The Cop28 conference is currently live. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges for discussions to reach a consensus on completely eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, India states that coal will continue to be their primary source of energy.
During the Cop28 summit, a high-ranking government official stressed that coal will continue to be India’s primary source of energy for the foreseeable future.
India’s foreign secretary, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, stated that coal plays a crucial role in meeting India’s energy demands and will continue to do so. This was said to reporters before Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Dubai.
India currently relies on coal for approximately 75% of its electricity production. Due to a significant rise in power demand, the country is swiftly constructing 17 gigawatts of coal-powered plants, the quickest rate in recent times.
There is hope this year’s climate talks will include efforts to secure a global agreement on the phase-out of fossil fuels, of which coal is the dirtiest and most carbon intensive. India and China have been opposing attempts to block construction of new coal-fired power stations, according to Reuters.
Kwatra stated that India anticipates a defined plan for climate funding at Cop28. The country has consistently been open and direct about its backing of a fund for “loss-and-damage,” which seeks to assist nations in recovering from environmental harm caused by industrial progress.
According to Reuters, he stated that the establishment of a loss and damage fund would greatly aid developing nations.
Damian Carrington, environment editor for The Guardian, reports on the Cop28 attendees in Dubai.
At the unveiling of the World Meteorological Organization’s alarming State of the Climate report, he addressed the prediction that 2023 will break the record for the highest temperature ever recorded.
“This year has witnessed various communities worldwide being hit hard by fires, floods, and extreme temperatures – resulting in devastating consequences,” stated Guterres. “The unprecedented rise in global temperatures should serve as a wake-up call for world leaders, compelling them to take action.”
The WMO released a report, scheduled to coincide with the Cop28 negotiations, stating that climate records were broken in 2023, resulting in widespread destruction and hopelessness.
Information from October’s data indicated that 2023 was approximately 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than pre-industrial levels. This increase can be attributed to the ongoing increase in carbon emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, as well as the reoccurrence of the El Niño climate pattern. It is expected that 2024 will also break records and bring us closer to the globally agreed upon limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Sultan Al Jaber officially launched the Cop28 climate negotiations in Dubai, following the presentation of the small hammer representing his presidency.
Reuters has released the initial statement made by Al Jaber to attendees, which was shared with reporters. According to the news agency, Al Jaber expressed the presence of differing opinions on the inclusion of language pertaining to fossil fuels and renewable energy in the negotiated text. He urged collaboration among delegates.
My fellow workers, let it be known that this is the administration that took a brave step to actively communicate with oil and gas corporations,” stated Jaber. “We had numerous challenging conversations. I can assure you, it was not a simple task.”
Al Jaber mentioned that several national oil companies have committed to achieving net-zero goals by 2050. He expressed gratitude for their participation in this transformative journey, but also stated that their efforts could be further improved.
Al Jaber is also the chief executive of the United Arab Emirates’ national oil company, Adnoc.
During the Cop28 summit, a high-ranking government official stressed that coal will continue to be India’s primary energy source for the foreseeable future.
India’s foreign secretary, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, stated in a press conference that coal would continue to play a significant role in meeting India’s energy demands. This was said before Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Dubai.
India currently relies on coal for around 75% of its electricity production and is rapidly increasing its coal-powered capacity by 17 gigawatts in response to a significant rise in power needs.
This year’s climate negotiations may involve discussions on achieving a worldwide consensus to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, particularly coal which is the most polluting and emits high levels of carbon. According to Reuters, India and China have been opposed to measures that would prevent the building of new coal-fired power plants.
According to Kwatra, India is anticipating a well-defined plan for climate funding at Cop28 and has consistently expressed its backing for a “loss-and-damage” fund designed to aid countries in recovering from ecological harm caused by industrial progress.
He stated that the establishment of a loss and damage fund would greatly aid developing nations, according to Reuters.
This morning, the location for the Cop28 climate talks was announced. My colleague at the environment desk, Nina Lakhani, is currently present and has provided an update on the surroundings of Expo City in Abu Dhabi.
