After the Dubai COP: Where Are We and What Needs to Happen in 2024 and Beyond?

 Climate change has been a source of concern among the international community since the 1970s. The first UN Agreement that mentioned it was the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden.

By Chris Spence and Felix Dodds

Yet, over fifty years since the issue was first raised in international diplomatic circles by prominent scientists, the situation continues to deteriorate, with rises in temperatures and extreme weather causing ever-magnifying problems around the world.

What has the global community done to date to deal with what many consider an existential threat to humanity’s future? In particular, what was achieved in Dubai at COP28 and what needs to happen in the lead-up to COP29, which will be held in Azerbaijan from November 11-24, 2024.

This briefing provides a short history of global cooperation to date, then looks towards Azerbaijan and beyond for what needs to happen next.

We argue that, although much more has been done to date than many give the UN and global community credit for, we face a critical time where action needs to be scaled-up dramatically if we are to avoid many harmful outcomes from the climate threat.

A Brief History of the International Community’s Response to Climate Change

The United Nations first began to set out the case for action on climate change in 1979, with the First World Climate Conference. Sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), it brought together scientists from various disciplines to explore the issue. This led in 1988 to the establishment by the WMO and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which took scientific consideration of climate change to a new level. The research-based warnings presented by the IPCC strengthened the case for action (and continue to do so today). Initially, a Second World Climate Conference was held in 1990 and this set the agenda for negotiations on a global treaty. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed by the UN General Assembly in time for the June 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The agreement entered into force in March 1994, when 50 countries had ratified the convention through their legislatures. It now has 198 Parties. Continued here

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