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United National Climate Summit - COP27

Connie Sobon Sensor, Chief UN Observer for the LWV | Published on 1/22/2023

United Nations Climate Summit - COP27

View from a LWVUS Delegate


Editor's Note:  I belong to the Google Group "LWVUS Climate Change."  Last year, Lora Lucero of LWVCNM provided her summary of COP26 to that group and we re-published it here.  This year, Connie Sobon Sensor was one of the LVWUS delegates and provided her summary to the group, and with her permission we are re-publishing part her summary here.  The full report can be read hereTo see more about climate change, see the LWVUS Toolkit for Climate Action. 

Hello from COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt! It has been an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to represent the League of Women Voters of the United States and to join in the activities and issues at this world climate conference. This is the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) convened to discuss and find solutions for the climate crisis that we are now living. The Paris agreement aimed to reduce carbon emissions with a goal of well below 2.0 degrees Celsius rise in temperature from preindustrial temperatures and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  The focus is now on reducing dependency on and use of fossil fuels and building sustainable renewable energy sources as a replacement.  The goal is to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.

Listening to multiple perspectives on the issues and learning about new issues, and most importantly, solutions to the issues, was fascinating.  Networking with the health-focused community based on my interest and commitment to healthy environments as a nurse and following US politics in my role as the Chief UN Observer for the LWV by joining briefings by groups of US mayors representing healthy cities and a briefing by the US Department of Energy Secretary Granholm, as well as following the daily the progress in negotiations for an outcome document, was both energizing and overwhelming. I had the opportunity to join a focused meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur Neem Alsalemon for Violence Against Women and Girls.

Navigating the logistics of COP was challenging for a first-time attendee. However, I feel I made a significant impact with participation and conversations. One day I joined a health community protest “1.5 to Survive" where we role-played giving CPR to our planet Earth. I advanced my video communication and reporting skills by doing short interviews of our League members who were with me and interviews with people from at least ten different parts of the world asking what message they wanted to send from COP27. In my role as an elected Director on the Global NGO Executive Committee at the UN, I think these interviews will promote inclusivity in our work and our perspectives. I look forward to sharing my stories with you in key take aways from the days I attended in person. For me, the pre-work started with the UNGA in September where I attended as many climate-related events as possible to gain insight and make contacts with others who were attending COP.

Note:  The full report goes on to include summaries of each day she attended.

The last day, I signed on to a letter urging the inclusion of healthy environments as a human right and was pleased to see health is now formally included in the global goal on Climate Adaptation. This was a wonderful experience and I hope to continue the work of climate action and advocacy with all the League members as we continue to monitor our progress to renewable energy.

Connie Sobon Sensor

Chief UN Observer for the LWV

Other Resources

Lora Lucero of the LWVCNM continues to provide extremely useful posts to the LWVUS Climate Change group.  In a recent email she challenged all of us in League with these questions after COP27:

1)  How can we promote and elevate the work of our delegates at COP27?
2)  Can the LWVUS provide a prominent spot on its website focused on climate change for the public-at-large?
3)  Can we arrange interviews with our delegates and local media in our communities at home both during and after COP27?  

She also suggested that we listen to a clip from Dr. Susana Hancock, one of the LWVUS delegates at COP27 and a climate scientist explaining her work: