In many ways, the seaside resort town of Sharm El Sheikh is a compelling backdrop for a global climate change conference. Perched on the south-eastern edge of the Sinai Peninsula, it is bordered by pristine coral reefs on one side and arid desert on the other – a perfect reminder of the delicate equilibrium that keeps our planet’s ecosystems alive and an eloquent portrait of everything that we stand to lose to climate change. But the setting for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, was the only thing that stood out in what was otherwise an unremarkable affair, contoured by the usual parade of delegates, an increased presence of industry lobbyists, and the growing certainty that the climate targets set in the Paris Agreement will not be achieved. If anything, COP27 produced one concrete outcome: our planet will be a much hotter place in the coming decade.
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