Dubai, 29 November 2023 (TDI): World leaders, government representatives, and delegates set to gather for the annual United Nations climate change summit COP28, the 13-day summit (November 30 to December 12), known as the Conference of the Parties or, COP28 in Dubai, (UAE).
Almost eight years ago, COP21 witnessed the signing of the Paris Agreement, a significant global treaty aimed at restricting carbon emissions. In addition to this, nations will also undergo their initial evaluation of the advancements made by the agreement.
Although the UAE was the first Middle Eastern nation to support the agreement, there is a significant split among people about holding the summit there.
UAE’s reliance on fossil fuels is seen as a contributing factor to the problem, as they account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, there is increasing criticism about the involvement of oil and gas industry representatives in these meetings.
The conference was scheduled weeks after a UN report showed record-high greenhouse gas levels in 2022. The report states that current climate plans will only reduce global carbon emissions by 2% by 2030, far below the required 43% decrease to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This goal was set in the 2015 Paris Agreement, adopted over a decade ago after COP16.
Olivia Rumble, director of Climate Legal in South Africa, emphasized the difficulty in reaching an agreement on phasing out fossil fuels. This challenge has been worsened by the fiscal crises caused by the pandemic and the energy crisis following the war in Ukraine.
While this year’s climate financing agenda aims to better support developing nations with emergency funding, involves the inefficient distribution of funds. High debts imposed on such countries through global financing structures also reduce their ability to invest in the maintenance of climate projects.
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Renewable energy and energy efficiency will mean little to African countries without significant reforms to the global financial architecture. This includes revising risk ratings and perception of investment risk in Africa,” said Rumble.
Who will and will not attend COP28 in Dubai?
COP28 will have 140+ heads of state, senior government leaders, and 70,000+ participants. Notable attendees include King Charles III of Britain, Rishi Sunak, Humza Yousaf, and Narendra Modi.
Joe Biden won’t be there, but John Kerry will represent the US. Pope Francis had to cancel due to illness. The summit will have a “blue zone” for UN-accredited participants and a “green zone” for registered public and civil society participants.