Author: Klaudie Mrkusova

COP27: Impressions and experiences – Part 2

Four scholarship holders of the Forum Alpbach Network accompanied us to the UN Climate Conference in Egypt and report on their impressions in Sharm El-Sheikh on our blog. In her text, Klaudie Mrkusova gives an insight to her experience at COP27.

In my professional life, I work on frameworks and policies that enable and foster research and innovation in the energy sector in the European Union, in particular on the Strategic Energy Technology Plan. The partnership between Greiner AG and the Forum Alpbach Network, which serves as a hub for Clubs, Initiative Groups and scholarship holders of the European Forum Alpbach, is a truly unique opportunity for youth to witness the most important climate event of the year.

Joining Greiner at COP27

I was truly thrilled to go to Egypt under the wings of Greiner and curious to experience COP through the lens of a private actor. Greiner attended a COP for the first time so we were all on the same page of discovery, trying to understand the dynamics and information flow. Thanks to meetings with CDP (global non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions), WWF Austria, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens or several African climate activists, we were able to get a more complete picture of COP27’s happenings.

In my opinion, companies like Greiner should not only care and talk about events like COPs but truly follow what is being discussed and what the newest claims and achievements in their field are. Packaging and plastic products are an inseparable part of our decarbonisation. Many countries have their pavilions at COP, which is a way how companies like Greiner can get full information about a country’s projects and needs. It is a great place to identify general trends and expectations in the field.

COP27 – Fair or conference?

I must admit that for me, COP27 felt more like a fair than a conference. The ‘fair’ part with booths of many countries, organisations and companies was significantly bigger than the negotiation area.

On 15 November, the discussions were oriented around the topic of energy, for which I feed my passion and gather work experience since more than 5 years, first during my Master’s degree and then through internships and employment in the private and public sectors. Besides the negotiations that, to my knowledge, have not been influenced by the energy focus, one could find side events treating almost every aspect of the energy transition. One of the things that I was positively surprised by was the effort to bring forward youth: how to effectively empower youth and ensure the skills and competences needed for children and young people to contribute to a sustainable energy future.

Besides that, one of my main discoveries was that football players are the most influential people on this planet – more than any politicians or actors. A new initiative “We Play Green” is trying to onboard the most influential footballers to bring climate action and awareness to everyone’s living room. I will be closely following this initiative from now onwards as I find its potential genuinely global.

This text solely reflects the opinions and experiences of the author.


Klaudie Mrkusova