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COP27 - Time for Impact

We all know the climate crisis is urgent – but while progress is accelerating, we need more certainty and ambition to enable governments, businesses and society as a whole to have a true climate impact.

Dramatically increasing the speed and scale of climate action today is the only way to avoid the irreversible effects of climate change tomorrow.

COP27 is a pivotal moment on this journey, and government leaders from all corners of the globe must now come together and agree on how to implement the Paris climate agreement in very practical terms. This is critical in order to step up the pace of decarbonising all sectors of the global economy and to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5C – the figure climate scientists define as the threshold of safety.


Program of Events

South Pole at COP27

6th - 18th November 2022, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

South Pole's experts will be speaking at events on Nature-based Solutions, Article 6 and Technological Innovations.

Your cheat sheet: everything you need to know about the COP27 in Egypt


We envision a future in which society has the confidence, ambition and ability to address climate change at the scale that is required.

Read on to find out what our team will be doing on the ground in Sharm el-Sheikh for COP27 and for our experts' views on the most pressing issues leading the discussions.

Image:by Tim Hammond/No 10 Downing Street

What is COP?

Countries coming together to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.

Why is COP important?

COP27 will be a critical test for how world leaders can respond to the increasing urgency of climate change.

What happened at COP26?

Before we jump into COP27, let’s recap on what happened at COP26 in Glasgow:

Decoding Art. 6

Article 6 defines the rules of engagement in international compliance carbon markets under the Paris Agreement.

COP27 - What to expect

The focus of COP27 will be on implementation, which requires national action.

Read more


Article 6 & carbon markets


Climate innovation & technological carbon removals

Image credit: Carbon Engineering (CE)


Nature-based solutions & adaptation

Why is Article 6 so important?

In this video, Mireia Vilaplana (Senior Director, Climate Policy, Finance and Carbon Markets) explains why Article 6 is one of the key topics at the COP26 talks and how the private sector can get involved in the Paris Agreement.


Carbon credits explained

Financing projects that avoid or remove emissions, protect nature and support sustainable development is a powerful tool in any organisation's sustainability tool box. This is where carbon credits come in.


Simplifying and amplifying best practice in using carbon credits for climate action

South Pole has developed simple principles that explain the benefits of using carbon credits, based on existing best practice and recommendations by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMi), among many others, turning technical guidance into accessible language, with easily understandable talking points.


Race to the top: a mid-year update on the voluntary carbon market for sustainability leaders

Download our mid-year market update to build your expertise and unlock the opportunities the VCM offers for those looking to support high-impact climate action and sustainable development around the world.


How can we attract commercial investment for critical nature-based solutions?

Nature-based solutions can be a cost-effective approach to drive down global emissions, helping us build resilience to the effects of a changing climate, & improving human wellbeing.


Are companies ready for a changing climate? Here’s why they should be paying attention to climate adaptation and biodiversity

Are companies in the food sector and beyond ready for how increasing heat waves, longer hot seasons, and shorter cold seasons will affect their supply chains and the raw materials they rely on?


Mobilising climate finance in Africa is crucial to creating real climate progress

What role can climate finance play in advancing climate adaptation in Africa? This was the central question at the recent UNFCCC Africa Climate Week 2022, held in Libreville, Gabon.

Talk to South Pole today

Talk to South Pole today
Talk to South Pole today

Do you have questions on climate policy and/or how that will affect your business?

Do you have questions on climate policy and/or how that will affect your business?
Talk to us about getting started on your Climate Journey.

What is COP?

COP stands for the Conference of the Parties.

A mysterious title which gives its name to the annual summit during which all countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994 come together to review or update the implementation of any legal instruments, pledges, or market mechanisms necessary to keep warming below 1.5 °C.

The first legally-binding global treaty on climate change, the Paris Agreement, was agreed at COP21 in Paris in 2015. Since 2015, under the Paris Agreement, almost all countries in the world have committed to reigning in global average temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and strengthen everyone's ability to adapt and build resilience to the growing effects of climate change.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a key feature of the Paris agreement and will be an important subject for discussion at COP27. NDCs are a type of pledge: they represent the climate actions that countries will take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C. As current pledges are insufficient, more ambitious pledges – accompanied by actual policies and actions to drive measurable impact – are urgently needed.

In order to achieve (or exceed!) these national climate commitments, countries can voluntarily cooperate with each other using the mechanisms defined under Article 6 of the Paris agreement (see below to understand what this means). Discussing how this should work will form another key point of discussion in Sharm el-Sheikh.


Why is COP important?

COP27 will be a critical test for how world leaders can respond to the increasing urgency of climate change.

