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Business News/ Economy / COP28 to begin from Nov 30: Private sector investment, CO2 emissions among 8 other key themes on agenda
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COP28 to begin from Nov 30: Private sector investment, CO2 emissions among 8 other key themes on agenda

Methane is likely to be another key action area as the COP28 president-designate has called on the oil and gas industry to “eliminate methane emissions by 2030.”

According to the World Bank, there are now 73 carbon-pricing schemes across the world, covering 23% of global emissions, up from just 7% a decade ago (Source: HT)Premium
According to the World Bank, there are now 73 carbon-pricing schemes across the world, covering 23% of global emissions, up from just 7% a decade ago (Source: HT)

The United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) 28 meeting, to be held in Dubai between November 30- December 12, will be crucial this year as geopolitical risks after the Israel-Hamas war have raised new alarms for the global energy system to readdress climate change and energy deficit. According to a report by S&P Global Commodities, COP28 will deliver the first completed global stocktake of the world’s progress toward meeting climate goals. 

The reports' key findings include an implementation gap, with countries falling short of their targets, and an emissions ambition gap recognizing that current targets fall far short of the needed levels of commitments to reach Paris goals.

Also Read: COP-28 must focus on the climate-fuelled health crisis

“Given the competing geopolitical, economic, and financial pressures – and increasingly domestic-oriented policy directions – a key success at COP28 will be all countries taking part and remaining around the negotiating table,'' said Saugata Saha, president, S&P Global Commodity Insights.

‘’A good result beyond participation would be the build-up of trust, cooperation on sharing technologies, opening channels for needed capital flows, and bridging the North-South divide to solve the Energy Trilemma of affordability, security, and sustainability,'' added Saha. According to S&P Global Commodity Insights, here are the eight key themes to watch out for at COP28:

1.Emissions mitigation targets: The first global stocktake report found that the current emissions reduction targets that countries have established, as part of their commitments under the Paris Agreement, are insufficient to meet the overarching goal of the Agreement to ideally limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

2.Phase out fossil fuel: The European Union has announced that it will be bringing a proposal to phase out unabated fossil fuel use to COP28. If countries agree to such a pledge, expect debate regarding the exact language used. Key terms to watch will be “phase down" versus “phase out" and “unabated" versus “all."

3.Financing from developed nations: In 2009, developed nations pledged $100 billion a year to developing nations for climate mitigation and adaptation, to be met in 2020. That goal was not met until 2023 and is well below what developing nations have indicated is necessary for them to meet their most aggressive climate-related targets. 

4.Focus on industry-led solutions, low-carbon innovation: One of the United Arab Emirates’ key goals for COP28 is a tripling of renewable energy capacity by 2030 globally, a target in line with the S&P Global Commodity Insights Aggressive Decarbonization scenario but out of range in the base case Inflections scenario. Methane is likely to be another key action area as the COP28 president-designate has called on the oil and gas industry to “eliminate methane emissions by 2030." 

5.Differences between developed and developing nations: After an historic agreement at last year’s COP27 on developing a funding mechanism for loss and damage, developed and developing nations have not agreed on the location, legal status, fund contributors, or allocation of the fund’s resources. This has brought the operationalization of the fund into question. 

6.Progress on operationalizing Paris Agreement Article: COP26 saw the finalization of the Paris Agreement Article 6 rulebook for international funding and accounting of carbon emissions reductions across borders. This next step is necessary to drive greater reductions at lower costs to achieve and go beyond nationally determined contributions (NDC) targets. 

7.Reform role of private sector investment: Financing the energy sector transition remains a key topic of discussion. As multilateral development banks undergo a period of structural reform, questions remain regarding their role in financing the energy transition in developing nations. 

8.A proxy for other issues and relations restoration: Using climate as a proxy, nations in recent years have used these meetings to establish positions and leverage negotiations on other topics. For example, climate action has been an area that the United States and China have found common ground even when publicly at odds on other geopolitical issues. However, using these negotiations as a proxy for other geopolitical issues can also slow action on climate.

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Published: 22 Nov 2023, 10:18 PM IST
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