The Road to COP28: How the UAE Can Contribute to Strengthening International Climate Action
While the world adopts the year 2050 as a deadline for achieving the net-zero goal, global economic conditions have led to an increase in carbon emissions by about 1.9 gigatonnes in 2021 alone, bringing total emissions to about 36.3 gigatonnes.
Although climate change affects the whole world, some regions suffer damages more than others.
The timeline of climate action extends from COP1 to COP 27. Key milestones are: the Earth Summit (1992), Kyoto Protocol (1997), Copenhagen Summit (2009), Green Climate Fund (2010), Paris Agreement (2015), European Green Deal (2019), COP26 Glasgow, UK (2021), and COP27 Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (2022).
Major challenges to climate action are: the huge funds needed for international climate action, weak international commitment to fulfil funding pledges, US-China rivalry, capability of Indian economy, concurrence of global crises, and monitoring compliance.
The UAE offers a model of national climate action through the development of its regulatory framework, strengthening of its local climate efforts, and raising of environmental awareness.
This has resulted in improved local climate indicators, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and less damage from carbon emissions.
The UAE's contribution to global climate action is demonstrated by its organization of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosting of the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the recently signed strategic partnership with the US to invest in clean energy.
For COP28 to be a success, the UAE needs to follow up on postponed climate issues, develop a mechanism for monitoring climate action, promote climate diplomacy, maintain continued momentum of climate action, support a global unified carbon price, lead regional climate efforts, and leverage the outcomes of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.