COP27, back in 2022 to bring new changes

United Nations Conference of Parties project works towards lowering carbon emissions.


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Country flags lined up by the conference hall.

   Conference of Parties (COP) 27 (the number of years the conference has occurred) is a group of 197 countries that are a part of the United Nations Framework Convention. Established in 1992, the primary goal is stabilizing levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gasses, like methane and carbon dioxide absorb and radiate thermal energy, increasing the temperature of the earth. Participating countries’ representatives meet every year to discuss how to combat climate change and this being the 27th year, the conference is called COP27.

   “COP 27 has a very big potential to be very good,” junior Michelle Arevalo said. “Considering that the U.S. is hoping to reduce carbon emissions by 50-52%, I have hopes that it’s going to help a lot. Especially since the U.S. is currently the second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide.”

   This year, the conference is being held from Nov. 6 to Nov. 18, in Egypt, making this the first time the conference has been held in Africa since 2016. African nations face some of the worst impacts of climate change and the conference being held in Egypt raises hopes of it being ‘African COP’, focusing on how to reduce impacts in Africa. As for how it impacted the U.S., the Kyoto protocol and Paris agreement (two treaties that lower emission of carbon dioxide) have been some impactful steps that were taken.

   “The United States will be able to cut down carbon emissions and it’ll be able to make a really big impact,” Arevalo said.

   One of the main and most impactful steps taken in the direction of moving towards limiting carbon emissions was the Paris agreement. The Senate and President George W. Bush opposed the Paris agreement and so it was not signed at first. Later in 2015, it was signed into order under President Barack Obama’s administration. Later, under President Donald J. Trump, it was withdrawn, and again signed into order under President Joe Biden’s administration. As of Nov. 14, the upcoming event is a discussion with ministers on a $100 billion climate finance goal. More updates throughout the conference can be followed on their official website.

   AP Environmental Science teacher Heather Ferguson hopes to see regulations on coal production. According to her, it is important that countries follow the pledges, since climate change is a serious issue in the world today.

   “Climate change is rapidly changing our natural world in a way that we might not be able to reverse and is happening at such a rapid rate because of anthropogenic reasons,” Ferguson said.

   In recent years, many people have been realizing the effects of climate change on the Earth, prompting the emergence of activists, one such being Greta Thunberg. She believes in climate change being an actual problem and takes steps to promote awareness and push for change.

   “She is a very big activist on climate change,” Arevalo said. “She does ‘School Strike for climate’ and basically she takes every Friday off of school because she believes that there really isn’t a point in going to school if there isn’t a future, considering the climate’s getting so bad.”

   While activists spread awareness, there are a lot of ways the general public can contribute towards reducing climate change.

   “It would really help if people started recycling more and overall just adding to the idea that climate change is very real and that we can all do something to help, no matter how small it is,” Arevalo said. “Just do what you can and that every little thing that you do matters. Carpooling with someone in order to reduce the gas that you’re outputting into the environment or recycling or trying to use reusables [are some ways to contribute].”