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  • Writer's pictureCliff L'Aimable _Chartered Surveyor & Building Engineer

COP28_The current world stage in Dubai

Introducing COP28 - What is it, what are the goals, and why is it taking place in Dubai

The 28th annual Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a global event that aims to tackle existential challenges posed by climate change. The conference represents a collaborative effort between nations to establish, implement, and track progress towards ambitious environmental policies. This year, the event takes place in Dubai, a city known for its innovative and forward-thinking approach to sustainability. The selection of Dubai as the host city underscores the global commitment to incorporate all regions, including those heavily reliant on fossil fuels, in the fight against climate change. The primary goal of COP28 is to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement, a historic treaty adopted in 2015 that seeks to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.



Cliff L'Aimable COP28
Cliff L'Aimable COP28


Despite the high ambitions and global significance of COP28, its location in Dubai, a prominent petro-state, has sparked controversy. Critics argue that hosting such an important environmental summit in a country whose economy is deeply rooted in the fossil fuel industry sends a contradictory message. They point out the irony in discussing climate change solutions in a region that has historically been a significant contributor to carbon emissions. Furthermore, some have raised concerns about the possibility of oil and gas interests influencing the direction and outcomes of the conference. However, defenders of the decision underscore that it's crucial to include all nations, even those heavily dependent on fossil fuels, in these critical discussions on climate change. They view the choice of location as a strategic move signaling a push for broader change in the energy policies of oil-rich nations.


Cliff L'Aimable COP28
Cliff L'Aimable COP28

A Closer Look at the Initiatives Being Proposed at COP28

At COP28, several initiatives are being proposed to address the urgent issue of climate change. One of the most notable is the introduction of strict emission standards for industries across the globe, along with incentives for companies that consistently meet or exceed these standards. There is also a push for more countries to commit to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, which means that they would balance the amount of greenhouse gases produced with the amount removed from the atmosphere. Additionally, there are proposals to increase funding for clean energy research and development, especially in developing nations, and to establish global guidelines for the ethical and sustainable extraction of natural resources. These initiatives, among others, represent comprehensive efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change and promote a sustainable future.


Cliff L'Aimable COP28
Cliff L'Aimable COP28

Examining How Other Countries Have Responded to Climate Change in Years Past

Countries around the world have responded to climate change in diverse ways, reflecting their unique economic, political, and geographical situations. Sweden, for example, has been a pioneer in environmental sustainability, implementing a carbon tax as early as 1991. This measure has significantly reduced the country's reliance on fossil fuels, with more than half of its energy now sourced from renewables as of 2023. Germany's Energiewende or "energy turnaround" policy has also been a landmark initiative, focusing on increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and expanding renewable energy sources. China, which has historically been a top global emitter, has made remarkable strides in recent years. By 2023, it has become the world leader in the production of solar panels and wind turbines, and has also launched a national carbon trading system. On the other hand, small island nations like the Maldives have focused on adaptation strategies, building sea walls and relocating communities to combat the threat of rising sea levels. These diverse responses demonstrate the global commitment to addressing climate change, and offer innovative solutions that can be applied in different contexts.


Cliff L'Aimable COP28
Cliff L'Aimable COP28

Highlighting Key Players Involved in COP28 and Their Goals


COP28 sees various key players taking the stage, each showcasing their distinct perspectives and goals towards curbing climate change. The European Union (EU), known for its ambitious green initiatives, continues to strive for a majority of its member states to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The United States, having recently re-entered the Paris Agreement, aims to regain its global leadership in climate action, emphasizing a just transition to a clean energy economy. China, the world's largest emitter, commits to peaking its carbon emissions before 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, with a focus on enhancing its carbon trading system. India, another significant player, focuses on expanding its renewable energy capacity while addressing its population's energy needs. Non-state actors, like multinational corporations and NGOs, also play crucial roles. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon pledge to be carbon neutral or negative by certain dates, while NGOs such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund advocate for more stringent emissions targets and the protection of global biodiversity. COP28 provides a platform for these varied entities to negotiate, cooperate, and galvanize global climate action.


Cliff L'Aimable COP28
Cliff L'Aimable COP28

Exploring The Challenges Faced By Governments During COP28 Negotiations


Negotiations at COP28 come with a set of unique challenges for governments. One of the main impediments is balancing national interests with global environmental goals. Each country grapples with its own socio-economic realities, and measures that are beneficial globally might not align with domestic priorities or short-term economic goals. Another hurdle is the historical culpability and present capability divide between developed and developing nations. The former are largely responsible for the bulk of historical greenhouse gas emissions, yet the latter suffer the most severe impacts of climate change. This disparity often leads to contentious debates over climate justice, equitable distribution of resources, and the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities'. Finally, the enforcement of climate commitments remains problematic. Many agreements lack legally binding mechanisms to ensure that countries adhere to their pledges, making it challenging to hold nations accountable for their climate actions.


Cliff L'Aimable COP28
Cliff L'Aimable COP28

Examining The Impacts Of COP28 On Global Climate Policies And Actions


The impacts of COP28 on global climate policies and actions are significant and wide-ranging. The conference serves as a catalyst for more ambitious national climate commitments, pushing countries to set and strive for stricter emission reduction targets. The dramatic shifts in policy that COP28 advocates, such as phasing out coal or promoting green technologies, can reshape entire economies and energy landscapes. Moreover, the emphasis on climate financing at the summit helps funnel resources towards sustainable projects, especially in developing nations. This can expedite their transition to a low-carbon economy and promote climate resilience. COP28 also plays an essential role in mainstreaming climate considerations into various sectors, from urban planning to agriculture, influencing how policies are formulated and implemented. Finally, the conference reaffirms the importance of international cooperation in addressing climate change, underlining the need for collective action and shared responsibility. The outcomes of COP28 thus have the potential to profoundly influence the trajectory of global climate actions and policies, steering the world towards a more sustainable future.



Cliff L'Aimable COP28
Cliff L'Aimable COP28

This blog : was written and edited by Mr Cliff L'Aimable (Building Regulations Specialist), who has been writing construction related blog posts since 1999. These articles and blogs state his own opinions and not that of any Association or Institutions that he is a member of. He is currently the Association of Building Control Approver Education Committee Chairman, and the Appointed RICS Professional Group Panel Chairman for Building Surveyors and Building Control professionals across the globe.

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