COP28 raised concerns on Saturday, December 2nd, as the President of Timor-Leste urged the WHO to declare the highest level of international public health emergency due to the effects of climate change. Additionally, many expressed concerns about how the ongoing Palestine-Israel war is diverting attention from the summit’s main purpose, which is addressing climate change. However, COP28 also brought forth promising developments.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz remains insistent that a significant reduction in emissions can still be achieved in a timely manner to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C. According to Scholz, one way to achieve this is by eliminating fossil fuels, starting with coal. This aligns with the views of French President Emmanuel Macron, who emphasized the absurdity of planning coal capacities for developing countries as a means for them to catch up economically, as the use of coal must be eliminated.
Furthermore, the United States, committed to its first pledge since 2014, will grant 3 billion dollars to a climate fund, as promised by Vice President Kamala Harris. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that his country has “walked the talk” regarding its commitments to climate actions, citing accomplishments in various sectors such as afforestation and Mission LiFE. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname, reminded attendees that Suriname is one of only three countries that are carbon-negative, promising to maintain this status. Moreover, over 20 countries called for tripling the capacity for nuclear energy by 2050, an essential step toward achieving zero carbon emissions.