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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

What is at stake in Dubai?

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“Support for funding arrangements to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage associated with climate impacts needs must be scaled up”

Since Thursday, Nov. 30, until next Tuesday, Dec. 12, thousands of national leaders, government officials, official negotiators, climate justice activists, indigenous peoples, scientists, youth, and private sector people are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.

COP 28 is the 22nd climate convention conference of the parties I have attended in 28 years. And this year, among others, what is at stake is how the nations of the world assess where we are on our response to climate change.

The following article is an excerpt from a think piece titled “The Global Stocktake: A Reckoning for Leaders” that I co-wrote with Dr. Mark Bynoe from Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and Jayvy R. Gamboa from Manila Observatory.

This is a knowledge product of Allied for Climate Transformation by 2025 (ACT2025), a consortium of think tanks and experts elevating the needs and priorities of vulnerable developing countries to deliver ambitious, balanced, just, and equitable outcomes at the UN climate negotiations and chart a path toward greater global solidarity. My institution, Manila Observatory, is a partner of this consortium.

The full article may be found at the Global Stocktake: A Reckoning for Leaders.

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The Paris Agreement’s Global Stocktake (GST) is a unique opportunity to drive global climate action and support and increase global cooperation on long-term climate goals.

Designed to take place every five years, it aims to create evidence-based collective learning to inform future decisions and ramp up necessary climate action and support, both nationally and globally.

The GST aims to inform countries’ new climate plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), in 2025 and every five years thereafter.

The first Global Stocktake was launched in 2021 and will conclude in this month in Dubai.

In June 2023, Parties concluded the technical assessment phase of the GST and launched the final, political phase of the GST, known as the “consideration of outputs.”

The final synthesis report for the technical assessment phase was issued in Sept. 2023 and highlights 17 key findings that will inform the negotiated outcomes of the GST at COP28.

The synthesis report found that climate action and ambition have increased since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, with progress seen across all fronts.

However, scale, depth, and pace are not in keeping with a 1.5°C pathway that ensures a climate-resilient future.

On mitigation, the report notes there is both an ambition and implementation gap in cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, trajectories for which are not in line with modeled global mitigation pathways consistent with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

There is a clear demand for systems transformations across all sectors and contexts, including scaling up renewable energy while phasing out all unabated fossil fuels, ending deforestation, reducing non-CO2 emissions, and implementing both supply- and demand-side measures.

Further, adaptation efforts have increased and, across the adaptation cycle, progress is being made in mainstreaming climate-related risks in decision-making.

But adaptation is still fragmented, incremental, sector-specific, and unequally distributed across regions, with current adaptation support falling far short of developing countries’ needs.

In addition, support for funding arrangements to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage associated with climate impacts needs must be scaled up.

Indeed, finance is a prime enabler of climate action, but flows are not on par to support effective climate action at the required scale and speed. Of significant note has been the lapse in the US$100 billion commitment.

We have to rapidly scale up mobilization, improve access, and target finance to respond to the needs of the vulnerable in developing countries.

The report also highlights the importance of enabling conditions, incentivizing investments in mitigation and adaptation activities, as well as a systematic approach to shifting finance flows, especially through the reform of international financial institutions.

It emphasizes the need for the rapid deployment of new and existing technologies and for country-led and needs-based cooperation to ensure capacities are enhanced and retained over time at all levels.

In conclusion, the GST-related negotiations will likely affect the overall outcome of the COP, making the stakes very high for this meeting in Dubai.

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