COP28 Kicks Off with Urgent Plea for Accelerated Climate Action

Today marks the start of COP28 in Dubai, set against the backdrop of what scientists have already labelled the hottest year in recorded history. The event, running from 30 November to 12 December, convenes amid unprecedented global disruption caused by the escalating climate crisis. In his opening remarks, Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told onlookers: “Yes, this is the biggest COP yet – but attending a COP does not tick the climate box for the year. The badges around your necks make you responsible for delivering climate action here and at home. As Yoda would say Do or not do. There is no try. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, serving as COP28 president, emphasised the critical juncture the event represents for executing substantial climate commitments and averting the worst consequences of climate change. COP28 also marks the conclusion of the Global Stocktake, the first assessment of global progress since implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement. The findings are stark: the world is not on track to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2050. A synthesis report recently published by UN Climate Change shows that nationally determined contributions (NDCs) would collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions to 2% below 2019 levels by 2030, but the science is clear that a 43% reduction is needed. Stiell said:Only cooperation between nations can put humanity back in this race. COP28 cannot be a mere photo-op; leaders must deliver. Central to this is climate finance, which is pivotal for replenishing the Green Climate Fund, bolstering resources for adaptation, and operationalising the loss and damage fund. “COP28 must turn the renewables revolution into a reality,” added Stiell. 

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