Climate Countdown: What you need to know ahead of COP27

Protest poster with a painted image of earth, overlaid with text that states, "One Earth".
Climate change protest banner. Photo credit: Markus Spiske (Unsplash)

Ahead of the biggest climate conference of the year, Voice of London rounds up the top climate change news that you need to know this week.

  • Rishi Sunak announced on 2 November via Twitter that he would be attending the COP27 conference in a U-turn to his previous decision to not attend. Former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said that he too would be attending the conference. 
  • King Charles III hosted a pre-COP27 reception at Buckingham Palace on 4 November 2022. More than 200 guests were in attendance including the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and COP President Alok Sharma.
  • Prince William announced the finalists of the £1m Earthshot Prize. The prize is awarded to climate innovators that come up with effective ideas to tackle climate change. The winner is set to be announced on 2 December.
  • Just Stop Oil announced that they have paused current “civil resistance” but warned that it will be ramping up protest action if the British Government fails to respond to their demands by the end of 4 November 2022.
  • Greta Thunberg has boycotted COP27 due to her stance on Egypt’s treatment of imprisoned activists, and her opinion that the conference will be an opportunity for political “greenwashing, lying and cheating”.
  • 40 countries are set to unveil how they plan to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of this decade at COP27. Their plans will form part of the U.S. and EU-led Global Methane Pledge, which was launched at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year. 
  • Only 24 out of 193 countries attending COP27 have submitted their climate plans to the UN ahead of the start of the summit on Sunday 6 November.
  • The British Government was criticised this week for not paying a promised sum of £260m in “climate finance payments” to help developing countries fight the effects of climate change.
  • Climate change activists have been taking to Instagram to protest #StopRosebank. The UK Government is set to approve drilling in what would be the largest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea – Rosebank.
  • A UNESCO report has been published with findings that glaciers across the globe will have melted by 2050. Unless drastic actions are taken to cut down emissions, there is only a small chance that they will not melt.
  • Flash flooding hit London this week, causing train cancellations and road blockages due to heavy downpours. Meanwhile, high-speed winds caused two large decorative Christmas baubles to fly down Tottenham Court Road. Extinction Rebellion raised the question on Twitter as to whether these “freak weather” events were linked to climate change. 

Check Voice of London for updates on the COP27 summit in Egypt from next week.

Words: Nadya Salie | Subbing: Yana Trup

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