The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC was established in 1992 as an international environmental treaty to combat dangerous human interference with the climate system.
The Convention gathers 197 Parties to pursue the common objective of stabilizing the greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere to a level that limits harmful climate change impacts. The UNFCCC creates a global framework to combat climate change, not only in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also by adapting to climate change and enabling sustainable development.
What is the COP?
Each year, the Parties of the UNFCCC gather at the Conference of the Parties (COP). The COP, which is each time hosted by a different government, brings together world leaders and decision-makers to address climate change as a global problem and to lay the way for future ambition. This year marks 30 years since the UNFCCC was adopted and the COP will be held for the 27th time in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. Under the slogan, ‘Together for implementation’, COP27 is considered an ‘African COP’ in reference to its location as well as the expectation that discussions will center on African countries’ exposure to some of the most severe impacts of climate change.
Why is COP27 important to Africa?
Despite having contributed minimally to global emissions, African nations continue to bear an unfair share of the burden of climate change. COP27 takes place at a time when the continent is dealing with a number of severe climate-related incidents, including droughts, floods, and tropical storms, putting vulnerable communities at risk and heightening the possibility of food shortages. Central to the discussions at COP27 will be the climate finance owed by developed countries to developing countries, including the mobilisation of finance for adapting to climate change and compensating for the loss and damage of climate-related events.
The importance of the Paris agreement
The Paris Agreement, which was signed in Paris in 2015 under the UNFCCC, is the first legally-binding global treaty on climate change. Under the Agreement, almost all countries in the world have committed to keeping the rise in global average temperature to ‘well below’ 2°C, and ideally 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels. The Agreement also aims to strengthen the world’s ability to adapt to climate change and to align financial flows with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
The Agreement recognizes that these ambitious objectives will require collective changes on a global scale and reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The Paris Agreement has a ‘bottom-up’ approach where countries individually decide by how much they will reduce their national emissions each year.
What is at stake for Mozambique?
Mozambique is one of the world’s least developed countries and is a small historical and current emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. Mozambique is also one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change and has suffered massive losses and damage due to extreme weather events. At the same time, Mozambique’s energy resources offer a historic opportunity to grow its economy and invest in building adaptive capacity and resilience. The key priority at COP27 for Mozambique is therefore to scale up and accelerate the mobilization of climate finance support to advance climate justice and to offer a solution to the global energy crisis.
During COP 27, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi will participate in several meetings and sessions where he will set out Mozambique’s abundant hydro potential and the country’s ambitions to develop its potential to drive Southern Africa decarbonisation.
One of the most anticipated of these sessions is a panel taking place on November 8th at 15:45, promoted by the Presidency of Mozambique, The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and Belgium’s Enabel entitled “Mozambique in the driving seat of Southern Africa energy transition“. The panelists will discuss Mozambique’s Clean Energy Assets as the Engine for Green Industrialization in the Region and the event will be broadcasted online in real-time.