‘India has a critical role in Dubai climate conference’
Criticism that the UAE’s leadership of the annual UN climate negotiations this year conflicted with its status as one of the world’s largest oil producers is “surprising” and “unfounded,” a senior CoP Presidency official told The Hindu in an interview on Friday.
What is COP-28?
- The 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is abbreviated as COP28. The United Nations Climate Change Conference is another name for it.
- The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2023 will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023. The following topics will be covered at the conference:
- The Conference of the Parties (COP 28) held its 28th meeting.
- The fifth COP meeting, known as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 5)
- The UAE has proposed four COP28 themes:
- Innovation and technology
- Frontline communities
- The Green Zone is open to Blue Zone participants and guests, the public and private sectors, NGOs, and the general public.
What are the criticisms faced by the UAE?
- Conflict of Interest:
- The principal complaint is from a purported conflict of interest, with Sultan Al-Jaber serving as President of CoP-28 while also leading the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, one of the world’s largest oil producers.
- Critics claim that a leader from a big oil-producing country would be less likely to advocate for policies that would move the world away from fossil fuels.
- Former Leaders of Fossil Fuel Countries:
- In response to criticism, CoP-28 officials note that it is not the first time a CoP President comes from a fossil fuel-producing country. The special attention in this case, however, indicates a growing understanding and worry about the environmental impact of fossil fuel businesses.
- Previous Economic Decisions: The UAE has historically been chastised for its economic initiatives, such as developing a tourism industry and founding Masdar (a renewable energy corporation). Some may argue that these initiatives are insufficient or inconsistent with the magnitude of action required to prevent climate change.
- Oil and gas reliance: The UAE, as a significant oil and gas producer, has been chastised for its continuous reliance on these resources. Critics may dispute the country’s speed and effectiveness in transitioning to a more sustainable and diverse economy.
- Commitments to Reduce Emissions: The UAE’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may come under examination. Critics may claim that the country should do more to align with global climate goals, especially given its previous contribution to carbon emissions through oil production.
What are the objectives of COP meetings?
- Negotiating Agreements: COP meetings serve as a forum for negotiating and enacting international climate change agreements. The Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015) are the most notable agreements.
- Setting Emission Reduction Targets: At COP meetings, countries discuss and agree on emission reduction targets and pledges. The goals are to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to keep it under 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- Adaptation and Mitigation plans: COP meetings are focused on developing and implementing plans for adjusting to the effects of climate change as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This includes conversations about financing, technology transfer, and capacity-building to help developing countries with adaptation and mitigation initiatives.
- Financial Support: Addressing the financial components of climate action is one of the most important aspects of COP meetings. The focus of the discussions is on mobilizing financial resources to assist developing countries in their attempts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Contributions from industrialized countries to the Green Climate Fund are included.
- Promoting Long-Term Development: Climate change and sustainable development are intertwined, as COP summits realize. Strategies for integrating climate activities into broader sustainable development goals are being discussed to achieve a balanced and holistic approach.
- Stakeholder Involvement: COP meetings provide a forum for diverse stakeholders, such as governments, civil society, the commercial sector, and non-governmental organizations, to collaborate and share viewpoints on climate change concerns.
What is India’s role in COP28?
- In terms of attendance, CoP-28 is expected to be the most high-profile event.
- Highlights India’s crucial position in the conference, implying that if the CoP works for India, it will work for many other Asian countries.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to attend the CoP-28 in Dubai.