Live-blog COP28: Put climate and water justice first

Story: Dubai

From November 30 till December 12 world leaders gather at COP28 to tackle the climate crisis. Simavi will be present in Dubai, as an NGO delegate. In this liveblog we publish regular updates.

COP28 in Dubai. Photo: UN Climate Change/Kiara Worth

COP28-deal offers too little on phasing out fossil fuels and on targets for global adaptation

December 13 - Nearly 200 countries agreed at the COP28 climate summit to begin ‘transitioning away from fossil fuels’ to avert the worst of climate change. While it is a first of its kind deal signaling the eventual end of the oil age, it doesn’t urge countries to commit on it and it contains a litany of loopholes”, says policy and advocacy officer Esin Erdoğan from Simavi.

‘For communities in climate vulnerable areas that are already engulfed by floods, parched by droughts, swept by hurricanes, and especially those with the least resources to respond, this is a disappointing result to say the least.’

She is also disappointed about the lack of ambitious quantitative and qualitative targets backed with finance for the Global Goal on Adaptation. 'We do not leave Dubai in peace about adaptation, mitigating fossil fuels, nor loss and damage. Instead we take on the spirit to keep fighting for better with the results we achieved together. That starts today.'

COP28 cannot end without the finances to reach the Global Goal on Adaptation

December 11 - Climate ministers from across the world have a final opportunity to prevent the COP28 from becoming a failure. To achieve that they need to ensure that the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation will support climate-vulnerable countries in becoming more resilient to climate change.

An indispensable part of a successful GGA framework are the finances. While the current text issues a call to high-income countries to double their adaptation finance to low-income countries by 2025, it lacks a clear roadmap and thus clear commitments as to reaching this goal.

“A framework without financial substance will erode trust between countries that had just started to recover after the adoption of the Loss and Damage Fund and will more importantly cause yet another human-made disaster”, says lobby and advocacy officer Esin Erdoğan from Simavi.

Bad grade on Global Stocktake should lead to more ambitious climate action plans

December 6 - It’s a critical element of the Paris Agreement: the Global Stocktake. This is a 5-yearly assessment of the progress countries are making towards the goal of keeping global warming below 1,5 degrees Celsius.

In September the results came in from the very first Global Stocktake and they were not very encouraging. The planet is not on track, and with the current efforts we will see a temperature rise of 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

“The only acceptable outcome of COP28 is that all parties agree on much more ambitious climate action plans”, says lobby and advocacy officer Esin Erdogan from Simavi. “We need a coherent plan by the end of COP28 with a clear roadmap. And this should also include preparing communities for climate change fallout.”

Climate finance: time to get serious about money

December 5 - Low income countries will need $2.4 trillion a year in investment to cap emissions and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change. "The collective failure of developed countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments has exacerbated inequalities, with a devastating impact on climate-vulnerable communities”, says lobby and advocacy officer Esin Erdoğan from Simavi.

In a news conference, Mia Mottley, Barbados Prime Minister and a prominent voice in global discussions about climate finance, urged countries to go beyond voluntary pledges and pleas to charities and private investors and instead to consider taxes as a way to boost climate funding.

Esin Erdoğan: “The EU and its Member States can make a start with fossil fuel taxation, aviation and maritime taxation and levies, and EU financial transaction tax and wealth taxes, from which a share of revenues is dedicated to new and additional climate finance. Moreover, a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies would enable funding for sustainable development, including climate finance.”

Adoption of Loss and Damage Fund is good news, but more is needed for climate justice

December 1 - Good news from the opening plenary session at COP28. The Loss and Damage Fund, that was agreed upon in the final hours of COP27 last year, is now officially adopted. The Fund is meant specifically for those countries that have felt the effects of the climate crisis for years, and now face consequences that cannot be avoided, such as severe droughts and floods. One of the biggest consequences is that safe and clean drinking water is becoming a scarce good. The climate crisis already has a direct and devastating effect on the lives and livelihoods of the 2 billion people globally who lack safely managed drinking water.

The formal adoption is a milestone indeed, however there is still room for questions and concerns. The financial pledges made so far are just a start, there should be a dedicated budget to ensure access to water, and participation of civil society and affected populations should be ensured.

Make water and gender an integral part of the Global Goal on Adaptation

November 30 - One of the most important topics – especially for climate vulnerable communities in low-income countries – during the COP28 will be the Global Goal on Adaptation. This goal, first established in the 2015 Paris Agreement, is about enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change.

Climate change disproportionately affects the well-being and position of women and girls in climate vulnerable communities worldwide. “Instead of promoting oil deals, COP28 should make immediate investments available for climate adaptation strategies benefitting women and girls”, says Veerle Verloren van Themaat from Simavi.

Simavi has published a position paper to explain why it is essential to integrate gender responsive WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) metrics into the Global Goals on Adaptation Framework.

Call to the Dutch government: Put climate justice first at COP28

October 12 – Together with 15 Dutch international NGOs, Simavi issues an urgent call to the Dutch government to tackle the fundamentally unfair situation of societies that have contributed the least to the causes of climate change are already facing the worst consequences. 

In our position paper, we have put forward recommendations on seven important topics that will be discussed during COP28. Esin Erdoğan from Simavi gets the chance to make the case directly with climate minister Rob Jetten on the 27th of November.

Esther Oeganda

Everbody has the human right to safe water and sanitation.

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