The COP28 climate summit in Dubai, which is just starting, may be a breakthrough in the fight against global warming, at least that’s what its organizers say. However, there is no shortage of controversies, such as where the summit takes place. The United Arab Emirates is one of the leading oil producing countries.
The UN-organized COP28 climate summit begins on Thursday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and will last until December 12. As every year, leaders of countries from all over the world will participate, although some important names will be missing, including Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. Poland will be represented by the president Andrzej Duda.
Famous Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has repeatedly criticized climate summits and, referring to their – in her opinion – ineffectiveness, she used the phrase “blah, blah, blah”. Are they really just empty words? Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming conference.
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What is COP28
Annual meetings of leaders at climate summits began in 1995. They are attended by signatories of the UN convention on: climate change signed three years earlier in Rio de Janeiro. Today there are 198 countries, i.e. practically the whole world. COP28 organizers expect over 60,000 people to come to Dubai. people, including state delegates, business leaders, activists, representatives of indigenous communities and others.
COP28 climate summit – why is it important?
Scientists emphasize that climate change is progressing so quickly that 2023 will probably set another record and be the warmest in history. Moreover, according to new data, thanks to global warming, the volume of sea ice in Antarctica in September was less than the average for the period, by an area equal to the size of Portugal, Spain, France and Germany combined. – This all spells disaster for the entire world. What happens in Antarctica doesn’t stay in Antarctica. And what is happening thousands of kilometers away has a direct impact on this place, warned UN Secretary General António Guterres, who visited this continent a few days ago.
Let us recall that in the Paris Agreement adopted during COP21 in 2015, the governments agreed that the average increase in global temperature in the world should be lower than 2 degrees Celsius and that they will strive to keep it at the level of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era . Since then, subsequent climate conferences have focused on how to achieve these goals.
According to the UN, COP28 may be a “turning point” in climate protection activities, because countries must agree not only on what else needs to be done to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, but also on how to pursue them. As the organization points out, key decisions may be made about how to measure progress, adapt to climate change or finance the plans.
Controversies surrounding the organization of the summit in Dubai
Climate summits are held in a different place every year. The conferences came to Poland three times – COP14 in 2008 was held in Poznań, COP19 in 2013 in Warsaw, and COP24 in 2018 in Katowice. The decision to hold this year’s summit in the UAE was controversial because the country is one of the largest oil producers. Its host is Sultan Al-Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and president of the national oil giant – ADNOC, which produces almost four million barrels of oil a day. In addition, media reports show that The UAE wants to capitalize on its role as host to conclude oil and gas contracts behind the scenes.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/MARTIN DIVISEK