Dubai, 29 Nov (EFE). – COP28, the annual United Nations conference dedicated to the global warming emergency, will kick off on Friday in the United Arab Emirates bringing together world leaders and over 70,000 activists, experts, climate scientists, journalists, business leaders, Indigenous and local leaders to seek solutions to the crisis.
The “Conference of the Parties,” organized under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will bring together its 198 members (countries, sovereign entities and regional organizations) to discuss ways to accelerate collective climate action in what is already known to be the hottest year ever recorded in human history.
Dozens of Heads of State world leaders have confirmed their presence, including the King of England, Charles III; Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and president of the COP28, Sultan al-Jaber.
Leaders of major industrial powers such as United States president Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping will not be attending and Pope Francis had to cancel his trip last minute on doctor’s orders.
The conference will go from Nov. 30 to 12 Dec. 12 but the most important discussion will be held on Dec. 1 and 2 during the World Climate Action Summit, when Heads of State and Government will convene and open the way to several days of discussions behind closed doors by technicians and experts.
High politics will return to the meeting during the last days, when decisions will have to be made to shape the final resolution.
The key issues
Agreeing on a progressive abandonment of fossil fuels, ensuring sufficient funding for a just transition and keeping the global warming target recommended by science “alive” in a context of growing lack of confidence in government commitments, as well as between rich countries and the global South are the main issues of this year’s conference.
The meeting comes at a time when experts in climate diplomacy believe its necessary to do a “course correction” of current climate action, as evidenced by the results of the first Global Stocktake -a five-year-long exercise to asses global progress in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, the landmark result of COP21, that found that the world is not on track to limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of this century.
A report recently published by UN Climate Change shows national commitments to the Paris Agreement (known as nationally determined contributions, or NDC) would lower greenhouse gas emissions by two percentage points below 2019 levels by 2030, but the science is clear that a 43% reduction is needed.
Hundreds of forums, round tables, presentations, discussions, talks and events of all kinds are planned for the days of the conference, which was born as an eminently technical, political and diplomatic meeting and has become a halfway between a trade fair and a political concentration.
This year, moreover, the beginning of the COP was marked by a controversy over the host, United Arab Emirates and its leader Sultan al-Jaber, president in charge of COP28, Minister of Industry and Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
Environmental critics have expressed doubts about the possibility of achieving positive results in a meeting “played in opposite field.” This fear was reinforced after the BBC revealed that al-Jaber used his position as organizer of the COP to seek oil and gas business agreements with almost thirty countries.
The meeting will take place in Dubai, an emirate city located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, rich in oil, gas, luxury tourism and infrastructure construction. EFE amr/ics