The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


Together for implementation: UNOPS at COP27

UNOPS and partners led a series of events focused on concrete and collaborative solutions to advance climate action and build an inclusive, climate-resilient future.

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At the 27th Convention on Climate Change (COP27) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt this month, UNOPS joined global leaders, the UN family, technical experts, NGOs, thought leaders, youth representatives and more to spearhead discussions on advancing climate action and building a world that leaves no one behind.

This year, the most important global climate event in the calendar was focused on implementation – and the concrete actions that we can and must take together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and tackle the growing impacts of climate change that are already being felt by communities around the world.

"This was a COP focused on implementation and still it did provide a breakthrough by acknowledging loss and damages. While that is being elaborated, the key issue now is for all of us to work seriously together, with determination and in solidarity,” said Jens Wandel, UNOPS Acting Executive Director.

As implementers, UNOPS, as part of the UN, is supporting countries to combat climate change through our expertise in infrastructure, procurement and project management services. We are committed to strengthening our capacity in a more systematic way, by investing in our methods and leveraging the knowledge and expertise that exists across the entire UNOPS portfolio.

Jens Wandel - UNOPS Acting Executive Director

Together with our hosted entities, UNOPS-supported initiatives, and partners, UNOPS led and participated in over 30 events at COP27, where we explored some of the most pressing issues related to the climate crisis – with sessions held at the Climate Mobility Pavilion, the Islamic Development Bank Pavilion, the Joint MDB Pavilion and the International Development Finance Club Pavilion.

“Climate change is not one thing. It’s cross-cutting. It affects us in very different manners and there will be different solutions in different localizations,” said Atle Solberg, Head of Secretariat, Platform on Disaster Displacement, at an event on the power of partnerships for climate action.

“Without sharing of information, sharing of knowledge, sharing of tools and working together we will not be able to address those fundamental challenges related to global warming,” he added.

With a focus on the tangible measures we can take to help communities respond, topics discussed at the events included: the role of resilient and inclusive infrastructure in advancing climate justice; the need for diverse, multi-sectoral partnerships; finding innovative solutions to mobilizing resources for climate-compatible infrastructure; and understanding the drivers of climate migration.

UNOPS Acting Executive Director Jens Wandel meets with EU Youth Delegate to the UN, Nadia Gullestrup at COP27
Acting Executive Director Jens Wandel and UNOPS Director and Representative in Ghana Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba meet with Ghana’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Ken Ofori-Atta at COP27
UNOPS Deputy Regional Director for Africa Dalila Gonçalves and UNOPS Director and Representative in Ghana Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba meet with Nigerian Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed at COP27
Samantha Stratton-Short, UNOPS Head of Strategic Initiatives, at the Inclusive infrastructure for climate action event at COP27
Director of Partnerships, UNOPS Émilie Potvin delivers a keynote speech during a UNOPS-hosted event at COP27

One thing was made clear at the events: The voices and perspectives of youth are crucial if we are to accelerate climate action. In an inspiring session moderated by the EU Youth Delegate to the UN, we heard powerful stories from several youth representatives, who reflected on their communities’ experiences on the frontlines of climate change.

“Young people are leading the way by holding a mirror up to decision makers – and reminding them that we have no time to waste. The rest of us – from world leaders to ordinary citizens – have a responsibility not just to amplify their call for a sustainable, low-carbon future, but to do our share in making that vision a reality,” said Émilie Potvin, UNOPS Director of Partnerships.

You are the future, but we are all part of the solution. So let’s build the future together.

Émilie Potvin - Director, Partnerships and Liaison Group

As the climate crisis further exposes existing inequalities, we also discussed with a panel of experts how we can ensure an inclusive approach to infrastructure development, which addresses the urgent issues of climate action and ensures we leave no one behind.

The session focused on the nexus of infrastructure, inclusion and gender equality, and climate action, particularly in relation to achieving climate justice for climate refugees and displaced people. UNOPS also presented its new report on Inclusive infrastructure for climate action at the event.

“To be truly inclusive, the design and implementation of infrastructure must take into account the diverse needs of everyone, especially the most marginalized. It needs to speak and cater to the lived experience of such groups – it must be equitable, accessible, affordable and empowering,” said Samantha Stratton-Short, UNOPS Head of Strategic Initiatives – Infrastructure and Project Management.

To watch the videos of the sessions and learn more about the events we led and participated in at COP27, please visit our dedicated webpage.

UNOPS family at COP27

UNOPS is proud to host and support a range of entities, initiatives and funds that also joined COP27 to contribute their diverse expertise and experiences towards tackling the climate crisis and building a sustainable, inclusive, and climate-resilient future for all.

Visit the following websites to read more information about their specific participation in COP27:

Center for Mediterranean Integration

Cities Alliance

Initiative for Climate Action Transparency

Platform on Disaster Displacement

Sanitation and Hygiene Fund

South East Asia Energy Transition Partnership

The CVF and V20 Group Multi-donor Trust Fund

UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (UNEP CCC)

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