The COP 28 Climate Conference – Why Does It Matter?

“Every day of inaction is a day wasted and our vulnerability increases, exposing us to devastating impacts of climate change.”

Gloria, Extinction Rebellion Nigeria

COP 28 is the global climate change conference taking place now in Dubai. This year a global ‘stocktake’ has measured the progress made since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.  The world’s scientists say we are not on target and more action is needed.

WHAT DO WE NEED FROM THE COP?

1. No new Fossil Fuels

To keep global temperature within safe limits we need an agreement to slash fossil fuel emissions by 2030. This means:

  • NO NEW OIL OR GAS. Experts, including the International Energy Agency, agree we cannot afford ANY new fossil fuel projects – see this article in Carbon Brief for details.
  • NO TO EACOP (a planned oil pipeline crossing Uganda and Tanzania which would generate over 34m tons of CO2 annually and risk vital water sources for 40m people). There is more information about EACOP here.
  • NO TO ROSEBANK (the biggest oilfield in the North Sea, just approved by the UK government, contrary to all expert advice).  You can find out more about the Rosebank oilfield and the campaign against it here.

2. A fair deal for poorer countries

Poorer countries of the global South have done the least to cause climate breakdown but are experiencing the worst impacts – for example the worst drought in 40 years in East Africa.

This drought is slowly killing everything, first it ‘swept away’ the land and the pastures; then it ‘swept away’ the animals. Soon, it is going to ‘sweep away’ people.”

Mahmoud, Somaliland

Rich countries, including the UK, owe the Global South ‘Climate Debt’ for the greenhouse gases we have emitted over many decades and the climate chaos this has caused. This debt has been estimated at $7.9 trillion per year.

At present, however, money is flowing the other way, as the global South makes loan repayments to the global North of at least $122 billion per year.

Rich countries must repay their climate debt to the Global South. This should take the form of grants, not loans, to enable the global South to adapt, deal with climate catastrophes, and make a fair transition to net zero.

For more information on how these calculations of climate debt were reached, see this article in Nature Sustainability.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  1. Take action to stop Rosebank (including signing a petition) here.
  2. Take action to oppose the EACOP pipeline here.
  3. Use your vote: pledge to vote with the climate in mind by becoming a Greenpeace Climate Voter. You can sign up here.
  4. Join XR Oxford
  5. Join another campaigning group – e.g. Friends of the Earth or Possible.

A good way to find out more about the climate crisis, and possible solutions, is to watch these programmes shown on Channel 4: