Sustained climate action to save the planet will be the focus as world leaders gather in Dubai for COP28 starting Thursday. Over the next 12 days, they will join climate experts and industry leaders to reach global agreements and take stock of measures to tackle climate change.
The most important will be Global Stock Take to assess the progress since adopting the Paris Agreement of 2015. One of the key points of the deal was the collective action to limit global temperature increase by 1.5°C to prevent further degradation and avoid irreversible consequences.
A comprehensive review of climate action efforts will help identify the shortcomings and develop solutions for the immediate future.
The COP28 will focus on four key themes.
1. Clean energy transition
Fast-tracking the transition to clean energy will help towards slashing emissions before 2030. Efforts to upgrade the global renewable energy capacity will require rapid innovation in decarbonisation technologies besides eliminating methane emissions. The heat-trapping properties of methane make it lethal, although the main greenhouse gas emitted by human activity is carbon dioxide.
The future of fossil fuels will also merit attention as part of efforts to phase down and develop technologies to capture their emissions. Although coal’s phase-down was agreed upon at the COP26 in Glasgow, it didn’t happen in Sharm El Sheikh. So it would get renewed focus in Dubai.
On harnessing technology to promote climate action, COP28 Director-General Majid Al Suwaidi said: “Climate technologies can significantly bolster our capacity to both mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, but they must be accessible and affordable.
“To meet our climate goals and drive the green transition, we must invest in and swiftly scale climate tech innovations. There is so much that we can achieve together at the convergence of climate, technology and policy,” Al Suwaidi said at the Dubai Future Forum early this week.
2. Funding climate action
Climate action also involves transferring money from rich countries to poorer nations apart from establishing a new financial framework.
Developed nations had committed to giving $100 billion a year by 2020, which has yet to happen. The Loss and Damage Fund set up during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh still lacks clarity. Climate financing will get plenty of attention as old promises have to be delivered to get the climate action going.
Renewable energy investments have surged, but it’s not enough to bridge the financing gap. Efforts will also look at ways to get multilateral developmental banks involved in financing the renewable energy sector.
3. Nature, people, lives, and livelihoods
Nature-based solutions allow countries to protect and restore ecosystems and create sustainable farming. So there will be more emphasis on placing nature, people, lives, and livelihoods at the centre of climate action. The Global Goal on Adaptation will be discussed, and countries are expected to adopt a framework this year.
4. Inclusivity in climate management
The COP28 is expected to be the most inclusive ever. The aim is to improve communication between the different sectors of the international community and improve the representation in large organisations.
Youth involvement in climate action is expected to get further impetus as COP28 will look to build on the creation of the youth envoy at the last meeting.
These themes are expected to spur COP28 into accelerating climate action. Constructive discussion and robust action are the need of the hour.