COP-28: Time for old habits to die; talk less & do more

The COP conferences have developed a track record of extensive discussions followed by notably limited actions towards natural environment. Our planet has reached a juncture where mere emission reductions are insufficient to safeguard our future; hence, the prioritization of sequestering legacy emissions should take center stage.
Madhukar Swayambhu Vaidic Srijan climate emission
Madhukar Swayambhu

The Conferences of the Parties or COP, as known popularly, – is an annual global summit to discuss, debate and decide upon the unanimous action to be taken upon global warming, climate change, biodiversity conservation and other environmental issues across the globe. The Dubai Summit (UAE) or the COP28 concluded recently was the 28th Summit since 1994.

It is often said that every year, in spite of holding COP summits, the deterioration of the natural environment has been going on as it is. So what’s the point in having mere discussions? Therefore, it is important to understand the background and history, because introspection can only be done, when we see the complete picture.

The journey so far

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was 1st established in the year 1988. The IPCC conducted data collection, research and comprehensive study for two years, which resulted in the release of their first assessment report in 1990, which concluded that “anthropogenic activities are the key cause of global warming and climate change”. Now this wasn’t the first time that the world came to know about this fact, the scientific community has been reporting, discussing and highlighting the same since the 1950s, but still this was a landmark achievement, because this time it was an official intergovernmental report. It was politically accepted by member countries.

The report was alarming, but it still took the global political leaders two more years to form the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. We need to understand that the imbalances in the fine natural ecosystems are translated by people as a ‘local natural disaster’ not a global phenomenon, which results in this lethargy and indecisiveness of the political leadership.

The key takeaways from the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June, 1992 was the formation of three unique UN bodies on Biodiversity, Desertification and Climate Change (or the UNFCCC), which lead to the first ever COP Summit at Berlin, Germany in 1995, This was attended by a total of 118 member countries.

A peek into the past summits 

1995 COP 1 Berlin we aren’t doing enough
1996 COP 2 Geneva each country to have own policy
1997 COP 3 Kyoto Carbon Credit Concept
1998 COP 4 Buenos Aires Finalizing Kyoto Protocol & strategy to acceptance
1999 COP 5 Bonn Still discussing Kyoto
2000 COP 6 Hague Still discussing Kyoto for plan of action
2001 COP 7 Marrakech Still finalizing Kyoto for plan of action
2002 COP 8 New Delhi Developed nations to assist Developing countries on adopting Kyoto Protocol through financial & technology support
2003 COP 9 Milan
2004 COP 10 Buenos Aires Developed and Developing countries discussions
2005 COP 11 Montreal Enforcement of Kyoto Protocol between 2008 – 20012
2006 COP 12 Nairobi Concept of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) introduced
2007 COP 13 Bali Post Kyoto Protocol discussions
2008 COP 14 Poznań Formulation of replacement agreement Post Kyoto Protocol
2009 COP 15 Copenhagen Discussion on financial impact of Kyoto protocol implementation
2010 COP 16 Cancún Formation of Green Climate Fund
2011 COP 17 Durban Post Kyoto Protocol enforcement discussions
2012 COP 18 Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol
2013 COP 19 Warsaw Inconclusive due to walk out by global south
2014 COP 20 Lima Tussle continues
2015 COP 21 Paris Primary goal to limit global warming below 2°C below 1.5°C
2016 COP 22 Marrakech Finer details of Paris agreement
2017 COP 23 Bonn Finer details of Paris agreement
2018 COP 24 Katowice Finer details of Paris agreement
2019 COP 25 Madrid Article 6 of Paris agreement
2020 COVID impact, COP Summit didn’t take place
2021 COP 26 Glasgow Article 6 of Paris agreement
2022 COP 27 Sharm El Sheikh Global stock takes or the progress report
2023 COP 28 Dubai Cutting emission and moving away from fossil fuels

So, if we look at the report card summarized above, there’s absolutely no doubt that we’ve been moving quite slow towards progress.

No time to ponder over 

It’s high time for the world & the world leaders to work on the path and pace correction too. We can’t work on only emission reduction, because switching over from fossil fuels to renewables wouldn’t happen overnight and we don’t have that luxury of time today.

Rich & poor nations, developed & developing nations, global north & global south pointing fingers on each other, is leading us nowhere. We’ve seen 28 summits now. The roadmap is only talking about reducing emissions, switching over from fossils to renewable energy sources, all of which will take another half a millennium. Scientific community warned about global warming way back in the 1960s and we’ve already spent almost 70 years playing the blame game.

The only way out is to work on “removal” of legacy emissions, to rebuild a sustainable planet. We’ve got to restore the Water, Air and Soil, back to their native conditions, to restore the climate.

(The author is an think tank on ecological rejuvenation & sustainable development)

(Visited 503 times, 1 visits today)

2 thoughts on “COP-28: Time for old habits to die; talk less & do more

  • December 23, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    I have a strategy for development of solar power generation without using land(it’s difficult, time consuming and expensive).
    How the existing Infrastructure can be used nation wide and also globally making each nation self sustaining for production of clean power.

    As solar power needs pv panels and other related spares, power generation is possible faster and return on investment is quicker compared to traditional large solar parks.

    As per COP 28 pledge of tripling the clean power generation my strategy is more viable financially and faster implementation.

    For further details to discuss at length I can be reached on below mentioned contact details.

    Best Regards,
    M – +919819130398
    E –


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nineteen − twelve =