COP28: What it means for Kenya and global climate action

COP28 will be held from November 30 until December 12, 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai. [iStockphoto]

The decision for UAE to host the annual climate conference, holds significant implications for Kenya.

Chief Climate Negotiator of COP27, Ambassador Mohamed Nasir, provides insights regarding the UAE's considerations and the potential impact on climate goals.

What is COP28?

The upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an annual international summit where world leaders, negotiators, scientists, and activists come together to discuss and advance global efforts to combat climate change.

What are the goals of COP28?

According to Chief Climate Negotiator of COP27, Ambassador Mohamed Nasir, the UAE is actively considering pathways to achieve the ambitious 1.5C target. He highlighted the UAE's focus on expanding renewable energy, sustainable transportation, resilient agriculture, and production systems, areas that had not been extensively discussed in previous COP meetings. Nasir stated, "We aim to make the 1.5C target a reality by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and expanding renewable energy sources."

Nasir emphasised the importance of ensuring that these solutions are inclusive and scalable. He acknowledged the need for all communities, including vulnerable ones, to benefit from renewable energy and sustainable practices. Nasir expressed, "Large-scale solutions that can be replicated and adopted globally are crucial for addressing climate change effectively."

However, concerns have been raised regarding the UAE's high dependence on fossil fuels. Critics argue that hosting COP28 in a nation heavily reliant on carbon-intensive industries may undermine the conference's credibility and urgency to reduce global emissions. These concerns highlight the need for the UAE to demonstrate a genuine commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

Another concern is the potential disparity between the UAE's priorities and the immediate needs of vulnerable countries, like Kenya, in addressing severe climate impacts.

Why does it matter to us?

Although COP28 is an international event, its outcomes have significant implications for our local community.

As we witness the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and other climate-related challenges, it becomes clear that climate change impacts everyone, including us.

COP28 provides an opportunity to strengthen global efforts to mitigate these effects and work towards a more resilient and sustainable future for all.

What does it mean for Kenya?

The hosting of COP28 by the UAE is significant for Kenya as it offers valuable opportunities for the country. Kenya can exchange knowledge and experiences with the UAE, which has made remarkable progress in sustainable development.

This exchange can inform Kenya's climate action strategies and policies. Additionally, the emphasis on renewable energy and sustainable technologies by the UAE creates investment opportunities for Kenya, enabling technology transfer and capacity building.

COP28 also brings global visibility to Kenya, allowing the country to showcase its commitment to climate action and seek international support. The event enhances bilateral cooperation between Kenya and the UAE, fostering collaboration on climate-related matters and strengthening Kenya's efforts in tackling climate change.