Is COP27 Important?

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Participants during Coffee Bar Tuesday. Photo: Philip Papa

With the COP27 conference happening from 6 November to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and hitting our newsroom every day, how many people from the community are aware of it and its importance to common mwananchi. Our #CoffeeBarDiscussion hosted Kevin Odongo who is an environmentalist and founder of Green Ambassadors who is also meant to be at the COP27 conference in Egypt.

COP27 which stands for Conference Of The Parties is the largest annual gathering on climate action that’s usually attended by heads of state, ministers, climate activists, civil society organizations and private sector. Kevin explained that the conference builds on some of the commitments made at the COP26 and brings new ones in order to deliver actions on climate. The first COP meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in March, 1995 and this year Egypt is hosting the 27th conference since its inception.

Participants got to understand how the COP27 came into realization with so many questions such as why do they always meet with no outcomes? Why do they meet knowing together that the biggest gas emissions state heads are not there? Why do they always make commitments and policies that are not met or implemented? How is it of use to us if common mwananchi is represented by the same leaders flying to Egypt through planes?

Kevin Odongo shared that the commitments made there will not only help us as a country and also have mitigation and adaptation mechanisms for the future. In light of the current extreme heat, a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) which is a process that seeks to identify medium- and long-term adaptation needs has detailed approaches that we can adapt to reduce vulnerability, build resilience and adaptability, as well as incorporate climate adaptation into national policies and planning. Kenya already has its first plan on adaptation, and will help the government in mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation.  

“Ukiangalia had ice cubes siku hizi zinamelt haraka than before.” Participant said

Also, he emphasized that approximately half of the world’s population is ‘highly vulnerable’ to the effects of climate change, including floods, droughts, tsunamis, and storms, and that is the reason why as a community the COP27 is of so much importance to us. This year’s COP will focus more on mitigation, adaptation, collaboration and make a delivery of $100 billion per year to assist developing countries.

Kevin Odongo during Coffee Bar Session. Photo: Philip Papa

With all our leaders representing us in Egypt, it’s important for us to follow up on what’s happening since the outcome of these conferences will determine the next phase of this world. If there is any financial commitment, we should be able to understand and get a share of it.

The term Loss and Damage is not well known by most people, but here he explains it simply as the negative effects of climate change on society and the environment. There have been campaigns on #Pay4LossAndDamage where developing countries claim that developed countries have historical responsibility for climate change. They are calling for compensation from developed countries to help them address loss and damage that have already occurred and to minimize future loss and damage.

“As we push for climate mitigation and adaptation, there’s need to have more awareness and simplify and localize information” Kevin Odongo said

With the discussion touching more on what COP27 is focusing on, we also touched on what we as individuals can do in order to reduce the emissions that are contributed by human activities. Through the discussions, it was clear that we all have a role to play in making sure we save the planet. Some of the ways in which we can reduce emissions include ending the usage of fossils, powering your home with renewable energies, plant more trees, recycling, fly less or when need be, stop plastic pollution and drive cars that are climate friendly among others. 

As Mukuru Youth Initiative, we believe in the power of having knowledge. It’s only through knowledge, that you are able to know what, how, where, when, why you need to do something. We continue to create spaces where information is shared for the betterment of individuals and communities. See you on Tuesday!

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