I’m one of the Community volunteers so I’m not employed by E.ON Next, and don’t have any superpowers, but I am part of the wonderful Community and like nothing more than to give whatever advice I can to whoever needs my help. I’m also fond of a good natter and really enjoy anything technical, a funny joke, or a good discussion on the state of the world and the issues of the day.
The biggest issues for me, and indeed many of us, are energy efficiency, sustainability and climate change.
So like me, you may have seen or heard a lot in the media in the last couple of weeks about COP27.
What is COP27?
This year is the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Even the initials UNFCCC are a bit of a mouthful.
The burning of fossil fuels and other man-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing measurable effects on global temperatures. This was initially referred to as global warming but as the science advanced, the effects became better understood. Weather patterns are noticeably changing. Droughts in one part of the world are becoming more severe while floods in another become more frequent. Hurricanes and tornados are getting stronger, upper atmosphere air movements more erratic and eventually all these worrying symptoms have been collected into one term we hear about almost every day - Climate Change.
The UN decided it was time to address matters and so began the annual get-together formally known as (takes a deep breath…) Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
You’ll be pleased to know that it’s usually shortened to ‘Conference of the Parties’, or COP. This year was the twenty seventh conference, hence COP27.
From the very first COP to this year’s event, you may have heard of several key ‘milestones’ along the way. The Kyoto Protocol (COP 3, 1997) was designed to cut emissions of greenhouse gasses which is possibly the biggest topic we all know about. The Paris Agreement (COP 21, 2015) is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
COP26 in Glasgow last year was an attempt to get all the Parties to make hard and fast commitments as to how this was to be achieved and in what timescale and to produce an agreement which all parties could sign off on. The outcome, the Glasgow Climate Pact was possibly less than was hoped for, but in many ways better than could have been expected. Attempts were also made to get the richer nations, or G20 countries, to commit to putting up the ‘big bucks’ to help smaller nations in the developing world to transition faster to greener energy and lower carbon economies. and at the same time put funding into place to help mitigate the effects of damage that has already been caused. We are talking serious money. Money with a lot of zeros. US $100 BILLION a year, every year, ongoing.
And so to COP 27, a year on from Glasgow. What, so far, are the takeaways from this years Conference?
In my opinion, not great. It can be argued that geopolitics, the war in Ukraine, the post pandemic recovery, the energy crisis and other factors have all made it harder to ‘keep an eye on the ball’, but you only need to look at the headlines over the last year to see that the ball has been kicked right off the pitch. If the UN Secretary General’s speech is anything to go by, the ball has been nearly kicked out of the stadium.
Projections of greenhouse gas emissions are rising, not falling. By the end of this century, we’ll be lucky if we keep temperature rises much below 2.4°C at best and possibly even closer to 4°C. That’s not just scary, but catastrophic. Has the money for mitigation and change been forthcoming? Sadly not. As well as the costs of these measures (a hundred billion US dollars, remember?) there is now discussion about costs of reparations added on the top. Flood damage in Pakistan recently which has affected almost a third of the country is going to cost upwards of $30 billion to repair. The costs of wildfire damage in Europe this summer. Even impacts of the heatwaves in the UK.
It all has a cost and unless we (and that means the whole world) invest in speeding up moving to net zero and get a grip on the state of our planet, in the words of Antonio Guterres, "we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator."
Last edited by Beki_EONNext; 13-12-22 at 11:47.
Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.