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What is the COP and why is it important in the fight against the climate crisis?

What is the COP and why is it important in the fight against the climate crisis?

The COP28which will be held from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai, will be the 28th edition of the important international meeting on the climate which is generally celebrated annually under the auspices of the United Nations.

What does it mean?

COP means Conference of the Parties. Gather all 198 “parts”, that is, to the 197 States and the European Union that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This treaty is one of the three Rio conventions, adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

The COPs have been held annually in a different city since 1995 (except the COP26which was postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

They are numbered in chronological order: this year, climate COP28 follows the COP27 2022, which took place in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt).

The participation of thousands of delegates from around the world also serves to simultaneously celebrate the conference of parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) and that of the 195 parties of the 2015 Paris Agreement (CMA).

Importantly, there are COPs for several other UN conventions or treaties that address other issues such as desertification or wetland protection.

The Conference of Parties on biodiversity is held only every two years, and its last edition, COP15 in Montreal, resulted in an unprecedented global agreement.

What is the Climate COP for?

Discussions between leaders must result in a final text, adopted by consensus and not by vote, that takes into account differences in interests and positions, with the ideal objective of advancing the fight against the climate crisis.

In addition to these negotiations, which generally extend beyond the planned timetable, various pressure groups, representatives of NGOs and international organizations meet.

In some editions, discussions between leaders do not achieve concrete results.

In 2009, COP15 in Copenhagen failed to reach a global agreement, only allowing a political agreement involving China and USA.

Other editions, however, have left a more positive mark on history, starting with COP21 in 2015.

This COP gave rise to the Paris Agreement, the first pact that commits the international community to maintaining the increase in global average temperature “well below 2°C” compared to the pre-industrial era and, if possible, limit the increase to 1.5°C.

The COP26 in Glasgow (2021) mentioned for the first time the “fossil fuels” and the “coal” as the main cause of global warming.

However, due to pressure from India and China, the final text called for a “reduction” instead of a “elimination” of coal.

In the next edition, COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, it was agreed to create a fund for losses and damages caused by climate change.

What can you expect?

COP28 in Dubai will bring together a record number of participants, over 70,000 people, according to the presidency.

The choice of the leader of the Emirati oil company, Sultan Al Jaber, to chair the event has been criticized by environmental defenders, but defended by others who see the opportunity to concretely discuss the energy transition.

In any case, the future of fossil fuels will return to the center of the discussions.

The Emirati presidency has established several concrete objectives to achieve by 2030: tripling renewable energy capacity worldwide, doubling the improvement of energy efficiency, and doubling hydrogen production.

The COP will also be an opportunity to carry out the first “world review” of the Paris Agreement.

A technical report published in September concluded that “Much more, now, on all fronts” in the climate field.

Finally, money will, as always, be the subject of tough discussions, whether in relation to the financing promised by rich countries for adaptation to climate change or in relation to the implementation of the loss and damage fund approved in the COP27.

Source: Gestion

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