What is COP27?

Why is COP27 important to John Clark Motor Group?

As an automotive retailer we understand the impact that we have directly as a result of our sales and know that we must act to help tackle climate change. We know that selling electric and hybrid cars and encouraging others to use them is not enough.

We also think it's important to be involved in the discussions to jointly address climate change, and to start from within to make progress. For this reason we've chosen to partner with Net Zero Group to help us progress our own sustainable strategy.

We have taken our first steps towards reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions with the long term goal of being net zero by 2030, 15 years earlier than the Scottish Government's target of 2045.

What is Cop27?

COP27 is the 27th UN Climate Summit and it will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from November 6th to November 18th 2022. The COP title comes from the "Conference of the Parties", the attending countries that have signed the original UN agreement from 1992 (The United Nations Framework Convention). Every year a different government acts as host for the climate summit but this is only the fifth time that it has been held in an African country.

It has served as the base to negotiate climate talks for both the Kyoto Protocol and, most recently, the Paris Agreement which are both international treaties addressing climate change and climate impacts.

All members of the UN agreement are invited to the climate summit with nearly 200 governments expected to be in attendance. Not every country will send a delegation whilst some countries, like China, have still not confirmed their attendance at all.

Aside from government representation COP27 has also invited charities, businesses, youth societies, civil and indigenous societies, academics, artists, and community groups from around the world to express themselves and have their voices heard. In total it is expected that over 40,000 people will be in attendance this year.

Why is COP27 needed?

The drastic increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the activities that we undertake, such as burning fossil fuels, then contributes to global temperature rises. You have definitely heard the talk of climate change increasing in the last few years, with the phrase being updated to climate crisis as global warming increases.

As a result the global average temperature have risen by 1.1C and are racing towards 1.5C, which is the threshold that the Paris Agreement agrees that will avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It's being held in Egypt and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies that Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to the climate crisis.

What will COP27 focus on?

The current Presidency has said that "COP27 will be a moment for countries to fulfil their pledges and commitments towards delivering the objectives of the Paris Agreement to enhance the implementation of the Convention."

COP27 has been referred to as an "African COP" due to its location and the expectation that the continent's exposure to some of the severe impacts of climate change will be heavily focused on throughout the two week summit.

The two week negotiations will begin with a World Leaders Summit on November 7th and 8th before the three main focuses for the summit begin: reducing emissions, helping countries to prepare and deal with climate change, securing technical support and funding for developing countries for these activities.

Each day of the summit has a different theme which will then shape the activities and conversations of the day. These range from climate finance to decarbonization and water to biodiversity and will see a range of events take place each day surrounding this.

Climate finance is expected to be a large talking point as it is unfinished from discussions at COP26 last year in Glasgow. This will cover things such as loss and damage finance which will provide money to help countries recover from the effects of climate change instead of just preparing for it, and the commitment that developed countries made to donate $100 billion a year to help developing countries reduce emissions.

Countries were also asked to submit updated national climate plans after COP26 in Glasgow but disappointingly only 24 out of 193 nations have done so. This is also likely to be a topic of conversation as countries continue to commit to sustainable development and climate resilient development as part of their discussions at COP27.

What's next for John Clark Motor Group?

As previously mentioned we're only just starting our sustainability journey towards our target of being net zero by the end of the decade. This means that we'll be paying attention during COP27 to find out what the experts are telling us to focus on and building on our existing strategy which includes carbon offset projects and carbon mitigation.

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