In the kingdom of fossil fuels and the land of oil, COP28 – the world climate summit – begins on Thursday. There will be talks between politicians and environmentalists in Dubai on how to save the planet. Decisions are needed here and now. Especially since the 2022 summit was a complete failure.
Moments before the most important climate summit in the world, the UN Secretary General went to see the effects of the climate crisis with his own eyes. He saw that the situation on the largest Antarctic glaciers was dramatic. – The volume of sea ice in Antarctica is the lowest on record. New data shows that in September this year it was 1.5 million square kilometers smaller than the average for that period. So an area the size of Portugal, Spain, France and Germany put together, says António Guterres, UN Secretary General.
Scientists are watching with horror as the Doomsday Glacier is melting, so called because once it melts, the sea and ocean level will rise by as much as three meters, and this will mean the destruction of many regions of the world.
The images Guterres saw should be shown in Dubai at the 28th COP28 climate summit, which starts on Thursday.
Activists from all over the world are already there – including from Poland. – What the international climate movement is fighting for, especially at this summit, is the transition away from fossil fuels. A complete departure from oil, gas and coal – emphasizes Dominika Lasota, a climate activist from the “Wschód” Initiative.
This is to be one of the main topics of this summit – specific plans to phase out coal. The next one is plans to invest and develop renewable energy sources. However, the fact that the leaders of 200 countries will meet in the kingdom of fossil fuels raises real concerns. – The fuel lobby will try to use this climate summit to conclude new gas and oil contracts. It’s a bit like asking a fox to guard the henhouse, says Marek Józefiak from Greenpeace Polska.
It’s time to act
There is less and less time to act. The Copernicus Climate Change Service has just announced that 2023 has broken another record. It was the warmest year in 125,000 years. The effects of this warming, and therefore – extreme droughts, heat waves, hurricanes and super typhoons – are felt most strongly by the poorest. “This year’s conference will focus on the launch of the Loss and Damage Fund, offering crucial support to those most affected by climate impacts,” says Butti Almheiri, president of the Arab Youth Council. Such promises – to help the poorest countries – appear every year. Unfortunately, every year after the summit a failure is announced.
That’s why expectations are exceptionally high this time. – If Poland returns to the international arena, it must return to the issues and make perhaps uncomfortable decisions. Finally, it may also simply have to cut off contacts with those who are causing the climate crisis, says Maja Włodarczyk, a climate activist from the “Wschód” Initiative.
President Andrzej Duda and the new, interim Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, are going to the summit from Poland. However, they are not the ones who will make key decisions in the coming years.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN