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COP28: Call to speed up action in face of climate change

The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP28, started in Dubai Thursday afternoon in the United Arab Emirates.

This year’s climate conference has garnered notable global attention as it marks the conclusion of the Global Stocktake, the first-ever two-year assessment of the world’s collective progress toward the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

After being formally appointed the COP28 president, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said “the new road starts with a decision on the Global Stocktake, a decision that is ambitious, corrects course and accelerates action to 2030.”

Al Jaber made a rallying call to world leaders, urging immediate and ambitious action on the Global Stocktake, swift consensus on the agenda, and a quick move to text.

He noted that “this Presidency is committed to unlocking (green) finance to ensure that the Global South does not have to choose between development and climate action,” calling on all parties to find common ground, come forward with solutions, and achieve consensus.

At the opening ceremony, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell said “we are taking baby steps. Stepping far too slowly from an unstable world that lacks resilience to working out the best responses to the complex impacts (of the climate change) we are facing.”

He called on relevant parties to “take responsibility for speeding things up,” and “be transparent in the actions and decisions we take with each other.”

While making his staunch calls for the transition from fossil fuels to green energy, the UN climate official stressed “justice within and between countries” in this regard.

He also warned “we have around six years before we exhaust the planet’s ability to cope with our emissions before we blow through the 1.5-degree limit.”

The conference, running from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, will welcome more than 70,000 delegates from around the globe in a bid to work out a worldwide solution to the pressing climate issues facing the planet and all mankind. ■

Famagusta Gazette