COP27: Bringing mountains to the forefront

Nov 27, 2022

Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)

During the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), hosted by Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh from 6-18 November 2022, a series of side events focused on mountains was celebrated. As emerged in the latest IPCC report, current measures are insufficient to deal with climate change’s effects in the mountains.

The COP27 has been an opportunity to bring under the spotlight of  national and international policy-makers the IPCC warn and call for more concrete commitments to mitigate and adapt to climate change in mountain environments.  

The 6th IPCC report and its cross-chapter on mountains was also addressed in a side event on 11 November to analyse how scientific evidence can be used to strengthen participation of mountain people in national and international policy processes.

Besides, on 9 November, the side event “Leading mountain sustainability through innovation” focused on how to build synergies among different stakeholders to co-develop and implement solutions for tackling challenges related to climate change in mountain regions. Participants called for greater monitoring and observation networks to forecast weather and reduce vulnerabilities in order to increase climate resilience in mountain communities. They also stressed the importance of public and private finance to build resilience in mountain communities and ecosystems.

On November 14, the side event entitled “Roadmap for 2025: International year of glaciers” was held. Speakers discussed the impacts of climate change in the cryosphere and high mountains and possible synergies with other initiatives to further support the draft resolution for 2025 and for glacier conservations, such as the International Year for Mountain Sustainable Development, the UN 2023 Water Conference and the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018 – 2028.

The final side event on mountains was held on 17 November: “Bringing mountains to the forefront by leveraging the International Year of Mountains 2022”. The session discussed how to bring mountains to the forefront of international processes, and to plenary discussions of future COPs considering the urgency of the environmental and climate crisis in mountainous regions.

This event has shown the need for all mountain countries to join forces to build a roadmap in order to strengthen climate action for the next COP28.