Addressing the impacts of climate change is crucial. It is causing serious problems worldwide, so it’s important for every nation to speak up. It is important that the people are aware of the urgent situation and are taking on the responsibility of holding leaders, both in politics and business, accountable. Thus, the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP28) is a big moment for everyone working towards a sustainable future.
The World Climate Action Summit marks the significant part of the 28th Conference of Parties (COP-28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is happening in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, with the UAE in the presidency role.
Let’s try to understand the meaning and significance of the Conference of Parties. Back in 1992, during the Rio Earth Summit, 154 countries agreed on a treaty called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The goal was to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations to prevent harmful human-induced interference with the climate system. The treaty became effective two years later, and since then, the countries involved meet annually at different locations. Currently, there are 198 parties or signatories to the Convention. The idea back then was a joint commitment to address climate change, inspired by the success of the 1987 Montreal Protocol and a 1991 agreement between the US and Canada to combat acid rain.
Given the rising global temperatures and the increasing impact of extreme weather events, this year’s UN climate change conference, COP28, is a crucial opportunity to make positive changes and speed up efforts to combat the climate crisis. COP28 will assess the progress made on the Paris Agreement, a significant climate treaty from 2015, and lay out a plan to significantly reduce emissions to protect lives and livelihoods.
COP28 aims to make significant strides across various fronts. These include finalizing details for a finance facility to assist vulnerable communities in managing immediate climate impacts and establishing a global finance goal to support the climate change efforts of developing countries. The conference also seeks to hasten the transition to sustainable energy and ensure a fair transition, as well as address the substantial emissions gap, among other crucial objectives.
Furthermore, COP28 marks the conclusion of the inaugural global stocktake. Decisions on the global stocktake will be made by governments during COP28, offering a valuable opportunity to enhance ambition in their upcoming climate action plans scheduled for submission by 2025. This process enables countries and stakeholders to collectively assess their progress toward the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Unfortunately, the global stocktake has revealed that our efforts are falling short in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius1. Recognizing that time is of the essence, urgent action is imperative. While the global stocktake has underscored slow progress, it has also presented a multitude of tools and solutions proposed by countries. COP28 is envisioned as a proactive conference where nations showcase how these tools will be deployed over the crucial next two years, aiming to accelerate the pace of progress.
What is India’s position and participation in COP 28?
Mukesh Ambani has been appointed to the President’s Advisory Committee for the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to UNFCCC. The urgent task is to ask financial institutions, and businesses everywhere to fully commit to actions that will protect our shared future. The call is for these entities to take the necessary steps to preserve the planet.
India’s youngest participant at COP28, Prasiddhi Singh, an 11-year-old environmental activist, says the country’s task now is to “balance economic growth and environmental stewardship”. She plans to call for collective action to work towards “a sustainable future”2.
Key priorities for India at COP28 include building on the positive momentum from the recent G20 summit, with a focus on tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030, advancements in green hydrogen, and securing low-cost finance for energy transition3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070 and a 50% share of renewables in the energy mix by 2030 will be under scrutiny, especially as India remains heavily dependent on coal, responsible for about 70% of its electricity. India’s ambitious target of reaching 500 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 reflects its commitment to a sustainable, low-carbon future4.
The nation’s push for developed countries to achieve carbon negativity by 2050, rather than neutrality, reflects its stance on balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability5. As India enters COP28, it also has the opportunity to showcase progress and dedication to a green and resilient future, with a diverse delegation including business leaders, environmental activists, and government officials contributing to the global discourse on climate action.