COP28 reaches the moment of negotiations with many differences

COP28 reaches the moment of negotiations with many differences

Masks off! It’s negotiation time in the meeting rooms of Expo City Dubai at COP28. This Thursday, after a week of meetings, initiatives, talks and presentations, is a day of rest to begin the tough negotiations on Friday. Five days, they always take a few more hours, to reach a satisfactory agreement for a summit that before it began was baptized as “the most important since Paris in 2015.”

The first days the pavilions and press rooms were filled with optimism after the first official plenary session of COP28. “It is a historic agreement, for the first time in history an agreement is reached on day 1 of the climate summit,” Sultan Al-Yaber, president of this Conference of the Parties, announced a week ago at the opening of the event. climate.

After this achievement, the representatives of the States took the floor to announce their first contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund. Millions of euros that little by little have been filling the piggy bank available for the most vulnerable countries and that will be under the mandate of the World Bank.

A week later it is time for diplomacy with the arrival of ministers for next week’s final agreement. A text that should address the new Global Stocktake objectives in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and what will happen to the future of fossil fuels.

“We can only overcome the climate crisis by abandoning the current situation,” said the executive secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), Simon Stiell, this Wednesday in a meeting with the media.

The president of COP28 defends himself against accusations of being a denier:

After photographs, alliances and promises from each of the Parties, a first draft of the Global Stocktake was put on the table on Tuesday. The text, in its initial version, includes the option of extinguishing the use of fossil fuels, as well as “rapidly eliminating” in this decade all coal-fired energy generation that does not have mitigation techniques. “We are still far from a guaranteed result,” advanced the energy think tank E3G present in Dubai.

However, “there are countries that directly oppose the 35 points of the draft,” say sources consulted by this newspaper. «We have an initial text on the table, but it is a lot of wish lists and many different positions. The key is to separate the wheat from the chaff and if we want to save lives now and keep the 1.5 degree goal within reach, the results must be more ambitious,” said Stiell.

The key dispute centers on the final agreement and whether the Parties should commit to a “phasing out” or “phasing out.” “The word used is key and everything is adjusted to the millimeter,” José Luis García, Greenpeace spokesperson, tells this newspaper. “And more important is that it appears in the Global Stocktake section so that it is a mandate for the States,” he adds.

This section is one of the obligations born after the 2015 Paris agreement that establishes 5-year cycles for the countries adhering to this pact to review their emissions and see if they are on the path to maintaining global warming at 1.5 degrees set at COP21. Although science and the United Nations itself have made it clear that with the current national decarbonization plans, the average temperature of the planet will be 3 degrees warmer than that of the pre-industrial era, double the set objective.

Climate and geopolitical crisis

The climate summit is taking place on the margins of two serious crises, whose echoes resonate in the pavilions and rooms where the immediate future of the planet is being decided.

On the one hand, scientists have once again sounded the alarm, first the World Meteorological Organization and just yesterday the Copernicus Climate Change Service. 2023 is the warmest year since records began, they say with complete clarity. “The thermal anomaly is 1.46 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era,” they repeat.

A message about the negotiating table that is often clouded by the geopolitical crises in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. “We must forget the differences,” said Al-Jaber, president of COP28 at the opening session.


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