World leaders will gather in Egypt from Sunday for an annual climate change conference, known this year as COP27.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced he will not be attending. Instead, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen will be leading the Australian delegation.
Only countries that have signed the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change are invited to COP conferences.
This document was enacted in 1994 and is now ratified by 198 countries. It aims to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate.
What happens at COP?
There are usually a lot of meetings and speeches, which can lead to new agreements or targets being struck by member parties.
For example, the Paris Agreement – a legally binding treaty pledging global warming to be kept well below 2°C – was adopted at COP21 (which was held in Paris in 2015).
The goals of the Paris Agreement have been considered increasingly out-of-reach due to continual climate inaction.
Remind, what happened last year?
Last year’s climate change conference, COP26, was held in Glasgow, Scotland.
The key outcome of COP26 was the Glasgow Climate Pact, which reaffirmed the Paris Agreement and the importance of action being taken in the next decade.
The Australian delegation, which was led by then-PM Scott Morrison, was criticised for the Government’s climate change policies.
Who will be there?
World leaders, such as U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, will be at COP27.
Newly-appointed UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be travelling to Egypt, after facing criticism for initially opting to skip the conference.
It will run for 12 days from this Sunday (6 November), with over 35,000 people expected to attend this year.
What about Aus?
Albanese said that he won’t be attending COP27 due to a “busy schedule” that includes sitting weeks in parliament and international conferences.
As Opposition Leader last year, Albanese called on then-PM Scott Morrison to attend COP26, saying that “if he doesn’t, that’s because he’s embarrassed about Australia’s position”. (Morrison did attend.)
Australia’s COP27 delegation will be led by Bowen, International Development and Pacific Minister Pat Conroy, and Assistant Climate Change Minister Jenny McAllister.