The pending challenges of the climate summit despite the Pope’s warnings in the “Laudate Deum”

Although the agreement signed by about 197 countries and Europe was considered “historic,” it sparked controversy over two basic points: Transitioning away from fossil fuels and phasing out their ineffective subsidies. According to the final document released on Wednesday, the agreement does not impose an immediate cancellation, but rather an “orderly and fair transition.”

Urgent appeal to Pope Francisco In his sermon I loved it It appears that matters leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai have been neglected or partially postponed. The Pope warned of the danger of not acting quickly to abandon fossil fuels and adopt clean energy, stressing that the current pace could lead to catastrophic consequences for the climate and society. Although nearly thirty years have passed since the first Conference of the Parties, dependence on fossil fuels, responsible for 86% of polluting emissions, is only beginning to be recognized.

European bishops: ambiguous language

“While we applaud the difficult agreement to phase out fossil fuels, we are concerned about the sincerity of the parties’ commitment to implementing it effectively.” These statements represent the beginning of thinking that spread after the conclusion of the climate conference in Dubai. Father Manuel Barrios Brito, Secretary of the Committee of Episcopal Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), highlights that the European bishops celebrate the consensus reached on vital issues, such as seriously addressing losses and damages, and promoting the gradual and just abandonment of fossil fuels. However, there are concerns that the “vague language” reflects a lack of real commitment.

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The agreement is affected by what is seen as “vague language”, particularly in points (d) and (h), where the idea of ​​“transition” is discussed in relation to “fossil fuels”. This word appeared after intense dialogues between the participants, and it is the term that allowed for reaching an agreement. The United Nations, activists and more than 150 countries specifically sought for the text to include an explicit reference to “phasing out fossil fuels.” However, this has been considered Not accepted by Saudi Arabia and other oil producers. As a result, the negotiations led to a linguistic settlement with the expression: “transition.”

No reduction or elimination

The text calls for a “transition from fossil fuels in energy systems.” in a fair, orderly and equitable manner, With an accelerated focus on developing countries. This consensus was reached by 224 countries that are part of the United Nations Convention to Combat Climate Change. Surprisingly, neither “phasing out” nor “phasing out” was included in the final version of the text. Furthermore, Section H highlights the urgent need to “phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or mere transitions, as soon as possible.”

This achievement is classified as “historic” in light of the intense confrontation between positions. Despite this, Pope Francis’ invitation came I loved iturge Energy transmission is efficient, mandatory and easy to monitorIt has not been fully processed yet. This call seeks for leaders to act for the common good and future of future generations, especially the poorest countries, where the majority of climate change “forced migrants” come from.

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Decarbonisation: what future for oil?

The evaluation process at COP28 was praised for setting guidelines Contributions at the national level (NDC) to economically decarbonize and control global warming below 1.5 degrees. However, each country’s flexible options raise concerns about the effectiveness of the agreement, as they may lead to minimal progress. Indeed, Article 28 allows countries such as Saudi Arabia to justify reducing emissions through various technologies, but the agreement lacks immediate binding force. Countries are expected to submit new plans in 2025 to assess progress towards the 1.5 degree target by the end of the century.

Reducing emissions, but when or over what period?

The text recognizes the urgent need to reduce emissions significantly, rapidly and sustainably, but lacks a specific date for reaching the maximum emissions peak. Establish Reduction targets of 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035, compared to 2019 levels, with the ultimate goal of achieving zero emissions by 2050. However, developing countries and activists criticize that the text remains vague. For example, it focuses on reducing the energy generated by unburned coal, referring to carbon dioxide removal technologies that scientists consider ineffective on a large scale. Moreover, it has been mentioned as a transitional fuel without clearly defining how it will be implemented.

A fund without enough money for poor countries

At COP 28, it was approved to establish a fund managed temporarily by the World Bank to mitigate climate damage in vulnerable countries. Although it has attracted donations of more than $700 million, it is insufficient compared to… 109,000 million that these countries need After being exposed to devastating climate impacts. The 39 countries Alliance of Small Island States They criticize the agreement, considering it uncertain and unfair, because it does not adequately address the problem of rising sea levels. Promised financing for developing countries It has been postponed to COP29. Despite progress, the agreement postpones resolution of this urgent problem.

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On the other hand, multilateralism on the climate crisis has made progress in part by uniting countries with disparate interests, such as members of OPEC and the G20, which contribute 20% of global emissions. The active participation of the Holy See delegation in COP 28 represents a milestoneThis is the first time that the role of observer has been exceeded, as was the case in previous UN summits.

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