After a year of delay, Egypt will host COP27 in the beginning of November 2022. World leaders will gather in Sharm El-Sheikh to discuss the most pressing environmental issues and seek to build on the outcomes of COP26 to convert promises made there into real actions. This is, once again, a pivotal moment to galvanise climate action. But fluctuating socio-economic and political landscapes, most particularly rising energy costs and a cost of living crisis, will be sure to impact discussions.  Not to mention the environmental cost and pollution resulting from the war in Ukraine, aside from the awful humanitarian cost.

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s presidential vision for COP27 includes aiming to deliver on an ambitious Mitigation Work Program, attaining ‘meaningful progress on the Global Goal of Adaptation, and addressing the loss and damage deficit’. This is underscored by a commitment to base all discussions and work on ‘credible science’. As well as to emphasise and acknowledge the global and intersectional nature of the climate crisis. 

This article will give a brief outline for the major items on the agenda for COP27. 

COP27 Overview

As it stands, we are still a long way off achieving our critical climate goals as a global community. This is why COP27 is so important. 

COP27 will be held in Sharm-El Sheikh, Egypt, between the 6th and 18th November 2022. COP27 will provide an opportunity to continue many of the discussions held at COP26 and materialise action on some of the ambitious promises and pacts made. 

COP26’s major outcomes include The Glasgow Climate Pact which notably committed to the phase down of coal alongside the end to fossil fuel subsidies. At the conference, delegates promised to strengthen their targets on emission cuts at COP27. 

Goals of COP27 

As we said earlier, COP27 will seek to catalyse concrete action on the promises made during COP26. 

In an interview with the Guardian earlier this year, Rania Mashat, Egypt’s minister for international cooperation, emphasised the need to move from ‘pledges to implementation’, framing COP27 as an opportunity to move away from theoretical and ambitious discussion to looking at practical action and roadmaps.  

As the current holder of the COP Presidency, the UK has outlined four goals to turn momentum into action: 

  • Delivering on promises to reduce global heating to 1.5 degrees
  • Solidifying commitments on adaptation and loss and damage for vulnerable countries
  • ‘Getting finance flowing’ 
  • Working together and continuing to be an inclusive Presidency 

These goals closely mirror Egypt’s COP27 website which divides its goals into mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration. 


Mitigation refers to combatting climate change and doing everything possible to reduce global emissions. Attending nations report their progress and future roadmaps to reducing emissions through NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions). One of the results of COP26 was a promise for parties to bolster their NDCs to contain more ambitious plans. However, as it stands, very few countries have actually revised or submitted new NDCs.

Mitigation is also part of a wider theme of ‘loss and damage’. This is about addressing the destruction caused by climate change that is avoidable as long as there is proper mitigation or adaptation frameworks in place.  


COP27 will also look at how attending nations can come together to support poorer countries in adapting to the impacts of global heating. On the COP27 website, Egypt expresses the need to produce a ‘transformative adaptation agenda’ that is rooted in science and responds to the real needs of different countries and communities that are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

Climate Finance 

Climate finance will be a big discussion point at COP27. It is at the heart of several key climate agreements such as the UNFCCC and Paris Agreements, and also central to the Glasgow outcomes. 

Critically, COP26 emphasised the need to galvanise political ambition and commitment to actually deliver on financial commitments. Rania Al-Mashat highlighted that some countries will find it difficult to access critical finance to facilitate their own green transitions. As such, COP27 will look at ways to ‘de-risk’ climate finance and ‘make finance flows a reality’. This will include looking at how to mobilize and create access to important climate finance for developing nations. 

Additionally, in the context of a global economic crisis, there will most likely be discussions about broader financial issues such as ‘tackling debt burdens’, and how to innovate climate finance in order to match the agility and scale needed. 


Collaboration is a more abstract agenda point. But it refers to the need to further cultivate and entrench global cooperation to ensure there is no ‘backsliding on commitments and pledges’ even in the face of adversity. 

COP27 & ESG 

COP27’s outcomes and any agreements made will inherently impact businesses around the world. As climate campaigners ramp up pressure for more ambitious goals and frameworks, global businesses will also need to reconsider the way they operate. Future-proofing your business means responding to changing climate policies and adapting as the economy transitions to a greener model. 

The more discussions take place about the climate emergency, the more the link becomes apparent between the environment and society (local and global) or social aspect and the close link with governance (more particularly, good governance).  Hence the importance of the concept of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) and their close alignment with the UN’s SDG (Social Development Goals) and why these are crucial for humanity to continue in a sustainable way.

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