What COP28 needs to address to avoid climate disaster
The climate is on its way to exceeding a 1.5°C increase in the global temperature. World leaders can stop it – but they have to act now.
In the run up to COP28, its incumbent president, Dr Sultan Al Jaber made an impassioned plea, saying: ‘We must deliver, let this process prove that multilateralism still works.’
But optimism is in scant supply. Russia’s war in Ukraine and now the war between Israel and Hamas has ratcheted up tension, enhancing distrust and undermining willingness to cooperate, and retrenching the idea that fossil fuels are key to energy security in turbulent times.
This palpable distrust was not helped by revelations, this week, that the COP presidency had allegedly planned to use COP28 as an opportunity to discuss new oil and gas deals for the UAE. This has led to yet further calls for Al Jaber – notably also head of the giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company – to step down. The UAE team said meetings were private and insists it is still focused on delivering ‘meaningful climate action.’
On Monday, OPEC struck back at critical claims in an International Energy Agency report which said that oil and gas producers have been only a ‘marginal force’ in the energy transition – saying the industry ‘must not be vilified.’
All this feeds into the suspicion that petro-states, vested interests and COP28 itself will resist efforts to the phasing down or out of fossil fuels. Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg said that the COP – the annual meeting of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) – has been ‘hijacked by fossil fuel lobbyists’ and is incapable of delivering anything other than greenwash.
So, is there even a risk that the inherent tensions erupt to undermine previous agreements?
Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.
Latest News from
The second failed Trident test: Time to scrap or expand Britain’s nuclear capabilities?27/02/2024 15:10:00
The potential nuclear threats posed by Russia and China are complicated by the possibility of a second Trump presidency.
The AU took important action on cybersecurity at its 2024 summit – but more is needed27/02/2024 09:20:00
Leading African Union member states continue to delay ratification of the Malabo convention, limiting harmonized African policymaking on cybersecurity.
China’s ‘renminbi trap’: The economy needs a weaker currency, but Beijing is unable to act23/02/2024 15:10:00
Weakening the currency should be relatively straightforward. But the adverse reaction of China’s trading partners, past experience, and Xi Jinping’s ambitions for the renminbi could combine to prevent it.
Has Pakistan’s new coalition government been handed a poisoned chalice?23/02/2024 12:20:00
Simmering tension between the two coalition partners threatens to hobble the capacity of the new government to tackle the multiple crises facing Pakistan.
Ukraine means enlargement is again the EU’s priority – but not for the reasons it claims20/02/2024 14:10:00
The European Union is using an old tool for a new purpose as it looks to its defence.
Alexei Navalny’s most powerful legacy is urging Russians to imagine their country without Putin19/02/2024 14:10:00
Much like his life’s work, Navalny’s death shows the corrupt brutality of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
‘Continuity’ Prabowo means change for Indonesia16/02/2024 12:20:00
Prabowo Subianto used the endorsement of the popular outgoing president to win power - but is unlikely to govern as Jokowi’s ‘proxy’.
As Trump threatens NATO, is it time for Europe to get its act together?14/02/2024 10:10:10
Donald Trump’s threats to NATO allies must unite European leaders in the defence of Europe.