international agreement to phase out coal by 2050 was replaced with phase down coal.

Over the last year since COP 26 we have seen a global drought, world temperatures regularly above 50 degrees, international food scarcity, hundreds of thousands displaced and dead. Within the UK we have seen 37 separate regional record temperatures alongside an unprecedented jump of 1.6 degrees since the previous highest temperature on record. There have been wildfires across Europe including within the M25. The list goes on.

And what has the UK – as the current holder of the COP presidency – done in response to this? Rather than use the current energy crisis to spark massive investment in renewables and insulation that would demonstrate our commitment to net zero and set an example to the world, the government is instead set to award as many as 100 new oil and gas licences for the North Sea and has repealed the ban on fracking. 

There has been virtually no mention in the media or by our politicians of COP 27, taking place in Egypt next month. A year ago you could not move for the advertising tie ins of the international corporations, this year there has been nothing. There has been no mention of the UK’s ambitions, or our work towards net zero. Instead the only media traction around the upcoming conference centred on Liz Truss ‘advising’ King Charles that he should not attend and speak at the conference and now PM Rishi Sunak’s decision to stay at home as he’s too busy.

The climate emergency is an emergency, and these are not the actions of those looking to win World War Zero. Every tool needs to be used. Emergency measures need to be enacted. Scientists are screaming. People are dying. It will only get worse. People need to understand and be brought on board to accept the required changes.

We need action on the climate now. We need to be heard. 

Join the Climate Justice March on the 12th November at a city near you.

Cardiff Swansea Carmarthen Caernarfon

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