saccjf logo

The failure of the COP-28 conference and our future

South Asian Climate Change Journalist’s Forum (SACCJF) COP 28 Dubai ActivityAsaduzzaman Shamrat: The 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) recently concluded United Nations Global Conference on Climate Change, has come to an end. For the first time countries have been called upon to move away from fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. A day after the scheduled time, the conference ended with an agreement reached. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg participated in the last COP-26 conference held in Glasgow, UK in 2021. At the end of that conference, he said, the COP conference was a failed conference. World leaders make empty, unrealistic promises. This is no longer needed. He has refrained from participating in the last two conferences. His words have only been echoed in the results of this conference.

The conference was hosted by the United Arab Emirates, the world’s largest producer of fossil fuels. If the production and use of fossil fuels is not stopped, the greenhouse effect will increase. Likewise, global warming will also increase. For this reason, environmental organizations and activists working on climate change raised objections about the host country of the conference.

Similarly, there was controversy over the president of the conference, Sultan Al Jaber. He is the CEO of ADNOC, the world’s largest oil producing company. The apprehension with which the conference began was clearly reflected in the outcome of the conference.

After several days of negotiations, the countries participating in the conference finally reached this new agreement, in which all countries have been asked to play a role in moving away from fossil fuels. However, according to the demands of many countries, the new agreement calls for a gradual exit from fossil fuels instead of canceling them all at once. At the conference, however, it was agreed that emissions would increase in the future, although there would be differences between developed and underdeveloped countries.

COP-28 President Sultan Al Jaber said countries have faced reality and guided the world in a right direction. But the progress made so far has angered and frustrated climate activists like us. Even the largest countries see it as a significant advance. Some countries hailed the deal as a “strong result” and said the Dubai talks were a “significant milestone”.

According to the press release given by the organizer UNFCC to the participating media workers, with an agreement that signals the “beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era by laying the ground for a swift, just and equitable transition, underpinned by deep emissions cuts. and scaled-up finance.

In a demonstration of global solidarity, negotiators from nearly 200 Parties came together in Dubai with a decision on the world’s first ‘global stocktake’ to ratchet up climate action before the end of the decade – with the overarching aim to keep the global temperature limit of 1.5°C within reach.

“Whilst we didn’t turn the page on the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this outcome is the beginning of the end,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell in his closing speech. “Now all governments and businesses need to turn these pledges into real-economy outcomes, without delay.”

The global stocktake is considered the central outcome of COP-28 as it contains every element that was under negotiation and can now be used by countries to develop stronger climate action plans due by 2025.

The stocktake recognizes the science that indicates global greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. But it notes Parties are off track when it comes to meeting their Paris Agreement goals.

The stocktake calls on Parties to take actions towards achieving, at a global scale, a tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030. The list also includes accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power, phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and other measures that drive the transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, with developed countries continuing to take the lead.

In the short-term, Parties are encouraged to come forward with ambitious, economy-wide emission reduction targets, covering all greenhouse gases, sectors and categories and aligned with the 1.5°C limit in their next round of climate action plans (known as nationally determined contributions-NDC) by 2025.

Climate crisis, ecological crisis and health crisis are intertwined. As a result, millions of people are dying in the world due to corona virus, ZIKA, Ebola, West Nile fever, SARS, Mars and AIDS. Due to agricultural practices and indiscriminate felling of trees, disease transmission environment is spreading. Infectious diseases are now spreading from animal to animal as a result of man’s oppression and aggression on nature. Not only are those, diseases also being transmitted from animals to humans.

All this is being ignored at climate conferences. Many countries are suffering severe damage from climate change without being responsible for pollution. The problems of South Asian countries including Bangladesh were not taken into account in this conference. Frustrations have grown as funding commitments to the Adaptation Fund for affected countries, the newly launched Loss and Damage Fund, have not met expectations.

Germany has pledged $100 million to the adaptation fund at this year’s conference. America promises only 17.5 million dollars. In all, Bangladesh can get as much as 200 million from the Adaptation Fund. This is actually less than required. Only $792 million was pledged to the Loss and Damage Fund. Also 3.5 billion in green climate fund, 134 million in adaptation sector, 129.3 million in LDC fund, 31 million in special climate change fund, 5 billion in renewable energy, 57 million in cooling project, 30 million in clean cooking, 568 million in technology, 1 in methane gas prevention. 2 billion, 3.1 billion in food security, 2.6 billion in nature conservation, 2.9 billion in health, 150 million in water security, 2.8 billion in gender equality, 1.2 billion in relief, recovery and peace and local climate action. 467 million and several other sectors have received several commitments.

It is difficult to say how much money these funds will get. Funds created to combat the effects of climate change are dwindling day by day. The political will of the countries is being blamed for this. The political will of corrupt and powerful countries is not on the side of world public opinion. Rather, in many countries now radical-nationalist thought has been born. All countries now want to prioritize their own interests. As a result, lack of political will is mainly responsible here. Also, due to the global economic recession, this problem has become more complicated.

The post-Covid economic downturn was expected to be over, but the situation took a turn for the worse due to the Ukraine war and the Gaza war. At this point, the US has not pledged 1 percent of its investment in two countries’ wars to climate change funds. As a result, the 28th session of the World Climate Conference ended in another picnic.

Asaduzzaman Shamrat

Secretary general

South Asian Climate Change Journalist Forum (SACCJF)