COP28 Should Be Actionable

The communities keep suffering from the polycrisis issues and platforms like the Conference of Parties remain silent about the ongoing issues.

The polycrisis no longer needs stories, it needs urgent actions that can mitigate the
increasing climate crisis the world is facing.

It’s now days to the long waited 2023 COP28 that will happen from 30 November to 12 December
2023. The COP brings together all states that are parties to the convention and this will be the time to review the implementation of the convention and other legal instruments that the COP adopts and takesdecision to promote effective implementation of the convention, including institutional and
administrative arrangements. Futher the COP reviews the national communications and emission
inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the
measures taken by Parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective.

As we head to COP28 in United Arab Emirates (Dubai), many groups of people, including climate activists and civil society organisations, among others, have come out with their demands of what needs to be put at the centre of discussion during the COP. For example, for months, the loss and damage youth coalition have set up 10 demands with focus on financing loss and damage.

Currently, young people contribute the majority of the population across the world with 1.2 billion
aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. It is predicted that by 2030,
the number of youth will have grown by 7% to nearly 1.3 billion. The demands that youth raised
should be at the centre of discussion, especially since they are the most affected by the climate crisis.

The loss and damage financing is key and should be institutionalized during the COP. Young people continue to be the majority and the most affected by the increasing polycrisis levels being faced worldwide. The continuous and re-occurring catastrophic events that are both social, cultural and economic put the world in a situation that needs more discussion that are action-oriented, especially in the most supreme decision making body’s, like conference of parties.

As the world grapples with the increasing polycrisis levels that have severely affected most vulnerable group of people (youth), which contributes highest population across the world, it’s high time that the conference of parties begins action-oriented discussions. The increasing polycrisis needs countries–especially countries in the Global South–to think twice before any decision is made during the Conference of Parties.

It should be noted that across the world humanity faces an array of grave, long term challenges,
including climate change, biodiversity loss, pandemics, widening economic inequalities, financial
system instabilities, ideological extremism and increasing wars among countries, like what’s happening in Israel and Palestine (Gaza). These are some of the issues that the COP should put at the
centre during the discussions.

The community of people dedicated to understanding, mitigating, and governing the polycrisis remains fragmented. Further, the ongoing civil society campaigns and climate activists who have been warning about the increasing climatic crisis that is happening across the world needs to be given attention.

The activists have warned that unless there is a marked change in the approach to climate policies, COP28 could fail to deliver any meaningful progress. For example, the ongoing Stop EACOP campaign across the world and led by climate activists sends out the message that no further fossil fuel projects should go on to reduce the emissions. The report by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) finds that current pledges under the Paris Agreement put the world on track for a 2.5-2.9°C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels this century, which is far above the 1.5°C limit that would avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The report also finds that none of the G20 countries is reducing emissions at a pace consistent with their net-zero targets. The COP28 should call all nations to deliver economy-wide, low-carbon development transformations, with a focus on the energy transition plan to reduce emissions.

In September 2023, during the African climate summit (ACS) that happened in Nairobi, leaders were
called upon to make ambitious pledges and commitments towards the adoption of a “Pledging and
Commitment Framework.” It’s unfortunate that the summit, instead of pushing for policies that would see the Global North compensate African nations for its historic greenhouse gas emissions, embraced policies that will further hurt African nations.

The COP28 should focus and rely on the research reports and make decisions that are applicable and
action oriented, to mitigate the climate crisis. The IPCC report of 2023 indicates that there is a more than 50% chance that global temperature rise will reach or surpass 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) between 2021 and 2040 across studied scenarios, and under a high-emissions pathway, specifically, the world may hit this threshold even sooner between 2018-2037. These are some of the lessons that African leaders should focus on and pin the Global North countries that are funding the fossil fuel developments in Africa.

The COP28 should not be a photo moment event. This is the time when we need more actions done to the big polluters that are indirectly punishing the vulnerable countries, those that are most prone to climate impacts.

We need to act, change and build a green world.