On the first day, the expansive Expo location is starting to attract attendees, diplomats, and advocates from over 180 nations. Among them are fashion enthusiasts adding flair to the intense and formal discussions.
Instead of focusing on fashion week, the climate summit offers the opportunity to not only observe global clothing trends, but also to learn about the traditional attire of unfamiliar countries, communities, and Indigenous territories.
From beaded hijabs, silk saris and brilliant white dishdashas to Mayan huipiles, Amazonian headdresses, and west African Ankara wax fabrics, getting to hang out with people from every corner of the planet is one of the highlights of Cop.
Which group is considered the worst dressed? Undoubtedly, it is the media, although some of our colleagues from Africa, Latin America, and Asia put in much more effort than us who prioritize comfort.
English may be the main negotiating language, wait in line for coffee or the bathroom, and you’ll hear a glorious array of languages and dialects. It’s outside the formal negotiations that the power of collaboration and grassroots community building comes into its own. There’s a lot not to like about Cop but the diversity and relationship building is a beautiful thing.
Today’s Cop28 message is “Say No to Fake Solutions.”
According to Reuters, Cop28 is aiming to secure an initial win for a disaster relief fund on Thursday, before shifting focus to more controversial topics like the fate of fossil fuels during the summit.
According to the news agency, diplomats are optimistic that a proposed agreement for a loss and damage fund can be swiftly approved at the beginning of the climate discussions. The United Arab Emirates, serving as the Cop28 presidency, has already released a plan for this fund.
After reaching a consensus, wealthy nations can start making financial commitments. According to European diplomats who spoke to Reuters, countries such as Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands are anticipated to declare their contributions within the coming days.
The EU climate commissioner, Wopke Hoekstra, stated that all individuals who are capable of paying should contribute. He also expressed his desire to expand the donor pool beyond the typical contributors, as this better reflects the current state of affairs in 2023.
As governments gear up for lengthy and challenging discussions regarding the potential elimination of coal, oil, and gas, which are major contributors to carbon emissions, there is optimism that an initial success on the issue of loss and damage will set the stage for further compromises in the future.
After initiating their push for addressing climate change with a public demonstration outside of the British parliament, XR reports that we are now facing a reality that is just as dire, if not more so, than what they had predicted five years ago. It is projected that 2023 will officially be named the hottest year on record.
In this situation, we are witnessing a repeat occurrence of global leaders traveling via their personal airplanes to attend the upcoming climate conference, Cop28. This event will be held in Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, a country that heavily relies on revenue from fossil fuels. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the founder and chairman of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), is spearheading Cop28, despite the fact that the company has ambitious plans that contradict achieving net-zero emissions.
The Cop process appears to have been taken over by the fossil fuel industry even before it started. It is doubtful that we will witness a quick and fair elimination of all fossil fuels as a result of this process.
Despite this, XR has stated that it will not dismiss the discussions at Cop and has made requests for several desired outcomes, such as upholding climate finance grants, promptly creating a loss and damage fund, forgiving debt, and implementing a speedy and equitable procedure.
Refusing to acknowledge Cop only shows our arrogance as a minority group and benefits the system we are attempting to improve. The ones in authority have purposely created Cop to benefit themselves – it’s no surprise they want us to overlook it. Numerous countries in the majority world have no alternative but to cooperate with the United Nations (UN) as it is the only platform that somewhat resembles global democracy and allows their voices to be heard.
The G77 will attend, while President Lula of Brazil advocates for the establishment of an Amazon Cop by 2030. Several movements will participate in Cop in an effort to promote justice.
XRUK’s stance is that while Cop28 may not be satisfactory, it is currently the only option available.
During the Cop28 climate negotiations, British trade unions and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) urged governments to take immediate action to address climate change. They emphasized that the impact of extreme climate events is negatively affecting the education of approximately 40 million children worldwide every year.
The international secretary of NAHT, Helena Macormac, stated:
It is crucial that prompt and significant efforts are made on a global scale – the well-being of our youth is in jeopardy.
