COP28 is set to become the biggest climate conference in history.
In a historic decision at the beginning of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates, nearly 200 nations reached an agreement to establish a fund to assist countries grappling with the effects of global warming.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Dubai last night, called for climate financing and technology transfer to developing nations, empowering them to effectively confront the challenges posed by climate change.
"Landed in Dubai to take part in the COP-28 Summit. Looking forward to the proceedings of the Summit, which are aimed at creating a better planet," PM Modi posted on X. "Deeply moved by the warm welcome from the Indian community in Dubai. Their support and enthusiasm is a testament to our vibrant culture and strong bonds."
PM Modi will attend the World Climate Action Summit today during the UN's Conference of the Parties (COP28) on climate change. The World Climate Action Summit is the high-level segment of the COP28.
PM Modi's engagement at COP28 extends beyond the World Climate Action Summit, as he is set to participate in three additional events. The COP28, under the UAE's presidency, runs from November 30 to December 12. In his statement, PM Modi underscored the significance of COP28 as a platform to review progress made under the Paris Agreement and chart a course for future climate action.
The climate talks in Dubai come at a critical juncture as global emissions continue to surge. The UN announced on Thursday that 2023 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, highlighting the urgency for immediate action. The establishment of a "loss and damage" fund, long advocated for by climate-vulnerable nations, marked an early victory at COP28.
The UAE and the European Union (EU) made initial commitments of $100 million and $246 million respectively to the loss and damage fund, but they fall short of the $100 billion needed by developing nations to cope with the devastating effects of climate change.
COP28, set to become the biggest climate conference in history, will host over 140 heads of state and government, double the attendance from last year's COP27. These high-level leaders will deliver speeches throughout Friday and Saturday, with Britain's King Charles III officially opening the event with a ceremonial address.
The UAE hopes to spearhead an agreement to triple renewable energy capacity and double the annual pace of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. During the crucial negotiations from November 30 to December 12, experts have warned that forging trust could prove to be a formidable obstacle.
As the conference commenced, delegates observed a minute's silence to pay their respects to the innocent lives lost in Gaza. On the sidelines of the summit, Israeli President Isaac Herzog met with his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas was supposed to attend the COP28 but his office said the Palestinian foreign minister would attend instead.
Despite holding the distinction of being the world's two largest polluters, the United States and China's leaders are not attending the COP28. However, in a rare display of unity, both nations have issued a joint climate declaration ahead of the conference.