Expert comments as COP27 draws to a close

Oxford’s experts cover every aspect of the COP27 agenda:  FinanceEnergyNature, Adaptation, Loss and DamageScience & InnovationTransport  

Key COP27 contact list, including academics at the conference here:

Expert comments as COP27 draws to a close

Dr Stephanie Hirmer, who researches climate compatible growth, said:
‘It is hard to miss the emotionally-charged state of those impacted by the consequences of climate change at COP27.  The few protestors that are brave enough to openly voice concerns here – those that do not shy away from the difficult conversations that should happen – actually represent the voices of the many, despite their limited numbers.
‘While everyone knows that the 1.5-degree target is off the table, it is not openly discussed in official sessions. And while successes here are few, at least Loss and Damage has officially been discussed for the first time, with $1 billion pledged by the EU.
‘Additionally, this is the first COP where biodiversity and nature are a fundamental part of the climate discussions—we are finally collectively acknowledging that without the absorptive capacity of nature, climate targets would have been surpassed long ago. This COP was branded as the “implementation COP” following on from COP26 as the “COP of the pledges” – however, nothing has been implemented, and it has thus failed to achieve what it set out to do….What I hope for COP28 is that the difficult questions are more at the forefront of discussion, and not relegated to a few brave and quickly silenced protestors.’
From Egypt – Alycia Leonard, postdoctoral research assistant, energy and power group, said:

‘There is a sense on the ground that this COP could be the beginning of the end of 1.5 degrees….But this COP has also normalised the once radical notion of North-to-South loss and damage reparations. People are beginning to realise the dire warnings put forward by small island states for years will soon come home.

‘The most inspiring voices to me this COP were those of indigenous women, which rang loud and true with the wisdom we need to confront this crisis….It doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. We can and must all win together.’

Dr Linda Speight, a hydro-meteorologist, whose research seeks to develop early warning systems to improve disaster risk management, particularly for flooding, said:

‘As the climate changes and urban populations grow, the number of people around the world at risk of flooding is increasing. We must prepare for tomorrow’s climate today by investing in early warning and disaster management tools that support increased climate resilience.’

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