According to the United Nations, Climate Change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Due to the continuous rise in boiling temperatures, the globe is under the mesh of harmful consequences. As a result of tackling this climate crisis this year’s UN climate change conference, COP28 is being organized in Dubai which will play a pivotal opportunity and role to correct course and accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis.
28th summit of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will bring together 198 signatories to the convention, that will discuss efforts to limit climate change. The 2023 president of COP28 is Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who is both the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
Focus and Importance of Climate Change atCOP28
Since the time the Paris Agreement aimed for a legally binding international treaty on climate change was adopted in 2015, climate COPs have focused on its implementation and progress towards its aims of restricting global warming to “well below 2°C” and “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”.
Issues to be discussed in COP28
COP 28 will focus on issues of how to fast-track the move to clean energy resources and to slash greenhouse emissions by 2030, along with focussing on nature and people by making it more inclusive for both developing and developed countries by taking into consideration the responsibility of delivering money for climate action from richer to poorer countries, and working on a new deal for developing nations.
The climate crisis has become a human crisis as well impacting senior citizens, children, and people with existing health problems. Moreover, with global warming, there has been an impact on clean energy fuels as well as huge dependence on coal, natural gas, etc which contributes to the major share of climate change whose impact has been witnessed worldwide along with some parts of India as recent floods in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, etc, sudden rise in temperatures in South Africa giving rise to forest fires and melting of glaciers is posing threat to sustenance of world in an integrated manner.
COP28 will also focus on developing certain layouts and alternatives to tackle the usage of fossil fuels to bring down carbon dioxide emission which is a major greenhouse gas emission by acting impartially as there is huge controversy over the involvement of personal interest of the president of COP28 who is parallelly the president of Adnoc, the state-owned company that supplies 3 percent of the world’s oil. So there will be a challenge for Dubai’s presidency to come out with a fair and just solution for the welfare of the world on the lines of India’s principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
- Fossil Fuel Phase Out- Climate Diplomacy has become the need of the hour but due to a lack of technology many developed and developing countries are shying away from signing the deal of complete phase-out of fossil fuels as has been said that keeping the Paris Agreement targets alive will require a full fossil fuel phase-out, not a vague phase-down relying on unproven technologies, so more than 100 African, European, Pacific and Caribbean countries back a phase-out of unabated fossil fuels. The US, the world’s biggest oil and gas producer, also backs a phase-out along with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China.
- Loss & Damage Fund- Several developing countries are facing huge economic losses due to climate change so COP28 has stressed operationalizing the loss and damage fund. Several countries including the United Arab Emirates, Germany, and the United States have pledged to contribute to the fund, though initiatives have been taken these are baby steps towards already committed huge damage as has been stated by the World Meteorological Department that “2023” had shattered all climate records with breach of 1.4 degrees Celsius of warming, so urgent attention needs to be focussed on this issue.
- Global Stocktake- The Paris Agreement’s Global Stocktake process is designed to assess the global response to the climate crisis every five years. It evaluates the world’s progress in slashing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience to climate impacts, and securing finance and support to address the climate crisis. But to the contrary, The Synthesis Report underscores a persistent “emissions gap, depicting non-fulfillment of the commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C which raises a serious question of action on the same.
- Global Methane Pledge- A Pledge to reduce methane release by the top 50 oil companies seems to be a smokescreen as it has been said that the world cannot work without energy and methane is released at several points along the operation of an oil and gas company, from fracking to when natural gas is produced, transported or stored. It persists in the atmosphere for less time than carbon dioxide, but it’s more than 80 times more powerful than the greenhouse gas most responsible for climate change.
- Huge Dependency on Coal- Several countries like South Africa, Vietnam etc are hugely dependent on coal for industrial as well electricity consumption is posing a huge threat to rising global temperature.
- Lack of Climate Finance- Financial assistance by developed countries to developing countries to tackle climate action as pledged in 2009 to provide USD 100 billion per year to decarbonize the economies of poorer countries is falling short of its consolidation. As a result, developing countries have asked for restructuring of the World Bank and its affiliates along with more concessional and grant-based financing and debt cancellations for the least developed countries.
- Collaboration with Developing Countries- Countries should strengthen their national climate plans by delving into the world of digitalization and AI to come out with smart climate-inclusive alternatives of fuels that will ensure alignment with the sustainable development goals and friendly development of the world aligning environmental needs.
- Reduction of CO2 – The world should put in its resources to collaborate on specific research institutes that will propose solutions to particular countries according to their carrying capacity that will mingle and integrate with an entire globe at large.
- Commercial development of Renewable Energy– Various cost-efficient incentives should be promoted for fossil fuels so that there can be a shift towards renewable energy that will open an entirely new trade market add to the GDP and fulfill countries’ requirements to generate revenue from the same.
Climate Change has become a global issue and to deal with several initiatives can be taken by the governments of various countries at large in collaboration and joint efforts with each other India is also moving towards a sustainable lifestyle as it has adopted various initiatives such as Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), developing an alternative to diesel fuel by replacing it with ethanol in near future.
At the global level there can be the promotion of acceleration of climate education by organizing various workshops to sensitize the budding youth to climate change, ocean science, and sustainable development should be promoted hand in hand, along with a focus on glacier conservation and ethical climate developmental activities. With these efforts reducing carbon dioxide emission by phasing out fossil fuels and moving together world can achieve the target of reducing temperature to pre-industrial level.
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