India Stays Away from Key Pledges

India has opted out of signing two major pledges at COP28, raising eyebrows and sparking discussions about its commitment to global climate action.

*Tripling Renewables by 2030: While India has been a vocal advocate for renewable energy, it has not joined the 118 countries pledging to triple installed capacity by 2030. India insists on its right to rely on coal for development, citing its historically low per-capita emissions (4%) compared to the global average.

*Declaration on Climate and Health: India abstained from the 123-country declaration on protecting communities and healthcare systems from climate-related health impacts. The healthcare declaration instructs governments to protect communities and prepare healthcare systems to cope with climate-related health impacts such as extreme heat, air pollution and infectious diseases.

According to Leena Nandan, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, India would be “constructive” but not at the cost of denying energy access to those at the margins of development.

According to India’s latest communications to the United Nations, its greenhouse gas emissions increased by 4% from 2016 to 2019 to 2.6 billion tonnes of C02. The energy sector contributed the most to the overall anthropogenic emissions (75.81%), followed by the agriculture sector (13.44%), Industrial Process and Product Use (IPPU) sector (8.41%), and Waste (2.34%).

UAE Pledges $270 Billion Green Finance by 2030

The United Arab Emirates, the host nation, has taken a bold step by committing $270 billion in green finance through its banks by 2030. This ambitious pledge signals a significant shift towards a more sustainable future for the oil-rich nation. The UAE’s initiative reflects a growing recognition that achieving climate goals requires collective action and robust financial support. It is hoped that this pledge will inspire other nations and financial institutions to ramp up their green finance commitments.

Saudi Leaders Absent from the Summit

In a stark contrast to last year’s COP27, Saudi Arabia’s leaders, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, are missing from this year’s summit. This unexpected absence fuels speculation about the country’s commitment to climate action, especially considering its position as the world’s biggest oil producer. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also skipped the Saudi Green Initiative event, adding to the air of uncertainty.

$2.4 Trillion Needed for Emerging Markets to Cap Emissions

A new report released at COP28 estimates that emerging markets and developing countries require a staggering $2.4 trillion annually to cap emissions and adapt to climate challenges. This figure highlights the enormous financial gap these nations face in achieving their climate goals.
Nicholas Stern, co-author of the report and a leading climate expert blames the lack of investment in these regions for hindering the Paris Agreement’s goals. Developed nations are urged to step up their financial support and facilitate access to climate finance for vulnerable countries. Developed nations, historically the largest emitters, have a moral and legal obligation to assist developing countries in their climate transition. Countries on the frontlines of climate disasters, like small island nations and coastal communities, are facing the brunt of climate impacts despite contributing minimally to the problem. They are demanding billions more in funding through a newly formed disaster fund although current pledges are only around $700 million.

Barbados PM Calls for Climate Tax

Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, a vocal advocate for climate action, proposes a global climate tax. She suggests levying a 0.1% tax on financial services or a 5% tax on oil and gas profits to generate substantial funding for climate action. For example, the financial services tax could raise $420 billion, while a 5% tax on global oil and gas profits in 2022 would have yielded around $200 billion. Mottley argues that relying on voluntary pledges and appeals to charity is insufficient.

COP28 Mobilizes $57 Billion So Far

Despite the challenges and complexities, COP28 has witnessed significant progress. As of Monday, the summit has garnered over $57 billion in pledges from governments, businesses, investors, and philanthropists. This includes eight major pledges and declarations within the first four days.

UK Announces Climate-Resilient Debt Clauses in Africa

The UK and Senegal have partnered to launch the first-ever climate-resilient debt clauses in Africa. 73 countries have joined a call to adopt these clauses, which pause debt payments during natural disasters.