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COP28:Jon's take
(18/12/23)
Posted by : Transform our World

Generation Action Youth Panel member Jon gives his take on COP28

COP28 Jon

"Loss and Damage, Down, Out or just Away? - COP 28 discusses both the future and importantly the present threats and impacts to our planet.

 

As a young person I’m obviously worried about the future of our planet, but I was excited to see a shift of focus in this COP to include addressing the issues climate change is already causing our world - not just future impacts. 

 

The landmark agreement to set up a ‘Loss and Damage’ fund for the developing world is critical for countries who are already feeling the brunt of climate change but need help from the global community to manage its impact.

 

This is an important step in recognising climate change is not some future thing, to be discussed in theory just around conference tables. It’s a thing that is happening right now, today so action is also required right now, today. Still though, this is a small fund, a tiny proportion of the profits of global fossil fuel companies, I hope we’ll see it grow now established, but you have to start somewhere, so I see this as positive news!

 

The director of Greenpeace MENA (Middle East and North Africa), Ghiwa Nakat, reflected that ”Rich, developed countries must step up with major contributions to the new fund, and polluting industries must also be made to pay. If the COP presidency can build on this with a consensus agreement on just phasing out fossil fuels, COP 28 will indeed be a historic event.”

 

Onto fossil fuels, rarely does one word have such significance, but when it comes to ‘down or out?’ this one word makes all the difference. 

 

I’d hoped that this COP would unify and cement the call for a complete phase out of fossil fuel usage in support of climate targets. At worst I was expecting a significant focus on phasing down global reliance on what scientists tell us is the single biggest contributor to catastrophic climate change. 

 

Therefore I’m really disappointed that the discussions around the final COP agreement seem to focus on whether fossil fuels are even mentioned, with just a watered down reference to moving away from them seemingly likely. The apparent role of OPEC, and questions about the impartiality of COP28’s hosts and their questioning of the science on fossil fuels is very troubling. 

 

The scientific evidence is clear, we have to remove global addiction to fossil fuels, else in the end, our addiction will lead to our extinction. For COP28 to not recognise that with meaningful commitments to deliver a knockout blow to fossil fuels is a massive disappointment.

 

In the end, it’s a COP of some good news, but also a significant missed opportunity, and a COP that has left more questions unanswered than answered, the future still feels very uncertain."

Read blog posts from other Generation Action Youth Panel members Evie and Zayn.

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