What is the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai and why is it important?
World leaders have reached a new agreement to tackle climate change at a major UN meeting in Dubai.
The summit came after a year of extreme weather events in which many climate records were broken.
What is COP28 and where was it?
COP28 was the 28th annual UN climate meeting, at which governments discuss how to limit and prepare for climate change in the future.
The summit was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was scheduled to run from November 30 to December 12, 2023, but was moved up by one day.
What does COP mean?
COP stands for “Conference of the Parties”, where the “Parties” are the countries that signed the original UN climate agreement in 1992.
Why was the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in Dubai controversial?
The United Arab Emirates is one of the countries in the world The 10 largest oil producing countries.
Sultan Al Jaber was appointed CEO of the state-owned oil company President of the Conference of the Parties 28.
Oil – like gas and coal – is a fossil fuel. that’s it The main causes of climate change Because they release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide when burned for energy.
Mr. Jaber’s oil company is Production is expected to expand rapidly This contract.
Documents leaked to the BBC also indicated that The UAE planned to use its role as host of COP28 to strike new oil and gas deals.
Jaber has previously said he is in a uniquely good position to push for action by the oil and gas industry.
He said that in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Masdar Renewable Energy Company, He has overseen the expansion of clean technologies Such as wind and solar energy.
What was agreed at COP28 regarding fossil fuels?
for the first time, Countries agreed on the need to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems.”.
The text calls for this to be done “in a fair, orderly and equitable manner”. This is seen as an important recognition that richer countries are expected to move away from coal, oil and gas more quickly.
However, the deal does not force countries to take action, and no timeline has been set.
Many groups – including the US, UK, EU and some countries most vulnerable to climate change – wanted a more ambitious commitment to “phasing out” fossil fuels.
The agreement includes global goals to triple the capacity of renewable energy, such as wind and solar energy, and double the rate of energy efficiency improvement, by 2030.
It also calls on countries to accelerate low- and zero-emission technologies such as Carbon capture and storage.
Why was COP28 so important?
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) came at a critical time for the key goal of limiting long-term global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This was it It was approved by about 200 countries at COP 21, held in Paris in 2015.
The Paris commitment is crucial to avoiding the most harmful effects of climate change, according to the UN climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
However, before the final agreement was reached at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), there were warnings that the world was already on the right track. 2.7°C of warming by 2100.
The United Nations said that recent progress had not been consistent with what was needed, leading to a “rapid narrowing of the gap.” Working window to keep a 1.5°C limit within reach.
Who went to COP28?
About 200 countries participated in the talks.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among the world leaders who attended the beginning of the summit.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend, but the two countries were largely represented.
King Charles gave the opening speech, warning that people were running out “A vast and terrifying experience” on this planet.
almost 100,000 politicians, diplomats, journalists and activists have registered to meet, making it the largest climate conference ever held.
This includes around 2,400 people connected to the coal, oil and gas industriesWhich underscored concerns about the impact of fossil fuel groups.
Will rich countries pay the price for climate change?
With the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), this was announced The Loss and Damage Fund can begin distributing funds.
It was the box Agreed upon at COP 27. The idea is that richer countries – which have historically been the main contributors to global warming – pay poorer countries that are already facing the impacts of climate change.
But the details remained deeply disputed, with rich countries like the United States The United States is reluctant to accept responsibility for past emissions.
a A relatively small amount of money These have not been pledged so far, but the operation of the Fund is a crucial step in building confidence between richer and poorer countries.
Separately, in 2009, developed countries pledged to give $100bn (£80bn) a year to developing countries by 2020, to help them reduce emissions and prepare for climate change.
The goal was achieved in 2020, but it happened It is “likely” to be met in 2022according to preliminary data.
The COP28 agreement highlights the “growing gap” between the needs of developing countries and the money provided to cut emissions – but there is no requirement for developed countries to provide more support.
Will COP28 make any difference?
Critics of previous COPs, incl Activist Greta ThunbergThey accuse the summits of “greenwashing” – meaning allowing countries and companies to boost their climate credentials without actually making the changes needed.
But summits offer the possibility of reaching global agreements that go beyond national measures.
For example, the 1.5°C cap on temperature rise agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) has prompted “near-global climate action,” according to the UN.
This has helped reduce the level of global warming the world can expect – even though the world is Still not acting anywhere near the pace required To achieve the Paris goals.
Ultimately, the success of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) will be determined by the changes the world implements in the coming years.
Additional reporting by Esme Stallard.