Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 13, 2023, marked a pivotal moment in the global fight against climate change, bringing together 197 countries in a collective effort to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Notably, COP 28 witnessed a record-breaking on-site attendance of 97,372 people, making it the most significant UN climate change conference to date. Among the participants at COP 28 were the Claretians, represented by Fondazione PROCLADE Internazionale-Onlus (FPI), which secured observer status in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during the conference. Br. Robert Omondi represented the Claretians during the first week, while Fr. Rohan Dominic took part in the second week of the conference. Their participation in the conference underscores the Claretians’ commitment to contributing to the global dialogue on climate change.
Reflecting on the inaugural participation, the Claretian Team expressed gratitude for the provisional admission and underscored the unique nature of COP 28. The team emphasized the conference’s intensity, outcome-oriented focus, and diverse expectations. Despite encountering challenges, the Claretian team recognized the critical importance of disseminating information to the congregation. Through “Daily Updates,” they aimed to keep the community informed about the proceedings at COP 28, acknowledging the far-reaching global impact of the decisions made during the conference.
COP 28 yielded several critical outcomes, including adopting the first Global Stocktake (GST). This process, aligned with the Paris Agreement, signals a significant step towards transitioning away from fossil fuels and holds countries accountable for their climate commitments.
Additionally, COP 28 witnessed an agreement on a new framework for implementing the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), enhancing the world’s capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Progress was also made in mitigation, finance, and technology, with countries committing to triple renewable energy targets and double energy efficiency goals. The loss and damage fund operationalization was agreed upon, providing financial assistance to vulnerable developing countries.
The success of COP 28, marked by urgency and determination, has provided a roadmap for future action. The onus now lies in countries implementing commitments and transitioning to a low-carbon future.
Claretian Response and Future Enrichment:
The Claretian team’s participation in COP 28 resulted in valuable experiences and network-building with climate activists globally. Participating in the inaugural Faith Pavilion at COP 28 presented the Claretians with valuable opportunities to engage in interfaith discussions, activities, and collaborative efforts throughout the conference. This involvement underscores the Claretians’ commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration across diverse faith communities, emphasizing the interconnectedness of faith and environmental stewardship.
COP 28 served as a crucial platform that connected the Claretian Team with the “Catholic Actors of COP28”, comprising Bishops, clergy, lay faithful, activists, journalists, and youth. Recognizing the significance of their collaboration, the Claretian Team has plans to continue these constructive conversations.
Anticipating COP 29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Catholic Actors acknowledge the need for better preparation. As a proactive measure, they have scheduled monthly meetings starting from January 2024. These meetings will serve as a forum for ongoing collaboration, enabling the development of a reflection/position paper that encapsulates the Catholic perspective on COP 28. Additionally, the Catholic Actors are committed to initiating capacity-building programs tailored for climate activists, with a special focus on empowering the youth.
Recognizing the importance of future COPs, the Claretian Team aims to establish a clear position and engage in advocacy with negotiators in future COPs. They also emphasize the congregation’s role in climate action through projects and ministries, focusing on key areas:
- Indigenous Peoples and Education
- Recognizing the presence of Indigenous people in Claretian mission zones, the Claretians aim to organize forums on education for Indigenous peoples. This initiative involves engaging parties, heads of education institutions, academic institutions, and other partners to discuss curricula development and educational materials.
- Transforming Education with a Green Focus
- The Claretians acknowledge the differentiated impact of climate change on women and girls. To address this, they propose dedicating Claretian Educational conferences to girls’ education, focusing on STEM subjects and incorporating green curriculum, greening buildings, and providing teacher training for a green-friendly atmosphere.
- Promoting Traditional Agricultural Practices
- COP 28 serves as a catalyst for the Claretians to engage actively in the global conversation on sustainable agriculture. Partnering with organizations like FAO and collaborating with other groups, the Claretians can contribute significantly to promoting traditional agricultural methods, aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Implementation of Revised NDCs
- The Claretians recognize the importance of knowing, studying, and actively involving themselves in implementing revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of each country we present. This strategic engagement ensures that Claretian efforts are aligned with global climate goals.
The Claretians’ active participation in COP 28 positions them as key contributors to global climate action. The team’s commitment to education, sustainable agriculture, and alignment with international climate goals demonstrates a holistic approach to building a resilient and sustainable future. As they move forward, their engagement in these key areas will undoubtedly contribute to the collective global efforts to combat climate change.
COP 28: Daily Updates