UAE, Azerbaijan, Brazil join forces to limit global warming to 1.5C
Three former and future UN climate summit hosts will form a ‘troika’ to to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan and Brazil, former and future hosts of UN climate summits, are joining forces to push for an international agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates’ presidency of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) said that it would form a “troika” to focus on ensuring that more ambitious CO2-cutting pledges are made ahead of a deadline at the COP30 summit to be held in 2025 in Belem, Brazil. Azerbaijan will host this year’s United Nations climate event in November.
“We cannot afford to lose momentum, we must do everything we can to keep 1.5 C within reach,” said Sultan Al Jaber, the Emirati president of last year’s negotiations.
In 2015, almost 200 governments signed the unprecedented Paris climate agreement to phase out fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy in the second half of the century by capping global warming at 1.5C.
That target is fast slipping out of reach, as global greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar. The next round of countries’ climate targets is seen as a crucial last chance to prevent global warming exceeding the 1.5C limit.
The troika partnership should “significantly enhance international cooperation and the international enabling environment to stimulate ambition in the next round of nationally determined contributions”, read the final agreement reached at COP28.
Last week European climate monitors reported that for the first time global warming had exceeded temperatures of 1.5C over a 12-month period, in what scientists called a “warning to humanity”.
Storms, drought and fires lashed the planet as climate change, as well as the El Nino weather phenomenon that warms the surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, made 2023 the planet’s hottest year in global records going back to 1850.
“The troika helps ensure we have the collaboration and continuity required to keep the North Star of 1.5C in sight – from Baku to Belem and beyond,” Al Jaber said in a statement.
Taking into account current climate pledges, the world is still on track to warm between 2.5 and 2.9 degrees Celsius over this century, according to UN estimates.
The 1.5C limit will probably be reached between 2030 and 2035, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
At COP28, the world agreed to “transition away” from fossil fuels, but there was no progress on unblocking financial flows to developing countries, a major sticking point in negotiations.
This issue is set to be a central theme of COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, where a new target is expected to be set for the financial support provided by developed countries for climate change.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, rich countries are about two years late in meeting their initial pledge of $100bn in annual climate funding by 2022.
The UN’s high-level expert group on climate finance said in 2022 that developing nations, excluding China, need to spend some $2.4 trillion a year on clean energy and climate resilience by 2030 – four times current levels.
“We are committed to leveraging our strength as a bridge builder between the developed and developing world as host of COP29, to accelerate efforts to keep 1.5 in reach,” said COP29 President-Designate Mukhtar Babayev, who is Azerbaijan’s minister of ecology and natural resources.
“Key to that will be establishing a new climate finance goal that reflects the scale and urgency of the climate challenge.”