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Contemporary Discussions on Climate Change at COP28

Contemporary Discussions on Climate Change at COP28

COP28 is the conference of parties on the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is a global conference where countries come together to discuss and take actions on the climate change. Issues like greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy promotion and adapting the impact of the climate change came under negotiations of the leaders, economist and expert policymakers to overcome the challenges. It’s a great opportunity for countries to work together and find solutions to protect our planet.

Dubai is excellent choice for hosting COP28 because of it’s strong commitment to sustainability and combating climate change. The active investment in renewable energy sources like solar power from the UAE has set aspiring goals to reduce carbon emissions. Although Dubai has capability to accommodate such large-scale events, making it sustainable host city. Additionally, it is high time to showcase its efforts for the sustainability.

The discussions that took place in COP28 include renewable energy, sustainable development, adaptation strategies, carbon neutrality, energy transition and global cooperation. The following key points were discussed during this global historical conference. Accelerating energy transition refers to the shift from fossil fuel-based energy sources to renewable and sustainable alternatives like solar wind and hydroelectric power to combat climate change. Carbon neutrality means achieving a balance between the amount of carbon dioxide emitted and the amount removed from the atmosphere, resulting into zero net emissions. Adaptation strategies involve developing plans and actions to help the communities and ecosystems adapt to the impact of climate change. Similarly, global cooperation to collaborate the international efforts among countries to address climate change through shared goals, actions and support.

According to the UN, global greenhouse gas emissions have been steadily increasing over the years. In fact, as of 2020, global emissions were about 50% higher than they were in 1990. This is a clear indication that urgent action is needed to combat climate change and reduce these emissions. The World Bank has highlighted the devastating impacts of the climate change on our planet. Rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and loss of biodiversity are just a few of the consequences the globe has already witnessed. These effects are not only detrimental to the environment but also to our economies and communities.

COP28 produced several agreements that offer hope for more sustainable future, which includes fossil fuel phase out, that is gradual reduction and eventual elimination of the use of fossil fuels to mitigate climate change and transition to cleaner energy resources. It is about moving toward a sustainable and greener future. Debate on ‘loss and damage fund’ finally showed progression with establishment of loss and damage fund to support developing countries, which are facing the most severe impacts of the climate change.

Increased ambition on the emissions has set more targets and taking stronger actions to reduce the greenhouse gas impacts in combating environment hazards. This agreement calls for all the countries to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by the end of 2024, with deeper and faster emission reduction.

It’s worth noting that COP28 has also focused on the significance of finance for the climate conservation. The developing countries need financial support to implement climate mitigation and adaptation measures. The World Bank estimates that annual climate flow of finance needs to reach $100 billion by 2025 to effectively tackle climate change. This conference, among its triumphs and controversies, left the world with a mixed bag of progress and questions. It finally recognized the need to ditch fossil fuels, agreed to triple renewable energy, and even set up a fund for poorer countries hit by the natural disasters.

Overall, COP28 is considered a step in the requisite direction, but a slow one. We need bolder commitments, clearer targets and actions, not just verbal discussions. COP28 is significant in the attempt against the rapid climate transformations. It brings together countries to make decisions for shaping our collective future. By strengthening the commitments and mobilizing climate finance, world can work for a sustainable and resilient planet for the present and future generations.

The Authors are Researchers, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad

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