In a world grappling with the daunting reality of the climate crisis, the urgency of robust climate financing has never been more palpable. As the entire world prepares for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP), it’s time for us to take a bold stand, championing adaptation, equity, and financial aid in our fight against climate change.

The Paris Agreement, which set its sights on curbing global temperature increases to within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels, has been our guiding beacon for eight years. Since COP21 in 2015, the COP meetings have centered around the Paris Agreement’s threefold mission: to limit the global average temperature rise to ‘well below’ 2°C while striving for 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, to adapt to climate change and foster resilience, and to channel financial flows towards a pathway of low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.’

As COP28 approaches, it’s time for a comprehensive “global stocktake” to gauge our progress in emissions reduction and our efforts to combat climate change. It’s apparent that we are falling short of meeting the agreement’s goals, but there is still a hope to expedite the transition.

Funding: At the heart of our strategy lies the imperative to fund climate compensation. The road ahead is fraught with significant financial hurdles. Confronting the climate crisis necessitates massive investments. Estimates indicate that transitioning to a low-carbon global economy requires an annual influx of $4-6 trillion until 2050. Realizing the ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 mandates an annual investment of no less than $4 trillion in the renewable energy sector alone.

Additionally, developing nations require roughly $6 trillion between 2022 and 2030 to effectively implement their climate action plans. To meet these towering challenges, it is necessary to allocate at least 5% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to climate action annually.

While the promise of developed nations to provide $100 billion annually by 2020 for supporting climate endeavors in developing nations is commendable, it falls significantly short of the actual climate financing requirements. Reports underscore the necessity for an astounding $1 trillion per year in external climate finance by 2030—a figure that dwarfs the current annual mobilized amount of $50-80 billion. Moreover, in 2020, a mere $83.3 billion flowed into the coffers of developing and emerging economies, often in the form of loans.

Green Technology Financing: The transition to green technology necessitates substantial investment, with expenditures projected to reach approximately $4 trillion by 2030. COP28 will delve into the critical discussion of financing green technology. Encouraging progress includes initiatives such as the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the European Union’s REPowerEU plan. The IRA, with its provision of $370 billion in incentives for low-carbon technologies, coupled with investment mechanisms like ITC and PTC, aggregates to a monumental $1.2 trillion. Government incentives play a pivotal role in green technology investments, delivering certainty and stability to the private sector. We must also contemplate ways in which the IRA can be harnessed in export markets to further invigorate the green technology sector.

Cooperative Approaches under Article 6.2: The time has come to underscore the pivotal role of cooperative approaches stipulated in Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement. We must accentuate the significance of country participation in these cooperative endeavors, facilitating green trade between the global south and north. This opens doors for cost-effective funding in the global south and provides preferential market access to the global north for products such as solar panels, green ammonia, and green methanol.

As we stand on the cusp of COP28, let us remember that our actions today will shape the world of tomorrow. The challenges are immense, but so is our collective resolve. Therefore, a strong outcome at COP28 is crucial to achieve the desired goals.

Let us embrace this opportunity with unwavering commitment and unwavering hope. Let us be the change-makers, the innovators, and the leaders who rise to the occasion. Together, we can rewrite the narrative of our planet’s future, ensuring a sustainable, equitable, and thriving world for generations to come.

The road may be tough, but the destination is worth every effort. Let us march into COP28 with our heads held high, our hearts aflame with purpose, and our actions echoing the sentiment that we are the guardians of this planet.

Author’s Note

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Mr. Vineet Mittal

Vineet Mittal is a serial entrepreneur who has built multiple large-scale businesses. His passion for sustainability originates from the ancient Indian Vedic philosophy of ‘Mata bhoomi putro aham prithiwaya” - The Earth is to be protected like a mother and nurtured for future generations.