World leaders convened in Dubai City, United Arab Emirates, for the 28th annual Conference of Parties (COP28) to display formidable global climate leadership.
Spearheading the call to end the world's dependence on fossil fuels and fulfill the promise of climate justice was UN Secretary General António Guterres. A significant milestone was the conclusion of a deal for operationalizing a fund to assist the world's most impacted countries by climate disaster.
Climate Leadership and Justice
António Guterres stressed the urgency of a radical reduction in emissions and a swift transition towards renewable energy.
He further advocated for developed nations to double their adaptation finance to $40 billion annually by 2025, and to provide explicit plans for the $100 billion promise to support developing countries. Indigenous communities actively participated in the summit, offering their unique knowledge to inform climate policy.
President Charles Michel echoed the call for drastic global action to limit global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees. The European Union (EU) affirmed its commitment to the fight for climate neutrality, having already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. As the largest provider of public climate finance globally, the EU pledged €220 million to the loss and damage fund.
Ahead of COP28
As the annual United Nations climate summit began, world leaders highlighted the urgency of action to slow global warming. The emphasis was even more notable as this year is likely the hottest recorded in history.
Greenhouse gases have warmed the planet by approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, causing widespread destruction. A significant discussion point at the meeting was an international effort to limit methane emissions, a highly potent greenhouse gas.
US-China Consensus and UAE Commitment
In a significant moment ahead of COP28, the US and China reached a consensus on Loss & Damage, with pledges exceeding $420 million within an hour.
The United Arab Emirates stepped up with its commitment of $100 million to the Fund designed to aid countries at extreme risk from climate change. As ambitions become actions and promises become progress, the world awaits the outcomes of the World Climate Action Summit.