What is at stake at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27)… explained with songs by Taylor Swift
Following the Rio de Janeiro Summit, Paraguay became a State party to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in 1993.
The Convention was created with a very clear objective: to recognize that we have a problem.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that have increased since the Industrial Revolution such as carbon dioxide are causing global warming – a rise in the Earth’s average temperature.
This global warming produces a change in the climate.
What climate change does is, among other things, increase the extension and impact of extreme phenomena, such as droughts, hurricanes, and floods, causing more and more damage to crops, infrastructure and human life. A climate crisis.
To prevent the end of the world, the Climate Change Convention meets (almost) every year in what is called the Conference of the Parties (COP).
This year will be the 27th edition (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
You are worried about the climate crisis. But all this is sometimes communicated in very technical and complex language.
That is why we take advantage of the release of Taylor Swift’s Midnights album to explain to you with songs by blondie herself, why countries like Paraguay are at risk at COP27.
In order to get all countries to commit to actions against the climate crisis, the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.
The agreement consists of bringing global temperature rise to below 2 degrees – compared to pre-industrial levels – and, if possible, limiting it to 1.5 degrees by the end of this century.
Spoiler alert: we’re not making it. The latest analysis of the plans presented by each country to reduce their emissions (NDCs) indicates that they would lead us to a world with +2.5 degrees.
The difference seems small, but it makes a world of difference. A world where, for example, the yield of various crops in Paraguay would be reduced by half.
Countries like Paraguay need money
Money for mitigation: reduce greenhouse gas emissions that accumulate in the atmosphere and raise global temperatures, such as CO2 and methane from activities such as deforestation and ranching.
Money for adaptation: preparing to reduce the adverse effects of the climate crisis on our crops, our access to water, the infrastructure of our cities and on our health.
The money that countries like Paraguay need should be provided by the developed countries, because they are the main people responsible for leading us to this crisis.
This is what the Paris Agreement provides, which states that all countries have common responsibilities but they must be differentiated according to their emissions.
In addition to financing for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, the Paris Agreement also cites a third point:
A compensation for the costs of the effects that we already suffer today. For example, extreme weather events such as more frequent and prolonged droughts.
In the last 40 years, for example, heat waves in the country have tripled.
This is called loss and damage
How the losses and damages already caused by the crisis will be financed is the central point of COP27, which will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Paraguay is among the countries that will put pressure on the US, the European Union and the United Kingdom.
In 2009, developed countries had pledged to put up 100 billion dollars. But they did not comply.
This does not mean that Paraguay does not have responsibilities to fulfill. It remains to guarantee that the financing it obtains is invested in the well-being of the most vulnerable sectors.
There is a danger that this money ends up benefiting the very sectors responsible for deforestation.
Let’s see which countries come out of COP27, singing “It’s me, hi. I’m the problem…”
This story was originally published on El Surti with the support of Climate Tracker’s COP27 Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship.