Forward COP28 experts from climate-vulnerable countries to stay “cautiously optimistic”; a call for rich countries to put words into action later this month.
Voices from climate-vulnerable countries are urging world leaders at COP28 to ‘define and implement’ an ambitious plan to combat the climate crisis, building on the results of last year’s COP27 in Egypt.
During a webinar hosted by the World Resources Institute (WRI), members of the Climate Transformation by 2025 (ACT2025) postulated a just phase-out of fossil fuels, the $100 billion climate crisis. financial obligationthe global goal amendment, And ‘loss and damage‘financing is at the top of their agenda COP28 later this month.
“2023 was marked by an unprecedented impact of the climate crisis globally, evident in record-breaking temperatures in many countries,” Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa – Kenya, a climate action NGO, told the audience.
“As COP28 approaches, the question becomes: will it respond adequately to the escalating climate crisis?”
While Adow acknowledged the progress, citing the agreement to establish a loss and damage fund for the world’s most vulnerable countries at COP27 in Egypt, fulfilling that pledge, along with others such as the doubling of the financing for climate adaptation, “still pending”.
a report of the Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20), has shown how the economies most at risk from climate change have lost more than half of their economic growth potential over the past two decades due to the negative impacts of human-induced climate change.
“Financial support is crucial; The world needs substantial and timely assistance from rich countries to vulnerable countries, to support their transition to a sustainable future amid economic pressures exacerbated by climate-related disasters,” Adow said, adding that COP28 must deliver an ambitious package , which must ensure implementation and honor past financial obligations. to support vulnerable countries.
“It is imperative that COP28 defines and implements an ambitious plan to combat climate change, building on the results of COP27,” he added, noting that a successful conference will pave the way for a more secure global trajectory.
Negotiations on making the loss and damage fund operational were slow, but a Recommendations were agreed upon at the meeting of the Transition Committee, chaired by the UNFCCC earlier this month.
These will be discussed during COP28, held from November 30 to December 12 at Expo City in Dubai.
COP28 will see the conclusion of the first Global inventorydesigned to assess countries’ progress toward the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In October, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) published a new one synthesis report to support governments in their decision-making process for the Global Stocktake. This synthesis report follows the publication of a technical reportoutlining actionable climate solutions ready for implementation.
Also speaking at the event, Tony La Viña, Associate Director for Climate Policy and International Relations, Manila Observatory, Philippines, praised the work of the UNFCCC on both reports but noted that there were “missing points,” citing the failure of the developed to land. countries to meet their commitment of $100 billion in climate finance not yet fulfilledand expires in 2025.
La Viña noted that neither report makes recommendations for developed countries to fill the financing gap; nor do they address the need for developed countries to further scale up financing before 2025.
“We are also concerned that the report conflates the $100 billion commitment with the Loss and Damage Fund, as we have consistently advocated […] that it is important that loss and damage are their own problem […] to improve efforts at all levels.”
He said the Global Stocktake at COP28 should serve to promote specific actions that are a “springboard for greater ambition”, not only on climate mitigation, but also on adaptation, loss and damage, and the resources for implementation.
“Equality and fairness must be at the heart of the global stocktake,” he said, adding that the outcomes of this process must take into account the social, economic and environmental impacts of the shift to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
“Unconditional commitments or adequate financing must be secured from developed countries so that these commitments are actually made in a way that is truly equitable,” La Viña concluded.
Feet to the fire
A recent one report from the UK Energy Institute found that fossil fuels will still account for 82% of global energy consumption in 2022, increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 0.8%.
“The crisis we are facing right now is an emissions crisis,” Mark Bynoe, deputy executive director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, Belize, told the audience.
“It is a crisis based on the fact that as countries we continue to pursue fossil fuels and use them to drive our economic development.”
Current policies do not reflect that “we are nowhere close to reaching 1.5°C” nor do they guarantee that emissions will fall to a point that is manageable.
“Countries that have said we need to make a conscious decision to move away from fossil fuels are now investing in oil and gas,” he said, noting that subsidies that need to be cut are now increasing.
In response to the economic turmoil of the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, fossil fuel subsidies have increased by $2 trillion in the past 24 months. facts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“COP 28 gives us an opportunity, even a small one, to continue to hold the feet of developed countries to the fire,” Bynoe said, noting that it was “encouraging” to see a joint statement of the US and China – the world’s biggest emitters – talking about reducing their emissions levels.
“The G20 countries emit 80% of emissions, but we [developing nations] are the ones faced with trying to adapt, combat and address these emissions as they continue to have devastating impacts on our economies.”