UN Climate Conference, COP27, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – some reflections from Vinitaa Apte, Co-Director IOI Ocean Academy, India

Vinitaa Apte at COP27
Vinitaa Apte at COP27

The World Climate Change Conference kicked off with a bang in Sharm El-Sheikh on November 6. The first week progressed slowly, the congregation from all over the world met each other and got absorbed in predicting what would happen and what could happen in the conference. Each country's grand canopies, booths of NGOs, presentations of environmental efforts around the world were there but the COP 27 was little bit  different than the earlier COPs in terms of the subject and pavilions. This year there was an OCEAN Pavilion and side events took place on the subject of Ocean Biodiversity and other important Ocean topics reflecting the stance of the foundational Paris agreement which clearly stated the critical importance of Ocean as a key factor in the fight against climate change. Ocean has the highest priority as an eco-system and with this decade declared in support of Eco-restoration, the Ocean pavilion in COP 27 organised series of side events with partners around the globe. The work of the Ocean and Climate Platform, in connection with NGOs and island states, also enabled major advances.


The fact is the Ocean plays a critical role in the global carbon cycle; and healthy Ocean ecosystems play a prominent role in adaptation and mitigation. At COP 27, Parties could continue to strengthen and advance ocean-climate action under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); with the identification of numerous areas within UNFCCC processes, bodies, and ongoing negotiations where countries may advance efforts to address ocean-climate challenges and strengthen recognition of the role of coastal and marine ecosystems in climate action. This resource was prepared in response to the invitation for “Relevant work programs and constituted bodies under the UNFCCC to consider how to integrate and strengthen ocean-based action in their existing mandates and work plans and to report on these activities” .


The decisions were held because the parties were not ready to include the adaptation fund for loss and damage which was necessary for the countries who have suffered from natural calamities. A strong representation from small island countries especially the NGOs working over there, and indigenous people – was made to save the Ocean and to protect Ocean biodiversity. Small island country populations are already in grave danger because of sea level rise, increase in sea temperature and other threats - they need to save their island homes! 


COP 27 gave some hope to the communities who are working to save the Ocean ecosystems, as there were number of pledges to offer financial support for small island countries to save our Ocean. In simple terms “The cloud is dark and black, it has a golden edge and that is the ray of hope”.


Vinitaa Apte, Co-Director, IOI Ocean Academy India 

 Founder & Director TERRE Policy Centre