The annual UN climate summit begins on Thursday. This time, representatives of nearly two hundred countries are meeting in Dubai to negotiate how to address climate change. The future of fossil fuels has become an important item on the agenda of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.
It is the 28th time countries have gathered for the climate summit, but this is also a special meeting. This is the first time since the conclusion of the Paris Agreement in 2015 that the world has officially taken stock of the situation: What is the state of the fight against climate change? It was agreed in Paris that it would be approximately every five years Global inventory It must happen.
This does not mean that a surprising result is expected. The world set climate records this year, and reports have shown for years that the world is not on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Only the greatest optimists still believe it is possible to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees.
More important is what can be agreed on the future climate approach at the so-called COP28 in Dubai. If the world is in such bad shape, what do we need to do to keep Paris on the horizon?
Countries will not have to formally submit new climate plans for two years from now, but the hope is that steps can already be taken. For example, agreements are being concluded to triple the amount of renewable energy between now and 2030. The question remains to what extent such an agreement can become binding?
The Netherlands, in cooperation with a small coalition of ambitious countries, is calling for a complete phase-out of fossil fuels. The European Union, represented by new European Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra, is keeping things a bit more modest. EU countries want to stop using coal, oil and gas only if carbon dioxide emissions are not captured and stored.
Ontvang meldingen bij nieuws
Double hat of the president
The fossil fuel debate is taking place in a country that still benefits greatly from oil and gas reserves. The chair of the climate summit, Sultan Al Jaber, is not only the Minister of Industry, but also the Chairman of the UAE State Oil Company. This double hat has already led to a lot of criticism in the run-up to the summit.
This week there was another revelation BBC Defeat. Al Jaber also plans to propose oil and gas deals to at least fifteen countries in discussions at the climate summit, the BBC wrote. This was stated in documents leaked from Emirati climate negotiators.
This revelation stands in stark contrast to Al Jaber’s promise to get “insider” support for ambitious climate action from fossil fuel companies and petrostates. Al Jaber has previously claimed that he is the ideal person to bring about change in the world of oil and gas, because he is part of it. The leaked documents would make you think that as CEO of the oil company it is business as usual.
Al Jaber is still trying to spread optimism in the period leading up to the summit. In conversation with Watchman He says an “unprecedented outcome” is possible, partly because Saudi Arabia will adopt a more positive stance in climate negotiations this year. In the past, that country has repeatedly blocked plans to turn off the oil and gas tap more quickly.
Jeroen Kraan is klimaatverslaggever
Jeroen schrijft veel over (internationaal) klimaatbeleid. Vanaf 5 december doet hij verslag van COP28 vanuit Dubai.
Billions needed for poor countries
At least as important as tackling carbon dioxide emissions is financing climate measures. There has been a lot of resentment about this for years among developing countries, which themselves do not have enough money to transition to clean energy or adapt to a warmer climate.
Rich countries have agreed to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate finance starting in 2020. This has not been achieved on time, but preliminary numbers indicate that the goal will be achieved in 2023. maybe yes Has been accomplished. The amount is made up of a combination of donations, loans and investments by the business community.
Reports indicate that a much larger sum than this $100 billion, for example, would be needed to generate enough energy in poor countries. There are now many more solar panels in the Netherlands than in the entire continent of Africa. This can only change if much more money flows in this direction, including from banks and other financial institutions.
In addition to “mitigation” (fighting climate change), much more money is also needed for “adaptation” (adapting to climate change). This relates, for example, to building water reservoirs in areas suffering from drought, or strengthening dams to prevent floods.
Establish a Climate Damage Fund
Moreover, poor countries also want to help compensate for climate damage. Last year, it was agreed in Egypt to establish a fund for this purpose. This should make funds available after climate disasters such as last year’s floods in Pakistan.
This year, lengthy negotiations took place over the exact design of such a fund. A last-minute agreement was reached by a committee of 24 countries. If all countries here in Dubai agree, the World Bank can start establishing the fund.
The EU has already promised a “significant” contribution, although it remains unclear how this applies to other countries. Depositing money into the fund is not mandatory. European Commissioner Hoekstra will not only want to make a good impression with his contribution, but will also want to put pressure on his colleagues to do the same.
COP28: Wie komen er?
Er komen opnieuw veel wereldleiders af op de klimaattop in Dubai. Demissionair premier Mark Rutte komt met een flinke ministersploeg naar Dubai. Wopke Hoekstra vertegenwoordigt de EU als kersverse Eurocommissaris op het klimaatdossier.
Koning Charles is ook op de top, nadat hij vorig jaar niet mocht afreizen naar Egypte van de Britse regering. Eigenlijk zou Paus Franciscus ook komen, maar vanwege gezondheidsproblemen heeft hij afgezegd.
Grote afwezigen zijn Amerikaanse president Joe Biden en zijn Chinese collega Xi Jinping. De VS stuurt wel een afvaardiging onder leiding van vicepresident Kamala Harris, en China is ook met een delegatie aanwezig.
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