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COP28: Countries promise billions, but it's unclear if it will be enough

COP28: pledges and disagreements Dwain Ross

Following pledges from international leaders, delegates to the 28th World Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai find sustainable measures to combat global warming.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), host of this year's conference, has pledged $27 billion by 2030, but leaders from Saudi Arabia, the region's largest economy and the world's largest oil producer, have been absent since the summit's start.

Amid tensions over differing views on the future of fossil fuels, COP28 President Ahmed al-Jaber rejected the Guardian's claim that he had questioned the scientific evidence on the need to "phase out" fossil fuels.

Ahmed Al Jaber has also come under attack for his role as CEO of Adnoc, the UAE's state oil company.

I am very surprised by the incessant and repeated attempts to undermine the work of the COP28 president, he told a press conference. We believe very much in science and we respect it.

Developing countries need hundreds of billions of dollars a year to adapt to global warming and want more resources to switch to renewable energy.

Developing and emerging countries must invest $24 billion a year to curb emissions and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, according to a published report.

The world is not on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The reason for this failure is the lack of investment in emerging markets and developing countries, especially outside of China, said co-author Nicholas Stern, who studies Grantham On Climate Change And The Environment.

At a press conference, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley appealed to philanthropic organizations and private investors to look beyond voluntary pledges and consider taxes as a means of increasing climate funding.

For example, a global 0.1% tax on financial services could raise $42 billion, a 5% tax on oil and gas profits in 2022 about $20 billion.

Other delegations, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, called for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, which amount to $700 billion annually.

Campaigners from the Asian People's Debt Development Movement (APMDD) expressed concern that the promised amounts were not enough.

Activist Zaigham Abbas of Pakistan, which suffered massive flooding last year, said: "The climate funds promised at COP28 are simply not enough."

We are not looking for charity here. The scale of the disaster we are witnessing is unprecedented.

The largest pledge made at COP28 was announced by the host country, the United Arab Emirates, which pledged pl300 million for climate-related projects, 5 500 million of which will be earmarked for poor countries.

In addition, France and Japan said they would support the African Development Bank's initiative to use IMF Special Drawing Rights for climate and development.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it will include a "climate resilient debt clause" in new loan agreements with some developing countries.

COP28 participants also pledged $720 million to create a new "loss and damage" fund to assist countries vulnerable to climate change.

The United States has pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, an international fund dedicated to combating climate change, but more than $20 billion has already been committed.

Danish investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners announced it is raising $3 million to fund renewable energy projects in emerging markets.

The corporate presence at COP28 is greater than ever, raising expectations for more private investment to address climate change.

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