The UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) starts on 6 November in Egypt. The backdrop is characterised by a number of grim factors:
Climate disasters, eg floods in Pakistan and Nigeria, droughts in China, India and Pakistan;
High oil prices and an evident determination on the part of oil exporters to maximise their revenues;
Slippage in emission-reduction targets;
Renewables-transition questions over the availability of finance needed and the related environmental damage wrought by the mining of metals, despite the Russia-Ukraine War catalyst, for some, to accelerate the transition; and, of course
US-China decoupling – without cooperation between these two largest gross contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, little can be expected of the rest of the world (China accounts for 35% and the US for 15%, while the EU and India are merely 8% and 7%, respectively).
The purpose of COP27 is for countries to update their national targets ("nationally determined contributions" or NDCs) to close the gap between the shared ambition of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate (restrict global warming to well below 2°C) and individual country plans.
To help inform the E and S parts of the ESG investment discussion in emerging markets, we survey data on the largest contributors (mainly on a per capita or per US$ of GDP basis) to the environmental damage that causes climate change and the largest likely victims of that change.
Among the largest contributors, on these metrics, are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other oil and gas producers (greenhouse gases), Indonesia (deforestation) and India (plastic waste).
Among the most vulnerable and least prepared for adverse climate change are Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan.