The United Nations provides ‘secretariat’ support to the UNFCCC, hence the usage of the prefix ‘United Nations’. It is called a ‘framework convention’ since it was adopted with a bare skeleton treaty on May 09, 1992. It necessitated ‘fleshing out’ of the UNFCCC with required elements to make it work for realization of the “ultimate objective” of the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” It led to the adoption of the (“related legal instruments'') 1997 Kyoto Protocol and 2015 Paris Agreement. The climate change regime now comprises these three legal instruments that seek to address the global climate problematique.
While COP27 (Sharm El-Sheikh; Nov. 06-21, 2022) came to be known for adoption of the decision on “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters, COP28 (Dubai) is likely to result in the first global climate ”stocktake.” This is taking place on the heels of the UNEP Emissions Gap Report (November 20, 2023) that has issued a warning that “the world is heading for a temperature rise far above the Paris Agreement goals unless countries deliver more than they have promised.” The UNEP report has predicted that by 2030 the GHG emissions must “fall by 28% for the Paris Agreement 2°C pathway and 42% for the 1.5°C pathway.” Thus, the task facing the assembled states parties at COP28 is to walk-the-talk, seriously.
In December 2022, EPL published a special issue on Climate Change which encapsulated deliberations at COP27. The editorial to this special issue, entitled The Climate Change Conundrum, covered ongoing issues that would undoubtedly confront the negotiators at COP28 in Dubai. More recently, EPL posted two special blog articles on climate change focusing on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The Audacity of Hope for People and Planet: 2023 New York SDG Summit Outcome and Beyond, and Global Climate Change as a Planetary Concern: A Wake-Up Call for the Decision-makers.
The conversation by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Dia Mirza, Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environment Programme flagged most of the issues Prof. Desai raised in his latest blog Averting the Climate Change Catastrophe @COP28 and Beyond: A Wake-up Call by the UN Secretary-General.
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