The UK government has declared that addressing climate change and biodiversity loss is its primary focus on the global stage. However, the lack of commitment and consistent cohesive policies in this realm suggests otherwise. The effects of climate change are already negatively impacting education and working conditions in the UK, as years of government negligence have left school buildings and classrooms ill-equipped to handle extreme weather events. Additionally, the rise of “climate refugees” and displaced students is also affecting school communities.
It is crucial for the voices of students to be heard in discussions about the climate crisis, and for them to have access to climate education. They are the ones who will lead the way in finding solutions to the climate crisis. Governments must acknowledge the important role that students, school leaders, and educational institutions play in addressing climate change, and strive to create a fair transition for the future.
Cop28. If you are unable to read, you have the option to listen.
This week’s edition of The Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast highlights all the essential information about the climate talks. Host Ian Sample interviews Fiona Harvey, our environment editor and expert on Cop.
This year’s summit is being hailed as the most crucial one yet, following a year of exceptionally high temperatures. Fiona elaborates on the controversy surrounding the summit prior to its start, the key topics that will be discussed, and the ways in which countries can work together to achieve the objectives outlined in the Paris agreement of 2015.
The UK’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, plans to travel to Dubai for the beginning of the Cop28 summit in an effort to bolster his reputation as a global leader.
In recent months, the UK government has granted over 100 additional permits for extracting oil and gas in the North Sea. ActionAid UK, a charity focused on development, has condemned the UK’s efforts towards addressing climate change, stating that local policies are hindering progress on a global scale and sending a negative message to other countries.
“We have long known that climate change disproportionately affects the world’s most vulnerable communities, and this study further highlights the urgent need for action to address the root causes of this crisis.”
Zahra Hdidou, a senior adviser on climate and resilience for ActionAid UK, stated to the Guardian that it is well-established that climate change has a greater impact on the most marginalized societies. This research emphasizes the critical need for immediate action to address the underlying issues contributing to this crisis.
Upon Rishi Sunak’s arrival in Dubai, we express great concern regarding the message being conveyed by the UK government to nations in the global south who are suffering from their lack of action towards addressing climate change. Despite the UK’s statements of being the most ambitious in terms of climate action compared to other major economies, this is far from the reality.
The UK’s decision to issue licenses for more than 100 new oil and gas fields without outlining a clear plan for delivering £11.6bn in loss and damage finance to countries impacted by climate change will have devastating long-term consequences on the environment and disproportionately harm women and girls.
Hiddou noted the significance of the UK’s financial sector in funding fossil fuel ventures, as it is considered one of the top sectors globally.
According to our recent study, the United Kingdom is a major hub for the international finance industry. Our research shows that this industry has invested billions of pounds into fossil fuel and agribusiness companies since the Paris agreement. As some of the biggest contributors to climate change, UK banks such as HSBC and Barclays have a duty to regulate the sector and prevent funding for industries that harm the environment.
Rather than increasing investments in fossil fuels and perpetuating its damaging and polluting history, it should demonstrate strong leadership in Dubai and pledge to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
Cop28 climate talks. Highlighting the apparent contradiction is a tweet from one attendee showing this incongruous sight from her hotel room window.
The Guardian’s Europe environment correspondent, Ajit Narinjan, reports on the Cop28 climate summit.
“Maintaining a high level of outrage is crucial since we are significantly behind schedule,” stated Christiana Figueres, an experienced negotiator who is credited with designing the Paris climate accord.
She highlighted the inadequate measures implemented by governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the significant $7 trillion used to support fossil fuel industries.
However, there were reasons to be hopeful that could prevent individuals from succumbing to a negative mindset, she explained. “Each morning, I make a deliberate decision to acknowledge all the negative news that bombards me through various news sources, but also to seek out the positive developments and disruptive changes that are happening,” she said.
On Monday, Figueres addressed a small group of journalists and emphasized the decreasing expense of sustainable energy and the increasing popularity of electric vehicles as two areas experiencing rapid and positive transformations.
The sun has risen at the Cop28 climate talks in Dubai. The news wires are sharing the initial images of the conference as it begins this morning.
The summit has just begun and Cop28 is urging all nations to take action.
