STAKEHOLDERS INCREASE COMMITTMENTS TO PROTECT THE PLANET AND PEOPLE
Next to life, the most important component of existence is our environment (wherein lives in all forms thrive and are sustained). This hub graciously gifted to us by providence must as a matter of urgency and responsibility be protected, preserved and peaceful for optimal comfort and liveability. But, as it stands, this priceless gift is uncared for due to its handling by the same people it lovingly accommodates (humans) putting its survival, serenity and productivity at great risk.
It is therefore no secret that our universal abode the ‘EARTH’ is grossly affected by years of neglect and negative actions and activities that are inadvertently and/or deliberately harming it. Now, almost on daily basis the earth faces alarming dangers such as dreadful outcomes of global warming – inimical sea level rise, mass depletion of plants and animals, destructive & dreadful wildfires, desertification & droughts, killer storms and hurricanes, wars & violence, heatwaves, rainfalls, floods and all manners of environmental catastrophes abounding.
The science is clear: The 1.5C limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce, not abate. Phase out, with a clear timeframe” … “The fossil fuel industry – the giant behind the climate crisis — is finally starting to wake up. But the promises made clearly fall short of what is required”…UN Secretary General António Guterres
Moreso, the insatiable crave for industrialization, advancement and domination by leading nations are some of the growing threats staring at us and almost pushing the environment over the cliff. Actions causing climate calamities can and must be totally stopped for lives and livelihoods to thrive optimally. Improvements in our physical surroundings can only be sustainable with the readiness and rising of many (from all walks of life) who will not only take the bull by the horns but are irrevocably devoted to salvaging our environment. Salute therefore to everyone who has been at vanguard of the fight to reposition the planet from impending peril to a place of peace and prosperity. These ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPIONS are those who are risking it all to make sure all is well in our God-given home.
I therefore acknowledge the efforts of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary General Anthony Guterres, Former, US Vice President Al Gore Former Secretary of State John Kerry, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, President William Ruto of Kenya, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE, Ms Phyllis Cuttino, President The Climate Reality Project, Wopke Hosekstra, European Union Commissioner for Climatic Action, and a host of others. These environmental salvation armies are moving forward in their strives and leaving behind exemplary legacies.
Nonetheless, leading the efforts on global environmental issues is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a development platform, positioned towards addressing the effects of measures introduced by the Parties to limit climate changes against the overall goal of the UNFCCC. And, since its first meeting in Berlin, Germany at the COP1, the Convention Of Parties Twenty-Eight years down the line continues to provide the opportunities for wider participation and unhindered expressions.
’The World is facing a pivotal moment in the climate crisis…‘’The climate crisis has emphasized that our world is interconnected and interdependent. And to meet these global challenges, we must have global collaboration’… H.E. Kamala Harris, U.S Vice President
COP28- the 28th annual United Nations (UN) climate convention was held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is an historic participation of over 70, 000 delegates from nearly 200 nations converging from 30 November until 12 December 2023 in Dubai. The exciting meeting which encapsulated the spirit of collaboration further reinforces a collective guarantee to achieve meaningful and enduring outcomes in the fight against climatic change.
And, as expected, it once again provided a rallying point where governments, leaders, environmental experts and other stakeholders from the private sector, CSOs, volunteers, media, etc, converged to
- Find ways to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius;
- Help: countries that are vulnerable to adapt to the challenges of climate change,
- Support the attainment of net-zero emissions by 2050, boost climate resilience,
- Support adaptation, build a clean energy economy, and
- Extensively discuss how to significantly mitigate environmental and related problems. At the same time, it is strengthening actions to prepare for the future while also enabling the host country pursue its relief, recovery and peace plan.
Humanity has finally done what is long, long long overdue…Wopke Hosekstra, European Union Commissioner for Climatic Action
COP28 preparations and programmes have tremendously helped in increasing the awareness, attendance, activities, activations, arguments, agreements and advancement agenda, and in reawakening and restarting a new focus and productive pursuits. Its pursuit is laying the groundwork for implementable and realisable solutions for the most urgent challenge of safeguarding the planet for tomorrow users. And, indeed it was an assemblage of deliberations, decisions and determination to do the right thing NOW!
Admittedly too, the attendance and contributions of global leaders at the summit were remarkable. Presidents of nations and their representatives’ appearances made the leaders’ session very qualitative and impactful, even as more countries substantially commit to an improved and liveable global environment.
African leaders’ strong presence and statements were also noteworthy.at the convention. Their lauded joint and assertive demands for a safer Africa, collective resolves for justifiable compensations for the destructions made to their environments by developed countries and extensive discussions for investors and investment invitations at the main plenary and programme side-lines were some of the major highlights of the event.
“As Cop28 Concludes In The UAE, I Thank All The Participating Delegations That Worked Together To Achieve The Historic UAE Consensus To Accelerate Climate Action. I Also Commend The Local And International Teams That Contributed To The Successful Organisation Of The Event.”…His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
As a leading regional voice Nigeria President, H.E. Bola Tinubu was also at the frontier of the continent’s environmental campaign. The continental leader also used the occasion to unveiled bold vision for a greener Nigeria with assurances of the rollout of 100 electric buses, even as he ambitiously canvassed for eco-friendly initiatives across African nations.
Intense negotiations among the key players also resulted in the approvals of global financing, the sustainability of the loss & damage fund to help lesser nation bearing the burden of environmental impacts, reducing carbon emissions, lowering of global temperature to 1.5 degrees and a consensus on the departure from fossils fuel. Several countries also pledged a total of $700m, which falls far short of the estimated $400bn damage caused by climate change each year. Earlier in September, a group of developing countries had asked for at least $100bn to be committed to the fund, even though these nations were also criticized for not willing to make expected financial commitment.
“An Agreement Is Only As Good As Its Implementation. This Historic Consensus Is Only The Beginning Of The Road” H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber,-President, COP28 UAE
There were also many intriguing sides to the UAE gathering. Protests were observed, although the country prohibits these, but several rallies were held on the sidelines over issues including the Israel-Gaza war, political prisoners detained in the UAE and other climate related contestations. Thankfully, earlier in preceding months the COP’s presidency agreed to permit climate activists to assemble peacefully at the summit.
Environmental advocates also used the occasion to advance various declarations and the displays of Go Green, Breathe Clean Initiative, Stop Polluting the Environment , Save Our Planet rallies and Think Before You Trash It all geared towards protecting the people and the planet.
As a respected regional voice and environmental improvements crusader Nigerian President Tinubu was also at the frontier of the continent’s environmental sustainability campaign.
COP28 also forged new friendships and fostered old ones as many new people met and established great partnerships while old friends some of whom have not seen after the Covid 19 pandemic reunited and renewed their relationships. One of such is the good friendship trending on X (formerly Twitter) between Indian PM Narenda Modi and Italian PM Giorgi Meloni…#Melodi
COP29 is officially scheduled to be hosted in Baku, Azerbaijan in November 2024. This is obviously without its criticisms as many faulted the decision stating the country’s oil production and human rights record. Azerbaijan is not part of OPEC but closely collaborates with the group in the OPEC+ offshoot which has 11 additional countries.
KUDOS to UAE, COP28 organisers, UNFCCC and all who made the summit an applauding success.
See you in Baku next year
LONG LIVE COP…LONG LIVE UNFCCC.