COP28 climate summit in Dubai

The 28th UN Climate Change Conference begins on Thursday in Dubai, with more than 190 countries attending. A package aimed at tripling renewable energy capacities is to be adopted and 20 countries are calling for a phase-out of all fossil fuels. Commentators question whether this can be agreed in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, of all places, and with oil company boss Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber as president.

Avvenire (IT) /

Still not on the right path

A change of course is urgently needed, Avvenire demands:

“The latest data published by the UN in recent days is far from encouraging. Greenhouse gas emissions — after falling due to the pandemic — have started to rise again. Despite increased awareness and undeniable steps forward in recent years, the world is still not on the right track. .... In the report we find a very clear figure: the richest 10 percent of the population are responsible for 50 percent of global emissions, while the poorest 50 percent are responsible for 12 percent. This confirms that incorrect consumption patterns and lifestyles are at the root of our problems.”

Mauro Magatti
Salzburger Nachrichten (AT) /

A conference of contradictions

The Salzburger Nachrichten is surprised that the climate summit is taking place in Dubai of all places:

“The contradictions are almost glaring enough to cause physical discomfort: next week, tens of thousands of participants will fly to the UN Climate Change Conference. ... The travel to the conference alone will cause CO2 emissions, which will be the subject of heated debate at the meeting, to rise sharply. ... And Dubai is building on fossil fuels in the truest sense of the word. The chairman of the climate conference is also one of the country’s leading oil managers — in a film, this constellation would probably be considered hopelessly exaggerated.”

Stephanie Pack-Homolka
Le Monde (FR) /

Don’t bet on failure

The problematic conditions of the climate conference do not exempt us from responsibility, economist Christian de Perthuis insists in Le Monde:

“In many respects, the United Arab Emirates is the place where the question of phasing out fossil oil and gas should be put on the table. Its position as a fossil fuel profiteer is like a distorting mirror that amplifies the existential question we all face. ... The organisation of COP28 in Dubai is undoubtedly not perfect, and the choice of its president is debatable. But we should not bet on its failure in advance and forget our own responsibility for the continuation of the oil and gas adventure.”

Christian de Perthuis
The Economist (GB) /

China won’t want to thwart advances

Beijing could well play a constructive role, The Economist hopes:

“China has become a leader in green-energy technology. The rest of the world is largely dependent on Chinese solar-panel and battery supply chains. This year China overtook Japan to become the world’s largest car exporter, thanks in part to Chinese dominance in electric vehicles. So there is some hope that China will play a productive role at the climate summit in Dubai. With ambitions to lead the global south, it will not want to look as if it is neglecting an issue that is foremost on the mind of many officials in developing countries.”