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COP28 in Dubai: What to expect from climate meeting

Context- Current levels of collective commitment of nations to combat climate change — a result of decades of hard negotiations, meetings, studies, and noisy campaigns — are simply inadequate. So, what can we expect from COP28, to be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12?

(Credits- climatepartner.com)

Context of the conference

  • The devastating impacts of climate change have been evident for several years now. This year is set to overtake 2016 as the warmest ever — and saw almost every month setting some or the other warming record.
  • The World Meteorological Organisation says one of the next four years — perhaps 2023 itself — will almost certainly breach the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold.
  • Although temperatures have gone up rapidly, the global response to it has not kept pace. A latest assessment in the new synthesis report on countries’ climate action plans, suggests that climate action agreed upon by countries so far would, in an optimistic scenario, result in just a 2 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, from 2019 levels.
  • A 43 per cent reduction, something that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said was absolutely essential for the 1.5 degree Celsius goal, currently seems to be a pipe dream.
  • Another UN report, among several released around this time of the year, suggests that despite a swift rise in climate risks, the amount of money being made available to developing countries for adaptation measures was actually declining, and nowhere close to the scale of the requirement.
  • Developing countries need at least $215 billion each year to do meaningful adaptation work, but barely $21 billion is actually flowing in, the Adaptation Gap report said.

What can be done at COP28

  • There is little that countries can do to stop the climate from deteriorating in the short term. Results of climate actions will be visible only over a longer period.
  • For the time being, it is mostly about avoiding a situation that is entirely hopeless. Unlike last year, the Dubai conference is expected to deliver some meaningful outcomes in this regard.

Tripling of Renewable Energy

  • Currently, the total installed capacity of renewable energy across the world is a little less than 3,400 GW — the idea is to triple it by 2030. That would mean that nearly 70 per cent of all electricity in 2030 would be generated through renewable energy, instead of the 28 per cent now.
  • The International Energy Agency estimates that this single measure has the potential to avoid 7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions between now and 2030, or about 1 billion tonnes every year on an average.
  • The proposal already has the endorsement of G20 countries, and with most other countries lending their support — 60 of them did it explicitly last week — it is likely to find a place in the final outcome of the Dubai meeting.

Delivery of $100 billion

  • This figure has been doing the rounds for more than a decade. Rich countries have promised to mobilise (at least) this much in climate finance every year from 2020 — a promise they have not met.
  • This year, developed countries are likely to finally claim to have delivered on their promise — never mind that $100 billion sounds like pocket change in comparison to trillions of dollars that are now estimated to be required for climate action.
  • While meeting this goal would still be an achievement, the real challenge would be making progress on finalising a new amount, over and above the $100 billion figure, that has to be raised every year, starting next year.

Money for Loss and Damage Fund

  • The creation of a loss and damage fund was the only saving grace for an otherwise disappointing climate meeting in Egypt last year.
  • The fund, meant to provide financial help to countries damaged by impacts of climate change, had been a long pending demand. It was created last year, but no one put money into it. The Dubai meeting is likely to see some money flowing into the fund

Global Stocktake

  • As mandated by the 2015 Paris Agreement, the findings of the first stocktake exercise is supposed to be presented at this meeting. Countries are supposed to assess where they are in the fight against climate change, and what needs to be done in the next five year period to make this fight more effective and potent.
  • The stocktake exercise has been carried out over the last one year, and its findings would inform the discussions taking place in Dubai.

Phase-down of Fossil Fuels

  • This is something that is likely to come up repeatedly at the Dubai meeting but remains contentious.
  • Countries still do not agree to a scheduled phase-down or phase-out of fossil fuels, particularly coal, over which deep divisions exist. This is one matter that is unlikely to be solved in Dubai.

Syllabus- Prelims ; Current Affairs

Source- Indian Express

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