What will be the main topics and focus of COP27 in Egypt, and what are the prospects for success?


  • Geopolitical interests will continue to shape the UNFCCC negotiations and will need to be resolved ahead of COP27.
  • Agriculture will continue to grow in prominence along with a focus on food security.
  • Cross-sectoral approaches at landscape scale will be vital.

COP27 will take place in Egypt in November 2022. The Egyptian COP presidency will prioritize adaptation, finance and mitigation and will push countries to set more ambitious emissions reduction targets for 2030. Many countries have set 2050 targets for reducing emissions or reaching net zero, but at COP27, they will be expected to bring forward their target deadlines. 

Ahead of COP27, diplomatic efforts will focus on encouraging faster emissions reductions this decade from countries whose pathways are compatible with limiting global heating to 1.5° Celsius. In the Asia–Pacific region, this includes China and India. 

National geopolitical interests are clear even in the build-up to COP27. India’s interest in keeping language around trade out of the climate change negotiations is just one example. The experts spoke of the need for bilateral negotiations and other backroom positioning ahead of COP27 to address what are often fundamentally political and economic issues.  

The experts expect agriculture to be a key part of the COP27 agenda, with a likely COP decision emerging from the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture. The Koronivia process was scheduled to end at COP26, but agriculture sector targets, including on food security, were not achieved. This can be attributed in part to logistical challenges, including COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, too few Koronivia workshops were organized to develop the agreements required. Parties are looking much more optimistically at COP27 to secure these advances. 

“Small concrete actions are more important than talk, and I am hopeful that at COP27 we will have concrete action from countries making progress on delivering pledges that support forestry and agriculture initiatives in the Asia–Pacific region.” — Chris Dickinson, Land Use, Forests and Ecosystems Senior Specialist, Green Climate Fund

As countries revise their long-term strategies for emissions reductions, it will be essential to enhance food security without increasing land conversion or emissions from the land-use sector. Solutions exist. A common vision and approach among sectors is needed, one that recognizes the links between forestry and agriculture, and in particular, the forest-risk commodities.