On the first-ever Health Day at a COP, more than 40 million health professionals from around the globe joined the call to action by the World Health Organization (WHO) and civil society organizations, to prioritize health in climate negotiations at COP28. Climate inaction is costing lives and impacting health every single day. Health workers demand immediate and bold action to phase out fossil fuels, transition to clean energy, build resilience and to support people and communities most vulnerable to impacts of the changing climate. They press for no more delays, no more excuses; urging action and justice now, for a healthy future for all.
At the COP28 climate conference on Saturday, nearly 120 nations pledged to triple the output of renewable energy on the planet by 2030. In Dubai, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, along with 118 countries and COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber, launched the Global Pledge on Renewables and Energy Efficiency at the World Climate Action Summit, a press release from the European Commission said. “With this Global Pledge, we have built a broad and strong coalition of countries committed to the clean energy transition – big and small, north and south, heavy emitters, developing nations, and small island states,” von der Leyen said in the press release.
For the first time ever, food and agriculture took center stage at the annual United Nations climate conference in 2023. More than 130 countries signed a declaration on Dec. 1, committing to make their food systems – everything from production to consumption – a focal point in national strategies to address climate change. The declaration is thin on concrete actions to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions, but it draws attention to a crucial issue. The global food supply is increasingly facing disruptions from extreme heat and storms. It is also a major contributor to climate change, responsible for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
NDN Collective’s delegation has been on the ground in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the past two weeks participating in pre-meetings and the first week of the United Nations 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28). This is NDN Collective’s third year participating in COP – a series of intensive events and discussions where governments around the world negotiate and determine actionable items on international climate change policies. Our delegation has been participating in the Indigenous Peoples Caucus and the Local Communities Indigenous Peoples Platform, as well as tracking negotiations, meeting with government officials, and more. Here is a round up from their first week on the ground with links to recorded events.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) began on November 30 in Dubai. Around 70,000 delegates are participating in the nearly two- week conference, including member states, business leaders, young people, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists, and other experts and stakeholders. The conference seeks to bring together these diverse sectors in order to build serious, global solutions that can address the pressing climate crisis and accelerate collective climate action. It is taking place amid Israel’s genocidal war against the Gaza Strip, which world leaders have brought up in their addresses to the conference and in other events. In his opening remarks to the conference, Colombian President Gustavo Petro condemned the actions of rich countries which have yet to fulfill their key responsibilities and commitments.
The European Union has clearly laid out its position: Climate neutrality, the Council of the EU stated last month, will require “a global phase-out of unabated fossil fuels and a peak in their consumption in this decade.” Then, in its second letter to parties, the president of COP28, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, underscored the need to “work towards a future energy system that is free of unabated fossil fuels by mid-century.” From having the CEO of an oil company preside over global climate negotiations, to getting a consulting firm to push the interests of its Big Oil and gas clients, it doesn’t look like a great start for the conference, set to begin on November 30th in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
The next United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP28, begins Thursday in the United Arab Emirates. The conference, which lasts through December 12, comes at a critical moment in global efforts to contain the climate crisis. The latest UN Emissions Gap Report, released ahead of the talks, found that nations’ current emissions reduction pledges, called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris agreement, would put the world on track for 2.9 degrees Celsius of warming beyond pre-industrial levels by 2100. Yet 2023, at an average 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming, is already shattering records with the hottest temperatures in 125,000 years, which have fueled deadly heat waves, floods and wildfires.
The United Arab Emirates, the host of this year’s UN climate conference COP28, has covertly conspired to use the global gathering as a place to strike fossil fuel deals with other countries and lobby for oil and gas, a damning investigation finds. According to reporting by the Centre for Climate Reporting (CCR) and BBC, Sultan al-Jaber — who is both the president of COP28 and CEO of the UAE’s state-owned oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) — sought to use the conference as an opportunity to increase ADNOC’s oil and gas exports. Al-Jaber has spent the last months meeting with global and business leaders, with at least one country allegedly following up on a discussion on business related to ADNOC.
Major meat companies and industry lobby groups are planning a large presence at COP28 in a few days time, equipped with a communications plan to get a pro-meat message heard by policymakers throughout the summit, DeSmog can reveal. Documents seen by DeSmog and the Guardian show that the meat industry is poised to “tell its story and tell it well” in the lead up and during the Dubai conference, which comes on the heels of the world’s hottest ever year. The files relate how the world’s largest meat company, JBS, is planning to come out in “full force” at the summit, along with other big industry hitters such as the Global Dairy Platform and the North American Meat Institute.
A new United Nations Climate Change report says that current climate action plans by nations are not enough to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and meet Paris Agreement targets. The report shows that countries need to take much more action immediately, even though some have been making increased efforts, in order to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and avoid the worst climate change impacts, a press release from the United Nations said. “Today’s report shows that governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis. And it shows why governments must make bold strides forward at COP28 in Dubai, to get on track,” said Simon Stiell
A letter from 131 companies, including Volvo, Heineken and IKEA, urges world leaders to agree on a timeline to stop using fossil fuels at the COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference next month in Dubai. The letter was coordinated by nonprofit We Mean Business, which advocates for better global climate action. “Our businesses are feeling the impacts and cost of increasing extreme weather events resulting from climate change… To decarbonise the global energy system, we need to ramp up clean energy as fast as we phase out the use and production of fossil fuels.
Top scientists have launched a yearly report series to plug knowledge gaps ahead of COP28 crunch climate talks in the United Arab Emirates. Their novel new “countdown clock” project aims to provide up-to-date information on the climate crisis. In particular, the report aims to inform the public and policymakers on the world’s progress in meeting international climate targets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned the world is on course to cross the key warming threshold of 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels in the early 2030s. The UN scientific advisory panel is in charge of summarising research on the climate crisis.
As some of the biggest companies – in particular meat and dairy firms – grow more concerned about their climate-villain images, they are turning to greenwashing techniques: well-known tactics deployed by oil and gas industries to shift the debate away from meaningful action. Often valid concepts in and of themselves, the problem lies in how they are touted as enviro-friendly actions while companies fail to cut their contribution to global heating. The agriculture industry has a lot to be worried about. Meat emits around a third of global emissions of methane, and action to cut this greenhouse gas has been identified by the UN and world leaders as the quickest route to slowing global heating. Farming also relies on synthetic fertilisers that are both fossil-fuel-based and emit greenhouse gases, and drives deforestation.