The upcoming COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is facing security concerns due to its proximity to the conflict zone involving Israeli forces and Hamas. Despite these concerns, COP28 officials have prioritized delivering the negotiation mandates.
Key Mandate: Reducing Emissions to Achieve the Paris Goal
One of the crucial mandates of COP28 is to reach a consensus on reducing global emissions by at least 43% in the next seven years. This target aims to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
Security Concerns Cast a Shadow on the Summit
The ongoing violence between Israeli forces and Hamas has raised security concerns for the COP28 event, scheduled for November-December. This conflict has raised uncertainty over consensus-building efforts and resource allocation.
Experts Express Concerns
Experts warn that the crisis in Israel-Gaza could delay global efforts to combat climate change, including crucial support for developing countries to transition to green economies and manage climate impacts. This diversion of resources could have significant environmental consequences on a global scale.
UAE’s Stance on Security and De-escalation
The UAE, the host of COP28, has rejected security concerns and stated that they are focused on delivering the summit’s mandate. They believe that the international community will come together to de-escalate the situation. The President of the UAE, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Escalation of Violence in the Region
The recent conflict has resulted in significant casualties, with Hamas launching attacks on southern Israel and the Israeli military responding with strikes on Gaza. The situation remains volatile, with the potential for further escalation.
Impact on Climate Negotiations
The violence in the region threatens to strain the negotiations at COP28, which include key mandates like the Global Stocktake and operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund. These issues were already expected to involve political friction between rich and emerging economies, and the conflict in West Asia may further complicate these negotiations.
Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi’s Call to Action
Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, the COP28 director general from the UAE, emphasized the need to reduce emissions by at least 43% in the next seven years. He urged industry leaders to drive global decarbonization efforts and called on oil companies to align with net zero goals and reduce emissions.
Challenges in Meeting Paris Agreement Goals
Meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals of limiting global warming to 1.5°C is challenging, as global emissions continue to rise, and temporary breaches of this target have already been recorded.
Operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund
Discussions around the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund have faced obstacles, with developed nations appearing to diminish the fund’s scope. This issue is critical, especially as the world faces increasing climatic catastrophes.
UAE’s Stance on Regional Stability
The UAE emphasized the need for international cooperation to prevent violence from spreading and causing wider instability in the region. They called for resolute action to counteract violent attempts to disrupt regional efforts for dialogue, cooperation, and co-existence.