The consequences of the climate crisis are already wreaking havoc in many parts of the world, particularly among nations lacking the financial means to transition to low-carbon economic models
In a world grappling with an increasingly uncertain climate future, the need for immediate and collective action to combat the global climate crisis has never been more pressing. The spotlight now turns to Dubai, where the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) is poised to take centre stage.
As we approach the end of November, representatives from nearly 200 nations will convene in this vibrant metropolis, and the world's attention will be riveted to the unfolding events.
COP28 stands as a pivotal moment in our shared struggle against climate change. Against the backdrop of Dubai's iconic skyline, this conference holds the potential to shape the destiny of our planet. It offers an invaluable opportunity for nations to reaffirm their unwavering commitment to the fight against climate change.
Let’s explore what COP28 has in store and unravel the profound significance it holds for the future of our world.
Climate Finance: Bridging the Gap
Climate finance serves as the backbone of climate action, vital for addressing the global climate crisis. A commitment was made by developed nations to provide $100 billion annually to support climate initiatives in low-income countries.
However, this pledge, originally set to be fulfilled by 2020, remains largely unmet. As we approach COP28, it is imperative that we prioritise closing this financial gap to aid vulnerable nations and fund both adaptation and mitigation efforts in rapidly advancing economies.
The consequences of the climate crisis are already wreaking havoc in many parts of the world, particularly among nations lacking the financial means to transition to low-carbon economic models. Climate finance, encompassing the financial mechanisms and resources dedicated to climate action, is of utmost importance in the battle against climate change.
The substantial investments required for the global shift towards a low-carbon economy, as well as for supporting communities in building resilience and adapting to climate change impacts, cannot be understated.
Moreover, the existing climate funding mechanisms are often insufficient, hard to access, and tend to favour wealthier segments of the population. Bridging this financial divide is not only a moral imperative but also an essential step towards a more equitable and sustainable future.
Global Stocktake: Measure of Progress
COP28 marks a significant milestone as governments embark on a "global stocktake," a first-of-its-kind evaluation of the progress made in achieving the "Nationally Determined Contributions" (NDCs) set in Paris. Acknowledging the world's collective struggle to meet the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, we view this as an opportunity for positive change.
The critical goal is not just to conduct the stocktake but to shape a response that determines the future course of action. This response should culminate in a roadmap that outlines practical pathways for immediate, sector-specific, and regionally tailored action, ensuring that we collectively steer towards the future we aspire to achieve in the next seven years.
COP28 should foster a spirit of encouragement, compelling all nations to submit more ambitious NDCs aligned with the 1.5-degree target. This global stocktake offers a chance for recalibration—a collective effort to identify gaps and chart a course for swift action.
The envisioned outcome should be a united global response that prioritises transitioning to low-carbon societies, rectifying climate finance shortfalls, safeguarding the well-being of people and their livelihoods, and promoting inclusivity.
Steering our Course Towards a Sustainable Future
COP28 carries a central expectation: nations must step up with more robust climate commitments. This entails setting ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition to renewable energy, and combat deforestation. These commitments shouldn't be mere pledges; they need to be backed by financial support and concrete implementation plans for tangible results.
In the pursuit of the 1.5-degree target, innovative tools like carbon credits come into play. Carbon credits offer a pivotal avenue to incentivize emission reduction efforts. They empower businesses and countries to invest in sustainable practises and compensate for emissions by supporting projects that reduce carbon elsewhere. This mechanism fosters vital financial backing for climate action, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future for all.
As we explore what to anticipate at COP28, it is crucial to acknowledge the pressing need for active participation from the business world. Without this engagement, we risk falling short of our objectives. To achieve this, a robust, transparent, and dynamic carbon market is essential, achieved through the standardisation of modalities and procedures as outlined in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
The business community eagerly anticipates COP28, as it could serve as a catalyst for the initiation of an International Compliance Carbon Trading Scheme under the oversight of the UNFCCC's Supervisory Body. This development would provide legitimacy to their decarbonization efforts and contribute significantly to the overall goals of climate action.
India at COP28
COP28 holds immense importance, not just for India but for the entire world. It will build upon the declaration adopted at the recent G20 summit in New Delhi. This declaration emphasised the need for clear financial pathways in the fight against climate change. We are optimistic that COP28 will provide greater clarity on these pathways, reaffirming the commitment with on-ground implementation plans and finances of nations to combat the climate crisis. India's stance at COP28 is unwavering.
We look forward to strong advocacy for adaptation, equity, and financial assistance in the battle against climate change. Climate justice demands that vulnerable countries receive the financial support and robust infrastructure needed to combat the far-reaching impacts of climate change. Hopes are high for the operationalisation of the Loss and Damages Fund, reflecting India's steadfast commitment to addressing the human and economic toll of climate change.
At its core, COP28 presents a vital moment to expedite climate action, underscoring the pressing need to shift towards clean energy sources and secure essential financial support using innovative tools such as carbon credits.
(Manish Dabkara, chairman and MD EKI Energy Services Ltd.)