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COP28: To save the planet, we need a just and fair renewable energy revolution

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COP28: To save the planet, we need a just and fair renewable energy revolution

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DUBAI — The key to ensuring that communities — especially the most vulnerable —– can leave fossil-fuel based economies behind, is to create space for a just transition to a green economy, clean energy advocates and representatives of indigenous groups argued on Tuesday at COP28.

As the two-week UN climate conference under way in Dubai’s Expo City reached its midway point, attendees stressed that the move towards clean energy sources must involve careful consideration of the concerns of people and communities who will be most affected by this transition.

As most of government ministers and world leaders have wrapped up their events, a sense of urgency is building around the iconic domed venue as COP28 climate negotiators ramp up the intense climate diplomacy necessary for a successful sprint to the finish line next Tuesday, when the conference is expected to wrap up.

These negotiations are mainly focused on three key issues: phasing out or reducing the use of fossil fuels, building resilience to climate impacts, and financial support for vulnerable countries coping with a climate catastrophe they played little to no role in causing.

We at UN News saw — and heard — ample support for these demands on Tuesday morning as we made our way to the media center at Expo City’s sprawling campus.

Large scale protests, often seen as a key feature of annual UN climate talks have largely been missing in Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, but following the relative quiet of conference’s early days, demonstrators are slowly but surely beginning to make their voices heard.

On Tuesday, a small group of demonstrators in the UN-managed Blue Zone area enthusiastically chanted slogans over the presence of oil and gas fossil companies and the participation of lobbyists, whom, they argued, have been given an undue platform in climate negotiations.

The protestors’ call, albeit subdued compared to other COPs, has echoed with phrases such as “1.5-degree goal”, “NDCs”, “Net-Zero” and “just transition”, which is on Tuesday’s agenda for discussion. — UN News

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