As of Thursday, the 28th United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) will kick off in the UAE, featuring an exceptional multitude of attendees. This will be followed by concerted efforts to secure funding for addressing the consequences of climate change.
Anticipated at the upcoming COP28 is an unprecedented attendance of over 70,000 individuals, surpassing any previous COPs. Esteemed personalities like Pope Francis and King Charles III are set to join this distinguished assembly. The event will also draw the participation of heads of state and government, ministers, representatives from non-governmental organizations, employers, lobbyists, and journalists.
Under the auspices of the United Nations, the International Conference begins on November 30th and extends until December 12th. The primary focus of this conference is to deliberate upon the pressing matter of climate change.
As stated on the official website of COP28, the UAE presidency emphasizes the importance of collaboration between governments and the private sector in tackling climate change. They believe that a close partnership between these two entities is essential for effective climate action.
In the lead-up to the conference, Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 president-designate, shared his “cautious optimism” regarding the forthcoming UN Climate Conference. As the conference Chair, he considers it to be the most significant event since the 2015 Paris Agreement. Al Jaber anticipates that the conference will bring forth positive outcomes and be a source of encouraging news for the world.
During an interview with AFP, Al Jaber emphasized the indispensable role of the private sector in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. He highlighted the need for all sectors to actively contribute to emission reduction efforts and be held accountable for their actions.
He added, “Everyone needs to be part of this process and everyone needs to be held responsible and… accountable. And that includes all industries and in particular heavy emitting industries like aviation, transportation, aluminium, cement, steel, as well as oil and gas industry.”
The Conference will initiate with opening ceremony on November 30, followed by a two-day “leaders’ summit.” During this summit, around 140 Heads of State and Government are scheduled to deliver speeches. Subsequently, the discussions will extend for approximately 10 days, allowing for in-depth deliberations on the conference agenda.
Among the highly anticipated outcomes of COP28 is the unanimous adoption of a decision regarding the first “assessment” of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
Loss and Damage Fund
Another focal point of attention is the progress made in the follow-up to the Loss and Damage Fund. The Transitional Commission on Loss and Damage has reached an agreement, encompassing crucial recommendations for the operationalization of the Fund and various funding arrangements.
Within this context, it is anticipated that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will make a commitment to support a new fund aimed at assisting vulnerable nations in adapting to the consequences of escalating temperatures.
According to sources cited by Bloomberg, insiders have indicated that U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to join the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU) in making financial commitments to the Loss and Damage Fund during the conference.
Following arduous negotiations spanning several decades, the establishment of the Fund was reached during COP27 in Egypt in 2022. Developing nations have persistently advocated for assistance from wealthier nations in addressing the damages inflicted by climate change. However, the latter have been cautious about any perception of providing direct “compensation” for polluting the atmosphere.
The issue of funding has proven to be exceptionally challenging to address throughout the United Nations-backed climate negotiations over the past thirty years. However, there appears to be a breakthrough as affluent nations have successfully fulfilled their commitment to generate $100 billion per year. This financial support aims to assist less affluent countries in transitioning to clean energy sources and adapting to the impacts of rising temperatures.
What was the outcome of the efforts?
In September, the United Nations released a technical report that reached the conclusion that the ongoing climate efforts were inadequate. The report raised the crucial matter of phasing out the use of fossil energy sources.
Nonetheless, the responsibility of drawing lessons from this technical assessment lies with approximately 200 individual states. As reported by AFP, the world is anticipated to witness the highest levels of extreme weather events on record in 2023, including droughts, wildfires, floods, and other calamities.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called upon global leaders to intensify their efforts in an extraordinary manner, with unprecedented aspirations, significant actions, and a historic reduction in emissions.
Saudi Green Initiative
Saudi Arabia is hosting the third edition of the Saudi Green Initiative Forum which holds for the second year in a row the theme “From Ambition to Action.” The forum will take place in December, coinciding with the COP28 conference.
The Forum convenes a distinguished gathering of influential figures, climate experts, high-ranking government officials, and top executives. Their purpose is to exchange ideas and perspectives, as well as engage in discussions on the most effective approaches to tackle climate challenges.
The event’s program centers around several pivotal themes, encompassing the innovation and implementation of clean energy solutions, the preservation of the Red Sea ecosystem, the financing of climate action endeavors, and the conservation of land and marine areas within the Kingdom. Moreover, the Forum serves as an excellent platform for climate action stakeholders to engage in meaningful dialogues, exchange ideas and perspectives, showcase innovative approaches to addressing environmental challenges, and extend support to global climate action initiatives.
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