Upcoming COP28 summit must ‘respond decisively’ to gaps in global climate action


Next month’s UN climate summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must respond decisively to the gaps in the intranational community’s response climate crisis, Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Mohamed said on Monday.

Mohammed, delivering opening remarks to a preparatory meeting, or Pre-Cop, being held in Abu Dhabi, underscored that the next UN climate summit was being convened at a critical moment in the fight against the climate crisis.

The summit’s main outcome is under the so-called Global Stocktake, and it needs to respond decisively to the alarming findings of science and the existing gaps in mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage, said the deputy UN chief.

The Global Stocktake is the handle given to the sequence of UN-facilitated meetings and events held over the past year to enable countries and other stakeholders to see where they have – or have not – been making progress toward meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Pre-COP in Abu Dhabi aims to help countries lay the groundwork for negotiations at the next global climate summit, the 28th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known by its shorthand COP28.

According to the organisers, as the last formal ministerial engagement before COP28, the Pre-COP is a key opportunity for the world to unite behind a collective ambition to transform the global response to the climate crisis.
The two-day preparatory meeting brings countries together exactly one month before COP28, which will run in Abu Dhabi from 30 November to 12 December.

For his part, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell acknowledged that the Pre-COP was taking place at a time of serious conflict and strife in several parts of the world.

“It is a difficult and yet critical time for multilateral engagement; and a time of anxiety,” he said, and emphasised: “Let us be united by the knowledge that climate change is our common challenge, and that here, we will all benefit from the solutions, and we will all suffer from the failure to find them.”

“With all due respect to our predecessors in this process,” he continued, “the vagueness of yester-year’s agreements has left us in a haze of lack of clarity in what exactly must happen globally in all sectors and systems that will deliver the change that our collective agreements have already committed us to.”

The Executive Secretary said: “The world wants to know exactly how fast we are going and in exactly which direction. If climate ambition is our north star, we need a clear path charted north, not a few degrees Northwest, with a vague suggestion that there are gaps and more has to be done…or else we’ll end up in the Greenland Sea.