From unprecedented flooding in Asia, to boiling heatwaves in Europe this summer, global warming is upon us.
The 27th 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Partie was attended by nearly 200 parties representing countries that are signatories to common agreements designed to curb catastrophic global warming.
Past COPs have resulted in commitments such as the Paris Agreement in 2015, when signatories pledged to limit warming to at least 1.5C and a red line of “well below” 2C compared with pre-industrial levels.
Politicians arriving at climate conferences are used to receiving a rough reception with insults and sometimes worst being thrown at them. Often by people who don't think they are doing enough to tackle warning. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced he wasn't going to attend at all, but quite rightly changed his decision after fierce backlash.
This year’s COP was held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. From November 6th until November 18th, with last-minute negotiations often taking the summit into an extra day.
Alongside world leaders, fashion designers, global brands, suppliers, media and sustainable fashion activists are in attendance for exhibitions, panel discussions and news announcements that could impact the future of the industry.
Federica Marchionni, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) said they hosted three events during COP27 and planned to attend many other sessions too: “We first launched our Global Fashion Summit (formerly Copenhagen Fashion Summit) during COP15 in 2009 because fashion was not on the official agenda at the time. Through our alliance with UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) and UNEP, we have been championing progress and working to ensure fashion has the prominent place that is deserved in the agenda. It is promising to see that there is a strong presence of fashion-focused discussions in this year’s programme.”
The Global Fashion Agenda and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced at COP27 that they are partnering to launch a new "Fashion Industry Target Consultation", which will call on fashion stakeholders to define holistic and concrete targets for a net-positive industry.
The Fashion Industry Target Consultation will aim to identify and converge existing industry-aligned targets according to the five priorities of the Fashion CEO Agenda. This includes respectful and secure work environments, better wage systems, resource stewardship, smart material choices and circular systems.
The consultation will also seek to formulate new targets on areas not currently covered, such as criteria for purchasing practices and circular design, as it looks to establish a route towards a net-positive industry, where fashion gives back more to the natural world, people and societies and the economy than it takes out.
Loss and Damage
Also on the agenda this year for the first time is the Loss and Damage funding.
People living in countries that have contributed least in the last 200 years to greenhouse gas emissions are those who are being hit hardest by the effects of that pollution.
The damage caused by the climate crisis is catastrophic, people are losing crops and livestock to drought, are being displaced from their homes due to rises in sea levels and are losing places of worship or access to Indigenous territory.
This injustice, known as ‘loss and damage’, must be tackled at COP27. The countries that have played the biggest role in causing the climate crisis must set up and contribute money to a fund to support countries that have done least to drive global temperature rises but which are suffering loss and damage as a result of them.
COP provides world leaders the space to take stock of the latest climate science and enact change which can only be achieved collaboratively.
More often than not, the conferences are a series of failures. However, the event is incredibly important. Not only does it serve as an impending reminder to take action, but it also forces world leaders to evaluate and act on climate issues that continue to affect the globe.