Contradictions and Opportunities at COP 28

It will be held in Dubai and the president will be Al-Jaber who also presides over one of the most important local oil companies.

The 28th annual United Nations Climate Conference will be held in Dubai in December, a session that is expected to be rather delicate; 2023 saw an acceleration of extreme climate events across all continents.

However, COP 28 will be a complicated conference, starting from the choice to indicate Sultan al-Jaber, minister of industry of the United Arab Emirates and head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), one of the largest oil companies in the world, as president-designate.

Al-Jaber is well aware of the delicate nature of his role in an event that aims to drastically reduce climate-changing emissions and, consequently, the consumption of fossil fuels. He thus wanted to send important signals to the preparatory conference in Berlin. The sultan, in fact, stated that to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement it will be necessary to triple renewable power by 2030 and double it again by 2040.

His appointment as president of COP 28 came under criticism from climate activists and civil society groups who called on Al-Jaber to resign as director of Adnoc, a role which implies a conflict of interest with his position in the conference.

Meanwhile, African states are interested in the evolution of climate diplomacy, considering the very serious impacts of drought, floods and extreme temperatures.

Currently, however, only a tenth of global climate finance goes to Africa. According to the African Development Bank, 250 billion dollars a year would be needed to achieve the objectives that the countries of the continent have set themselves for 2030, while the financing they receive is less than 30 billion dollars a year.

In particular, the enormous potential of Africa’s renewable sources is underlined which, if it were even partially activated, would make it possible to supply clean energy, guarantee employment and respond to many of the population’s needs, starting with those of the 600 million people who still they have no access to electricity. (Gianni Silvestrini) – (Photo: © FAO/Giulio Napolitano).

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