COP28, Dubai Leads Climate Action

By Carlos Roa  

As the global climate crisis escalates, world leaders, environmentalists, scientists, and policymakers are gearing up for an event of paramount importance: the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28).  

Set to be held between November 30th and December 12th, their organizers stress the importance of the event by highlighting, “We are at a halfway point. It has been 7 years since Paris, with 7 years to go to 2030.”

They add, “We must respond to the facts. We need to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 and course correct on adaptation, finance, and loss and damage.” 

This year, the conference is set to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As the host city, they expect to earn worldwide recognition for their commitment to addressing climate change. Their aspiration is to lead by example in sustainable development and energy diversification.  

For instance, the conference venue, Expo City Dubai, is displayed as a demonstration of sustainable design and innovation. Equipped with cutting-edge renewable energy solutions, water-efficient landscaping, and carbon-neutral facilities, the Expo site embodies the spirit of COP28’s agenda. 

COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber emphasized that inclusion is a key cornerstone of this summit, saying: “The COP28 plan of action is centered on four key pillars: fast-tracking the energy transition; fixing climate finance; focusing on people, lives and livelihoods; and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.” 

Looking back to look ahead 

The Rio Summit and the launch of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) happened three decades ago.   

Since then, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP) has yearly brought together member countries, aiming at identifying and assessing climate stages.   

A landmark was set at the 21st session of the COP or COP21, which delivered the Paris Agreement, a call to collective action to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 and to act to adapt to the already existing effects of climate change. 

Closing the gaps 

One of the primary obstacles facing COP28 involves closing the gap between agreements and reality. Prior conferences have established ambitious objectives, yet the translation of these aims into concrete policies has been perceived as insufficient. 

COP28 needs to work on cultivating mechanisms that guarantee the execution of commitments. Furthermore, nations in distress should receive sufficient financial and technical assistance to effectively implement climate action strategies. 

Dealing with climate change is also dealing with geopolitical and economic disparities. Global collaboration is essential, and countries should acknowledge the interrelated nature of the climate emergency, as the repercussions of climate change transcend national boundaries. 

Inclusivity and Representation 

One feature of COP28 is its commitment to inclusivity. Recognizing the disproportionate impact of climate change on some specific vulnerable communities, the conference organizers have spotted topics that represent the situation.  

The COP28 Presidency states that inclusivity is a critical enabler to achieving transformative progress across the climate agenda. “Only by rising above our differences and working together can we raise our shared ambition and deliver progress to keep 1.5°C within reach.” 

Indigenous communities, youth activists, and women will share their perspectives when facing climate-related challenges. The organizers are committed to proposing practical solutions. 

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