General Studies Paper 3

Context: The Petersberg Dialogue on Climate Change was held in Berlin from May 2-3, 2023.

  • The Petersberg Climate Dialogue was hosted by Germany and the United Arab Emirates, which is hosting the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Ministers from 40 countries attended the conference to discuss the way forward towards COP28.
  • The discussions at the event veered around global renewables targetclimate finance and Global Stocktake.

Summit highlights

  • Global renewables target
    • According to members, in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the world needs to make sharp cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.
    • They also initiated discussions around a potential global target for renewables at the next climate conference.
  • Fossil fuels: Phaseout production or reduce emissions?
    • Members agreed to be laser focused on phasing out fossil fuel emissions,while phasing up viable, affordable zero-carbon alternatives.
    • They called for a tripling of renewable energy capacity by 2030 followed by a doubling in 2040, & the address was focused on reducing fossil fuel ‘emissions’.
  • On track for $100 billion climate finance:
    • According to members, developed countries are “on good track” to deliver the $100 billion per year they had promised to mobilise by 2020 during the COP15 in 2009.
      • Although this is good news, delivering the $100 billion goal in 2023 might be a little too late.
    • The $100 billion is likely to be a gross underestimation of the true need for climate finance in developing countries.
    • A recent estimate pegs climate finance needs at $1 trillion per year by 2030for emerging markets alone.
      • This means that climate finance needs are more than 10 times the amount that developed countries have been able to mobilise, 14 years after committing to the $100 billion figure.
    • Global Stocktake:
      • 2023 is the year for the Global Stocktake.
        • Global Stocktake is essentially a periodic review of global climate action which aims to assess whether current efforts will enable us to reach the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.
        • This is the first Global Stocktake year since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 and the report has been underway for the past two years.
          • It is set to be released in September of 2023.
        • Stocktake outcomes:
          • Members noted that the Global Stocktake outcome should focus on how climate change impacts, actions and responses have a bearing on the developmental priorities of developing countries including eradication of poverty.
          • The first Global Stocktake should seek to convey a message on sustainable lifestyles as well as sustainable consumption to inform the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions and enhanced international cooperation.

Way ahead:

  • Although the $100 billion pledge might have been met this year, the needs have now escalated. This underlines the urgent need for financial reparations.
  • COP28 UAE will be a milestone moment when the world will take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement.
    • The first Global Stocktake (GST), will provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement.
    • This will help align efforts on climate action,including measures that need to be put in place to bridge the gaps in progress.
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