Who Attended COP27?
Nov 21 2022
As the year’s premier climate event has drawn to a close, it’s time to reflect on the possible progress made and the work that lies ahead. COP27 took place in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt – the first such conference to be hosted in Africa for six years – and welcomed 35,000 attendees through its doors over the course of its 13-day duration.
But which world leaders made the trip to Egypt? Who were the major players in leading climate talks in 2022? Were there any other public figures who put in an appearance at Sharm El Sheikh? And which policymakers and politicians were notable by their absence? We take a look at the list of attendees for COP27 in greater detail below.
Africa leading the charge
The venue for the 27th Conference of the Parties on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was significant; it was only the third time that Africa had hosted the event and came at the close of a year in which at least 17 million Africans were exposed to the ravages of extreme weather events and the famine that they precipitated.
As such, it’s no surprise that African leaders took centre stage. As well as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, there have also been impassioned speeches from Rwandan Premier Paul Kagawe and Senegalese President Macky Sall. Other vulnerable nations had their say, too, with Tuvalu calling for a binding agreement to phase out fossil fuels and Barbados hailing the inclusion of “loss and damage” talks on the agenda.
European leaders attended the event in force, with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak performing a U-turn and eventually accompanying outgoing COP president Alok Sharma to Egypt. France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte, Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon, Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen and Spain’s Pedro Sanchez were also in attendance, as was the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Meanwhile, the world’s biggest emitter of carbon emissions from a historical perspective – the USA – was well-represented, too. Not only did President Joe Biden make the trip, but so too did climate envoy John Kerry. Elsewhere, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and newly-elected Brazilian President Lula also descended on Shark El Sheikh for the conference.
Conspicuous by their absence
Despite that roll call of famous faces, there were plenty of household names who did not make the trip. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been something of an international pariah since his country’s invasion of Ukraine, was not there and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping did not attend either. Although China has made strides on following the advice of scientists to slow climate change, recent tensions with the US have stalled negotiations and it continues to rely heavily on coal for its power consumption.
Other disappointing absentees included Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau, who have decided to take a backseat at this year’s event. King Charles III also stayed at home, apparently on the advice of the UK government, while climate activist Greta Thunberg boycotted the event due to concerns over “greenwashing” without taking concrete action.
Dec 05 2022 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dec 07 2022 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & online
Dec 14 2022 Hong Kong
Dec 30 2022 Tehran, Iran
Jan 25 2023 Bruz, France