At the Pre-COP opening session, COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber delivered a powerful speech highlighting the urgent need for international cooperation in combating climate change. He underlined that despite all of the world’s divisions and conflicts, taking action to combat climate change remains a shared obligation that cannot be disregarded.
During the speech, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the special importance of pre-COP, an Abu Dhabi-hosted meeting of ministers and negotiators that serves as a prelude to COP28. At the UAE capital, more than 100 delegations and 70 ministers came together for this year’s Pre-COP, marking a record level of participation. The fact that this turnout is more than twice as high as usual highlights how the world is becoming increasingly conscious of the climate crisis.
COP28 Amidst Conflict
The pre-COP meeting, however, is taking place amidst the background of increasing turmoil in the Middle East, casting doubts over the upcoming COP28 in Dubai. Concerns over the possible impact on the efforts to forge consensus required to accomplish climate goals have been highlighted by the ongoing violence in the region, featuring Israel’s continuation of a ground offensive in Gaza.
In order to fulfil the Paris Agreement’s objective of keeping global warming to 1.5°C, the goal of COP28 is to strike a consensus on cutting emissions by at least 43% over the course of the next seven years. The fact that the COP28 venue is close to the war zone has increased the uncertainty surrounding this important undertaking.
Adherence to Global Warming Mitigation
Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the progress that has been accomplished since the Paris Agreement. He pointed out that the world was headed for three to four degrees of global warming prior to the agreement. International efforts, however, have reportedly diverted this trajectory to a more tolerable temperature range of two to three degrees. The President urged a sustained effort to show that the worldwide community is capable of generating and maintaining the momentum needed to limit global warming below 1.5°C.
Focus Areas and Innovative Approaches
The President of COP28 underlined the conference’s main areas of focus in his speech, stressing the importance of substantial mitigation results, all-encompassing adaptation agreements, and unique financing solutions. In order to successfully address the climate catastrophe and meet the objectives outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, these components are essential.
Furthermore, Dr. Al Jaber spoke about the controversial topic of fossil fuels, stressing the need for practicality and consensus in discussions about fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. He gave hope when he disclosed that more than 20 oil and gas companies have made the commitment to stop producing methane by 2030, indicating that the industry is moving in the right direction.
Financial Assistance and Global Responsibilities
Regarding the financial aspect, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the significance of reallocating capital flows to regions of greatest need, namely in the Global South, and restoring confidence in developing nations. He thanked nations like Germany and Canada for their work in this field and highlighted the importance of keeping previous commitments, like the $100 billion pledge.
The president of COP28 sent a strong message to all nations at the end of his speech, reminding them that the world is watching and that it is time to band together and take action against climate change. His message is in line with the gravity of the climate crisis and the need for a concerted international effort to confront it effectively.