Opinion: Last week, on Sunday, July 23, the media reported that Pope Francis informed his masses that recent heat waves across many parts of the world and flooding in countries such as South Korea showed that more urgent action is needed to tackle climate change since it is an urgent challenge that cannot be postponed and concerns everyone.
Pop Francis appealed to the leaders and the world during his Angelus message to crowds in St. Peter’s Square to rapidly ditch fossil fuels and make the protection of the environment a cornerstone by limiting polluting emissions. He noted in his landmark 2015 “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) encyclical that the planet is “beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth”
This shows that the world’s vulnerability to climate change impacts remains a key reminder of the need to evaluate the readiness and preparedness to counter these negative and often diverse effects. The quality of life has reduced given the burden placed by numerous uncoordinated effects on the environment. Disease is rampant, famine is on a high rate, poverty is on the increase, and development is stifled and all these are caused by climate change and energy crisis.
It is noted that from November 30 to December 12, the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC) will be holding its annual conference known as COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which will be the 28th meeting of the conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on climate change and it is noted that its purpose will be to limit climate change to 1.5 Celsius (34.7 Fahrenheit) of global warming. Therefore, I call upon the United Nations to consider the following below in the 28th UN conference that is going to take place in November 30th to 12th December 2023.
COP28 conference should consider strengthening commitments to encourage countries to set more ambitious emissions reduction targets and update their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to align with the 1.5- degree Celsius global warming in the 28th UN conference.
It should also support clean energy transition by promoting the rapid adoption and deployment of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydro and geothermal by providing financial incentives and technological support to help developing nation’s transitions away from fossil fuels.
This should be done by considering social and economic impacts of climate policies, ensuring a just transition for affected communities and workers in fossil fuel dependent industries
Furthermore the UN COP28 conference should consider encouraging the adoption of carbon pricing mechanisms, such as carbon taxes to internalize the socio cost of carbon emissions and drive investments towards low carbon technologies and mobilize developed countries to fulfill their commitment to provide climate finance to support developing nations in the climate mitigation and adoption effort.
The 28th conference should also encourage large scale reforestation and afforestation projects to enhance carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation.
It is crucial to recognize that addressing the climate and energy crisis requires a collective effort from all countries and stakeholder’s as Pop Francis is appealing to the world to tackle climate change.
The UN should enhance public awareness and education on climate change and its impacts, fostering a culture of sustainable practices and environmental responsibility by promoting international and collaboration to share knowledge ,best practices and capacity building efforts to address climate and energy challenges effectively.COP28 conference should strive to foster a spirit of cooperation, innovation and accountability to accelerate the global transition towards the sustainable and low carbon future in order to conserve the environment.
The author is Olive Atuhaire, a concerned citizen.
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