COP 28: A Futile Exercise
The statement adopted at the end of COP-28 is nothing but a toothless document which lacks sincerity in combating global warming. The climate crisis is threatening to trigger catastrophic and irreversible damage to our planet and yet the response planned to combat it is thoroughly inadequate. It’s ironic that the statement adopted by nearly 200 nations has remained completely mum on equitable climate financing, which is crucial for strengthening our defence system against climate change. Renowned environmental activist Greta Thunberg has termed the resolution adopted at the recently concluded climate meet as a ‘stab in the back for those most vulnerable.’ Many other activists also hold the same view as the statement has merely reiterated the resolve to shift to clean energy by ending the use of fossil fuels on or before 2050. The statement in question has also urged the nations to take steps to accelerate the production of green energy. But it has not answered where developing nations (excluding China) will get the $2.4 trillion a year necessary to produce green energy, as per recent estimates by the United Nations (UN). Rather, it has merely stated that the issue of enhanced funding will be taken up in the next COP meet, which according to environmentalists betrays expectations of swift and timely action against climate threat.
The statement is also far from reliable as notwithstanding the resolve to curtail the use of fossil fuel to achieve zero emission target by 2050, a few rich nations barely 48-hours after adopting the declaration, decided to expand fossil fuel extraction, making a mockery of the high power meet on climate action. From the language used in the statement, it is clear that the fossil fuel lobby has succeeded in scuttling any strong measures in curbing the use of this type of energy. “The text is toothless and it is nowhere near even close to being sufficient to keep within the 1.5 degree limit,” lamented Greta Thunberg. Even the alliance of small island nations like Fiji, Tuvalu and Kiribati, etc. has termed the statement as ‘incremental and not transformational.’ COP 28 could have avoided such criticisms if instead of succumbing to the pressure, it had decided to support the developing nations by establishing a concrete plan for climate financing, the absence of which has disappointed many.
It is high time to realise that the climate threat is real and should be addressed immediately to save the planet. Ice sheets have already begun melting, ocean current is nearing collapse, leaving us with very little time to prevent global temperatures from rising. To achieve this difficult task, first and foremost a detailed plan to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels must be established as it contributes heavily to greenhouse gas emissions. A switch to clean energy must be implemented at the earliest. We should all contribute our might to accomplish this mission before the damage becomes irreversible. Delaying the process is suicidal to say the least. COP 28 can best be described as a futile exercise as climate action cannot wait. Stronger measures that better reflect the true urgency of the climate crisis must be established and implemented at the earliest.