COP28: Leaders join World Economic Forum to accelerate climate action

Dubai, Dec 12 (IANS) World leaders joined the World Economic Forum’s programme at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28) to advance dialogue, innovation, and cooperation for accelerated climate action.

Gathering in Dubai, heads of state, ministers, business leaders, philanthropy and civil society reflected on complex areas of industry decarbonisation and net zero, energy transition, food, nature and innovative finance.

Global emissions are steadily rising at 1.5 per cent a year when they need to be falling by seven per cent every year to 2030 to keep alive the goals of the Paris Agreement. The effects of warming temperatures and ecosystem degradation are already having a devastating effect on life.

To address this critical challenge for the planet and humanity, a focus area for the World Economic Forum was the global stocktake to measure progress on climate action and identify gaps and responses to reinvigorate immediate international action.

The Forum mobilised global leaders and the international community to step up climate action to align with public sector expectations and global needs as well as to end deforestation and halt the degradation of land, freshwater, and ocean ecosystems.

It held a programme of sessions aligned to the meeting’s thematic areas and looked to advance dialogue on decarbonisation, energy transition, climate financing, biodiversity and adaptation. As part of the effort to drive accelerated climate action, the Forum and its partners launched two new food initiatives and advanced participation over 12 high-impact partnerships to serve as ongoing platforms for continued collaboration to fight climate action around the world.

WEF President Borge Brende said: “It was encouraging to see government, business and civil society leaders coming together at COP28 with tangible commitments and actions to accelerate the net zero and nature positive transition. However, the results from the Global Stocktake show us that the task at hand to course-correct towards a 1.5 pathway is immense.

“There is no other option than courageous and collaborative leadership and the Forum stands committed to foster public-private-philanthropic partnerships to unlock transformative climate action in this decisive decade.”

On decarbonisation and the energy transition, immediate action is needed to bend the emissions curve and scale the climate technologies that will be essential to net zero – 50 per cent of the emissions reductions needed for net zero must come from technologies not yet available at scale. In addition, a massive build out of new energy infrastructure, in particular clean power, is needed to meet the goals of the energy transition with total investment estimated at $4.5 trillion by 2030.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, said: “When we founded the First Movers Coalition at COP26, it was born of the premise that this crisis is too severe for any one government to be able to solve it. So, the World Economic Forum joined with the EU and the US to find businesspeople who are prepared to buy green solutions now to send a message to the marketplace.

“And we now have major businesses from around the world who have stepped up to help send this demand signal to the market so we can accelerate the transition to the new, clean and green economy. The members of the First Movers Coalition have now signed 96 off-take agreements in support of their commitments. These off-take agreements give confidence to this market to begin to develop.”

The First Movers Coalition has become the world’s largest private sector, with a clean demand signal for emerging climate technologies. FMC announced reaching 95 members who have collectively made 120 commitments to purchase innovative decarbonisation technologies. By 2030, these commitments will represent an annual demand of $15 billion for emerging climate technologies and 29 million tonnes (Mt) CO2e in annual emissions reductions.

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