The world demands climate progress, COP28 UAE will deliver it

The number of participants is staggering and they have one central goal: To keep the 1.5ºC target within reach

by

Angel Tesorero

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Wed 29 Nov 2023, 10:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 12:01 AM

Around 180 heads of states; 97,000 delegates, experts, observers and climate activists; and more than 400,000 registered UAE residents and environmental advocates are taking part in COP28 running from today until December 12 at Expo City Dubai.

The number of participants is staggering – the largest so far for a UN Climate Summit, according to organisers – and they have one central goal: To keep the 1.5°C target within reach.

“I will hold every country and every stakeholder accountable to keep the 1.5ºC target within reach. I aim to achieve the highest ambition in the Global Stocktake (GST) decision,” this is the North Star COP28 president-designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber emphasised that will define COP28’s success.

The GST is the pledge taken by world governments during COP21 to limit temperature rises to 1.5ºC on pre-industrial levels under the 2015 Paris Agreement. COP28 UAE is about taking stock of what the world has done since then.

Big challenge

Aligning efforts on global climate action is a big challenge but doable, and this was also underscored by Al Jaber during a media majlis on Wednesday. He said: “We need to reduce the gap between ambition and action. Those who promised, must deliver. Those who pledged, must act.”

The call is in reference to his consistent call to donor countries to “show the money” with regards to the long overdue $100 billion finance pledge to combat climate change.

Al Jaber noted climate finance challenge is a top priority to support the global transition to clean energy. “At COP28, we will see further momentum on Green Climate Fund replenishment. We are actually working on parallel financial tracks that will help restore trust as well as develop a new framework for climate finance,” he earlier said.

With guarded optimism, he added: “We feel that the prospects of an extraordinary outcome are at hand and we will step up to deliver it.”

Civil societies, meanwhile, are expected to drum up their calls for food security and protection of agricultural lands in the context of climate justice. They will also touch on issues such as food sovereignty, agro-economy, and net-zero commitments backed by credible action.

Climate activists attending COP28 will have a dedicated area to hold protests and demonstrations for climate action.

Act now

The urgency to act now and to do it fast was emphasised by Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He noted: We enter this COP at a period where progress is being made in the fight against climate change, but it is just not enough, and it is not fast enough.”

"Everyone, all parties, the entire global populations, will benefit from the boldness of the decisions made here in Dubai over the course of the next two weeks,” he added.

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