United Arab Emirates to host climate summit

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As the United Arab Emirates gets ready to host this year’s COP28 from November 30 to December 12, final preparations are underway.

In a year of devastating floods, wildfires and the hottest temperatures on record, the climate conference, known as the Conference of the Parties (COP28), is set to debate a range of crucial topics.

While this year’s climate summit will be reviewing countries’ progress on implementation of the Paris Agreement, the UAE have also set four themes focusing on the energy transition, climate finance, climate management inclusivity and people, their livelihoods and nature.

With fossil fuel use and carbon emissions expected to top the agenda of the 13-day summit, plenty of criticism has been directed at the choice of host country.

Despite being a small country of only nine million inhabitants, the UAE emitted 237 million tones of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2021, according to the Global Carbon Atlas.

The Gulf state ranks at 25 tones of CO2 emitted per person.

In contrast, African countries have an average of 1 tone of CO2 emitted per person.

Africa has the lowest emissions of all continents.

Environmentalists have also criticised the decision to have the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, Sultan al-Jaber, tasked with the role of president.

Al-Jaber was further condemned on Monday for leaked documents that revealed that he planned to hold meetings with numerous governments at COP28 to discuss oil and gas deals.

For developing nations, last year’s ambitious “loss and damage” fund to help them mitigate the effects of climate change, will be a key topic of debate.

World leaders have agreed to the fund but there is still no consensus as to who should pay and how much.

At a United Nations committee meeting in September, developing countries, including those in Africa, proposed that the fund should be at least $100 billion and unlocked by 2030.

The published proposal said $100 billion should be a “minimum” and provide a safety net when climate impacts overburden a country’s capacity to cope.

The 28th COP is taking place as Africa contends with a year of climate-related emergencies on the continent.

From serious flooding in Libya and East Africa, to severe droughts in many countries including Ethiopia and Somalia, those heading to Dubai will have plenty to debate.

Africanews/Hauwa M.