Conference of the Parties, COP, are the meetings held annually under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 1995. How does it help?
- Fosters international cooperation
- Sharing of knowledge and experiences
- Collective initiatives to collaborate and find solutions for a sustainable future
Now, we already know about all this, and we also know COP28 will be held from November 30 to December 12 this year. And the host country is Dubai! But wait, isn’t Dubai known for its fossil fuel dependency? What about the abundant reserves of oil and natural gas contributing immensely to its economic growth? I have more questions, but before that, let us see what is in store at COP28 this year!
What to Expect?
- COP28 will focus more on the problems of Global South countries.
- If sources are to be believed, COP28 will address the impacts of climate change and livelihoods by prioritising food, health, and nature at the heart of the conference.
- COP28 will be the first COP to host a G77 summit. Here’s hoping that G77 will push their way through negotiations and deliver a united voice on the issues that need to be addressed at the moment.
What is G77?
Coalition of developing nations from the Global South, or Group of 77 or G77 countries, represents 80% of the global population. They work together and aim to deliver a united voice on the critical issue of climate change while also advocating for their rights and sustainable development.
Also, this year, as per the Paris Climate Agreement, the first-ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals, will be presented at COP28. This audit will help bring a clearer picture as to where the Global South countries stand!
Global South demands improved science, clean energy transition technology, and better finance. With the much-deserved focus on Global South this time, I hope COP28 will consider the demands.
From Where I stand: All That Glitters is Not Green at COP 28!
Isn’t holding COP28 in Dubai sending a conflicting message as the conference focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, and Dubai’s reliance on fossil fuels is no secret? It would be interesting to note how Gulf countries outline their plan and strategies to contribute towards the global goal of achieving net-zero emissions. Five Gulf Arab states, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, are focused on attaining net-zero goals by or around mid-century. Only the Global Stocktake at COP28 will enable us to evaluate how much progress the international Paris Agreement has made to combat the climate crisis and what more needs to be done.
Dubai is home to migrant workers from various countries. How will the intersectional challenges of climate change, such as economic inequality and the inequalities faced by people belonging to multiple marginalised groups, be addressed, given the environmental impact Dubai has due to its association with oil and fossil fuels? Given the urgency, COP28 will have to address the needs and well-being of these workers, who often face challenges and have limited access to certain rights.
Regarding funds, there is a need for increased contributions from the Global North. The support is specifically needed for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change and funds to support green initiatives and projects. Now, it will be interesting to note how funds will be allocated to the global northern economically developed countries and global southern economically developing (and the least developed) countries.
Is Dubai taking this event as an opportunity to highlight its efforts in renewable energy, water waste management, green buildings, clean technologies, and sustainable transportation? Perhaps they could accommodate the leaders and the participants in sustainable hotels and provide eco-friendly amenities and services.
There have been so many earthquakes, floods, and other catastrophes this year. Small coastal islands and frontline communities are the most affected by such natural disasters. Interestingly, since 2015, Tuvalu and the Alliance of Small Island States have advocated for policy and action that prioritises compensation for loss and damage from climate impacts, but in vain! I hope, this year, solutions are accordingly proposed that see the light of day.
The city’s economy heavily depends on oil and gas exports. The usage of fossil fuels is evident via its effects on other countries regarding energy prices, supply, and environmental impact. So the question here is – Will Dubai, with its global influence, be able to set an example and inspire others to bring about a positive change worldwide?
Consequences of Ongoing Armed Conflicts
Recently, the world has seen various conflicts resulting in the loss of precious lives and property damage. At the same time, the environment is also being deeply affected. How?
Militaries are responsible for 5.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.
- Disruption of ecosystems.
- Destruction of infrastructure.
Nothing concrete is known about how the topic of protests and disputes, including the Russo-Ukrainian war, will be addressed. Currently, the leaders and the officials are not stating anything that might disrupt the COP28 climate change conference and are soliciting open solidarity from various countries for the climate cause.
While there is so much to look forward to and know about what COP28 will result in, at the same time, I hope the conference will be more than just elites flying in their private jets emitting two tones of carbon in just an hour, reaching the venue in their big cars polluting the already polluted air, and ironically, advising about how we can save the planet by carpooling and using bicycles. And after the conference ends, they’ll go back to living luxurious lives in their villas and plan to meet again next year to discuss how to reduce carbon emissions. I hope NOT!
Smriti is a certified digital content writer. She has a master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism, loves the mountains and the beach, lives out of suitcases/trunks (Fauji life)! Cold coffee fuels her creativity and helping out an animal in need makes her heart full.