According to the world's leading scientific authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global community is still woefully off track when it comes to curbing climate change. The IPCC has stated that for us to have a fighting chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, global emissions must halve by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. This gives us less than a decade to complete a fundamental systems change at a pace and scale never seen before.

The IPCC has also made it very clear that we are now in very dangerous territory, and even the smallest delay will move us closer to irreversible planetary tipping points.

COP27 is a unique opportunity for leaders, observers, and local communities to come together, and make decisions on how to deal with this challenge that is affecting all of humanity. This is why countries have been called to revise their national climate commitments ahead of the conference, and make them as ambitious as possible.


Before we jump into COP27, let's recap on what happened at COP26 in Glasgow:

1) The Glasgow Climate Pact was hammered out by government negotiators

  • World leaders agreed to phase-out subsidies that artificially lower the price of coal, oil, or natural gas. While this was encouraging, no firm dates have been set for when this will happen.
  • Current country climate commitments risk overshooting the 1.5C warming target set by the Paris Agreement, so the Glasgow Pact demanded that countries re-visit their NDCs and align them with the 1.5-degree target ahead of COP27.
  • Developed countries pledged to significantly increase money to help emerging economies manage the effects of climate change and make the switch to clean energy. This will be achieved by means of a multi-million dollar fund by 2025 in view of a previous pledge for richer countries to provide USD 100 billion per year by 2020 was missed.
  • Despite progress towards mitigating climate change, there was little headway made on climate adaptation, and none on so-called “loss and damage" finance – which helps vulnerable countries cope with the impacts of climate change where there is no possibility for adaptation, and where losses are permanent, for example, due to sea-level rise.

2) The private sector made a lengthy list of pledges

This included commitments to curb methane emissions; halt and reverse deforestation; align the financial sector with net zero by 2050, and end international financing for fossil fuels, to name just a few. More on private sector pledges here.

3) The “rulebook" for the 2015 Paris Agreement was finalised

Article 6 is designed to enable the rapid implementation of international carbon markets to help countries achieve their NDCs and increase climate ambition. Article 6 covers government-to-government and government-to-private sector markets, and is a central pillar in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

To dive deeper into the outcomes of COP26, you can listen to our webinar here.


What is Article 6?

Article 6 defines the rules of engagement in international compliance carbon markets under the Paris Agreement.

It recognises that countries can – and should – cooperate to meet their national climate targets. As some countries emit more than others, while other countries emit less, the purpose of Article 6 is to create an international carbon market where countries that can achieve emission reductions at a lower cost, can then sell these “mitigation outcomes" to the countries that face much higher costs to reduce their emissions. Here are some examples of Article 6 pilot projects in action.

Another factor that makes Article 6 uniquely important is that it tries to harness the power of the private sector in order to create the total transformation needed to lower global emissions. The billions of investible public and private sector dollars out there must be urgently channelled towards decarbonisation projects, new climate technologies, and radical innovations in climate adaptation and mitigation.

At COP27, we can expect to see more discussion around what the implementation of Article 6 should look like, what shape the collaboration between the voluntary carbon markets and NDCs will take, and what systems need to be put in place to enable a robust international carbon market that works for everyone.

Image: Armando Babani / AFP



What to expect

With its strapline, “Together for implementation", COP27 is being promoted as the “African COP" in reference to its location in Egypt, but also given the expectation that African countries' exposure to some of the most adverse effects of climate change will be front and centre in the negotiations.

To quote veteran COP negotiator Jonathan Pershing, “this [COP] is no longer about what the global community agrees; it's [about] how the global community working together can advance national agendas".

In other words, contrary to previous COPs, there is no single negotiation outcome that participants will be seeking this year – the Article 6 rulebook has been finalised, and global targets have been negotiated. Instead, the focus of COP27 will very much be on implementation, which requires national action.

It is expected, therefore, that COP27 meeting agendas will put an increased emphasis on actions by individual countries, and that these discussions will be joined by a predominant focus on climate finance – as a critical tool for delivering national action and adaptation measures, especially in emerging economies, including several African nations. Vulnerable countries have long been calling for support in adapting to a changing climate. Following yet another summer of extreme weather, where no country has been spared, the urgency of climate adaptation has become increasingly obvious to all.

COP27 will also feature a reality check. Back in Paris at COP21, nations agreed that there should be a regular review of global climate action, which would help set the scene and inform the future rounds of upping NDCs' ambition. This 'global stocktake' will be a reality check for the global community as it will measure where exactly the world stands on progress towards limiting warming to 1.5°C, adapting to climate change, and the means to implement actions.

At South Pole, we will be closely following the discussions on Article 6, nature-based solutions and adaptation, and climate innovations such as technological carbon removals and future fuels. Stay tuned!

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