The climate conference for this year arrives as the crisis reaches a new stage and displays its full impact, causing harm to billions of individuals and resulting in trillions of costs. Presently, everyone is at the forefront and no nation is exempt.
However, many governments are only making small progress, despite the pressing need for major action. Therefore, it is evident that maintaining the status quo is causing harm to our planet. At the Cop28 climate conference, leaders must take action to address the issue.
It’s great that over 160 world leaders are coming, but Cop28 cannot be just a photo-op. Leaders must deliver in Dubai – the message is clear.
In order for progress to be made, it is essential for them to commit to tripling the use of renewable energy in the next ten years and increasing energy efficiency by double. Additionally, Cop28 must demonstrate a definite agreement to move away from dependence on fossil fuels. The use of renewable energy not only provides safe and affordable energy, but also creates more jobs, boosts economic growth, reduces pollution, and promotes better health for individuals in all countries.
Underdeveloped countries, who are not responsible for the current crisis, have been denied fair treatment and support in dealing with the effects of climate change for an extended period of time. The previous conference in Egypt resulted in the creation of a significant fund for addressing losses and damages. This year’s conference in the UAE must take concrete action to fully fund this initiative. Merely offering inadequate funding will not suffice.
In a divided world, taking action on climate change presents an opportunity to come together for a shared purpose: ensuring survival, justice, and prosperity. Simply put, our divisions will lead to destruction, but finding solutions can save us. It is now time for all of us to take action.
The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, has stated that the upcoming Cop climate discussions should strive for a total elimination of fossil fuels. He maintains that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C is still attainable and relevant.
In an interview with the French state-owned news agency AFP, Guterres stated before his departure to the conference in Dubai.
Clearly, I support the use of language that involves phasing out, even within a reasonable timeframe.
We possess the ability, the advancements, and the resources – as the funds are accessible, it is a matter of ensuring they are utilized properly – to take the necessary actions, not just to maintain the goal of 1.5 degrees, but to maintain it successfully.
The one missing element is political determination.
Researchers are raising more alarms about the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, a target that countries have acknowledged would have catastrophic consequences for human civilization.
Since the objective was established during the Paris climate negotiations in 2015, the efforts of nations have not met expectations. Certain nations are advocating for Cop28’s final declaration, which necessitates unanimous consensus, to explicitly demand a decrease in fossil fuel usage – a groundbreaking precedent.
However, Guterres expressed his belief that merely promising to decrease the use of fossil fuels would not suffice. He stated, “It would be unfortunate if we were to remain in a vague and non-committal ‘phase-down’ that lacks clarity for anyone.”
met nearly every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. Under the 1992 UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), every country is treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change” and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way.
The abbreviation COP represents the conference of the parties within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The yearly gatherings have alternated between tense and dull, with occasional highlights of intense action and both success (the Paris agreement in 2015) and failure (Copenhagen in 2009). This year marks the 28th event, and is expected to be a challenging continuation of last year’s conference, where developing nations achieved success in important areas related to climate finance.
To find additional information about Cop28 and its purpose, including an explanation for “Why do we need a Cop anyway?”, please click the link below.
Hello, it’s Damien Gayle reporting on the opening day of Cop28, also known as the 28th Conference of Parties climate change summit.
The Guardian will be providing live updates on the negotiations and welcomes your input. Please send your thoughts and suggestions to [email protected]. Alan Evans ([email protected]) will be assuming control of the blog at a later time.
On this first day of the conference, the main event will be the opening ceremony. While Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will not be present, other global leaders, such as Rishi Sunak, are scheduled to arrive.
The negotiators aim to make significant advancements during this Cop meeting. Sultan Al Jaber, appointed as the summit’s president, shared with my colleague Fiona Harvey that they are striving for an “unprecedented outcome” that could potentially maintain the possibility of reducing global temperature increases to 1.5C.
But it is all still to play for. The US’s veteran climate negotiator, John Kerry, speaking to journalists in Dubai yesterday, said: “I feel confident that we will make progress [at Cop28]. The question is: how much progress?”