The United Nations Conference of Parties (COP), an annual climate conference, is set to begin at the end of November in Dubai, UAE, and COP28 “is going to be a far more decisive”.
“COP28 is going to be a far more decisive COP than we’ve seen in the last two or three years, as COP-28 is going to set the pace for global stock-taking,” said Suruchi Bhadwal, the programme director of TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute). The United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) is the most high-profile summit where countries discuss the challenges of climate change and the roles and responsibilities of the world’s governments in addressing them.
According to Bhadwal, the conference will focus on issues like greenhouse emissions, loss and damage funds, climate finance, and health security and address other issues like CBAM.
Greenhouse gas emissions
In COP28, more than 200 countries will together review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instrument that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements. This time, one of the major focuses of the meeting will be the overarching goals of the world, which are to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. COP-28 will help initiate and set the standards and frameworks for it by way of which countries can report back, which will help in the decision-making process.
Loss and damage funds
In COP27, which was held in 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the countries discussed loss and damage funds, but the discussions were incomplete because of the nature of the fund, the structure of the fund, where it will be housed, and the constitution of the countries that will be on the board. Those decisions were not taken. So, those details and more will most likely get defined this year at the top with the negotiations happening around the L&D fund.
Since COP-21, there has been a long-standing debate on climate finance and the commitments of developed countries to developing countries that have never been met. So, those commitments will also be revised this year.
COP-28 is taking place in Dubai, a desert region; so a large focus is also going to be on cooling and cooling technologies. Heat stress management is important as the climate over there is extreme. Though these countries are rich in the Middle East, they face issues like very dry conditions and desertification. In fact, many of them are drawing water from the sea, and the water is coming at a very expensive cost to them by desalinizing.
“The discussion will not just be the mitigation part of things, but also the adaptation part of things, the resilience part of things that will be a focus,” said Bhadwal.
Besides that, there can be global goals for health security. The Covid pandemic showed us why we need health security.
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will come, and Europe is introducing it in the European region, and with time, it will expand to other regions. India is most likely going to oppose it because one can›t compare and impose the same regulation that one is imposing on the US and the UK. Countries like India or other countries are on the other side and “we are not on the same footing”. «Regulation, which is uniform across the world from a righteousness point of view and an equity and justice point of view, cannot be uniform for all countries,» said Bhadwal.
India as a global leader
One of the things that came out of the G20 leadership is that India is not just about India itself; “we have collective ownership”. Even tagline “One Earth, One Family”, basically means that “we are a collective, we work together, we have a common objective of protecting the earth, etc”.
“Our language to address these forums has always been a collective approach towards solving problems, whether global or otherwise, and that itself has shown them that the global leadership that India shows comes from its culture,” said Bhadwal.
In Glasgow, COP-26, India made five commitments called “Panchamrit,» and India is trying to work towards those goals. There are three quantifiable goals and five non-quantifiable goals; India on track for two of them—one is with regard to forest sequestration; the second is with regard to the intensity of the emissions. “They are achievable. The reason why they will be achieved is because some of these technologies that we are talking about are already on the market”.
According to Bhadwal, “We took 20-30 years to acknowledge it; now we will take 20-30 years to act on it, which is fine because that will be reaped by the generation that will be born in 2080 or 2090.”