Istanbul, 30 Nov. 2023 (Anadolu)
The 2023 edition of the UN climate summit, commonly known as COP28, opened on Thursday in Dubai, as the United Arab Emirates officially assumed the presidency from Egypt.
The event has attracted over 180 heads of states and governments from across the globe. Noteworthy is the high number of attendance requests, exceeding 500,000 participants.
The conference is set to continue until Dec. 12.
Sultan Al Jaber, the Emirati industry and advanced technology minister, officially received the COP28 presidency from Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister and president of COP27.
In his opening speech, Al Jaber said: “The UAE takes pride in hosting COP28 and approaches it with a full understanding of the critical issues at this pivotal juncture,” according to the Emirates News Agency.
He pledged to “manage a working system that applies transparency principles, ensures inclusivity, and encourages free and open discussions among all parties.”
He also invited participants to “start the conference with a different mindset and to adopt an innovative and non-traditional approach to thinking.”
Shoukry, for his part, said: “We are proud to hand over the presidency of the Conference of the Parties to the United Arab Emirates and have confidence in its ability to achieve the conference’s goals.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emirati vice president and ruler of Dubai, said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “We welcome over 70,000 guests from 198 countries, including heads of states, government leaders, ministers, corporate officials, international organizations, academics, and media representatives to our country.”
He added that “the UAE will continue, guided by its visionary leadership, to embrace global efforts to safeguard our planet from the risks of climate change, ensuring that future generations inherit a world conducive to life.”
The COP28 presidency focuses on achieving ambitious negotiation outcomes through a practical agenda to transform commitments and promises into tangible progress in addressing the climate crisis.
This involves providing a comprehensive and decisive response to contribute to redirecting the world back to the right path for climate action, according to the Emirates News Agency.
The 27th session of the annual UN climate change conference took place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022.
According to the UN, Earth is now warmer by about 1.1 degrees Celsius than it was in the 19th century. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to prevent the global temperature from exceeding 1.5C (2.7F) above pre-industrial levels, as this is considered the upper limit to avoid the worst potential consequences of climate change.
The Washington Post reported that United Arab Emirates, the host of the gathering, pledged US$ 30 billion on Friday to help the Global South with the clean energy transition and other climate projects.
Just hours into COP28 on Thursday, nations approved an unprecedented fund aimed at delivering desperately needed money to vulnerable countries facing climate emergencies. And numerous countries made initial pledges, including $245 million from the European Union and its members — $100 million of that coming from Germany — and an additional $100 million from the United Arab Emirates. The United States’ special climate envoy, John F. Kerry, said the nation would “work with our Congress” and pledge $17.5 million.
Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva touted the decline in Amazon deforestation that has occurred since he took office and pledged “zero deforestation” in the Amazon by 2030.
Leaders from many parts of the world described climate crises unfolding in their own countries: Battered coastlines and unpredictable harvests in Guinea-Bissau. Damage equivalent to 2 to 3 percent of gross domestic product in Tanzania. Extreme temperatures, sandstorms, and resulting poverty and migration in Iraq. The president of the Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, said his island nation was dealing with frequent storm surges and degraded infrastructure, diverting money away from modernization, education and “giving our people a better standard of living.”
Underscoring geopolitical tensions, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan both detoured from the specific topic of climate change, speaking with alarm about the war in Gaza and the humanitarian consequences. “The incidents taking place in Gaza are a humanitarian crime, a war crime, and the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Erdogan said.
Pictures : Courtesy of COP28