The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023, and issued a strong call for urgent collective action on climate change.
This year’s conference comes amid record-breaking global temperatures and the devastating impacts of the climate crisis worldwide.
The conference aim is a critical moment to address climate commitments and mitigate the worst consequences of climate change. The UAE holds the presidency for COP28, led by President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
A recent report from UN Climate Change highlights that national climate action plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2% below 2019 levels by 2030, far from the necessary 43% reduction.
Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is a crucial goal for the 28th Climate Conference, and the organization’s secretary-general warns that if this goal is not met, the increase in global temperatures may surpass 1.5 degrees Celsius by a significant margin, according to the UN statement.
It is important to note that human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and irresponsible land use, have already raised global temperatures by 1.1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius, far exceeding the 1.5-degree target.
Climate and environmental expert Mark Ponting, in a report for the BBC, highlighted several key issues to be addressed at the 28th Climate Conference:
Significant actions to reduce carbon emissions by 2030, including transitioning to clean energy sources, will require substantial financial commitments from developed nations and financial support for developing countries.
Allocating financial resources to adapt to the changing climate and mitigate its impacts, particularly in vulnerable regions, will be critical to the conference’s discussions.
Progress on climate finance at COP28 is pivotal for building trust in other negotiation areas and establishing a more ambitious “New Collective Quantified Goal” for climate finance next year. It will also set the stage for a just transition to renewable energy and fossil-fuel phase-out.
In a world marked by increasing conflicts, collaborative efforts to combat climate change offer a unique opportunity for nations to work together towards a sustainable future for both people and the planet. Urgent action is required at COP28 to reduce emissions and protect lives and livelihoods while keeping the 1.5°C target within reach.