The upcoming COP28 climate conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has drawn widespread criticism from human rights organizations and climate activists alike. The UAE has a poor track record when it comes to human rights violations, particularly against migrant workers. The country is also one of the world’s largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases, with 90% of its electricity generated from fossil fuels. Against this backdrop, it is imperative that organizations committed to climate action carefully consider their participation in such a conference. Climate Fresk, an international coalition of environmental activists, is being urged to reconsider its participation in COP28.
Climate Fresk Role in COP28
Climate Fresk is a leading voice in the fight against climate change. The organization has consistently played a huge role for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a focus on innovative and sustainable solutions. However, the organization’s participation in COP28 in the UAE could be viewed as undermining its commitment to these goals.
Issues Regarding Participating
One of the main reasons for concern is the UAE’s reliance on fossil fuels. Despite announcing ambitious renewable energy targets, the country has yet to implement policies that would enable it to achieve these goals. The lack of concrete action on climate change should raise alarm bells for an organization like Climate Fresk, which is dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy. According to the International Energy Agency, global emissions need to be reduced by at least 45% by 2030 in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This is an ambitious target that will require urgent action by governments, businesses, and individuals alike.
Oil Tycoon: Sultan Al-Jaber
Moreover, the presence of a person deeply involved in the petroleum industry, Sultan Al-Jaber, in COP28 only exacerbates concerns about the true intentions of this conference. The irony of having a person present from the very industry responsible for much of the climate crisis residing in a conference ostensibly aimed at addressing this crisis cannot be ignored. It is imperative that organizations like Climate Fresk remain on the guard and hold leaders accountable for their actions.
Human Rights Violation in UAE
In addition to these climate concerns, the UAE’s human rights record is also a cause for concern. According to Amnesty International, migrant workers in the country continue to face exploitation, including forced labor and restrictions on freedom of movement. Women and certain individuals face systemic discrimination, with some activities being referred as criminalized activities and women subject to discriminatory laws regarding marriage and divorce. By participating in COP28 in the UAE, Climate Fresk risks being seen as endorsing a country with a poor track record on human rights.
Results of not Participating
While COP28 may provide an opportunity for international collaboration on climate action, the location of the conference in the UAE, with its poor record on human rights and lack of concrete action on climate change, raises serious concerns. Climate Fresk, as a leading voice in the fight against climate change, must carefully consider its participation in such a conference. By refusing to participate, the organization can send a strong message that it is committed to promoting a sustainable future and holding leaders accountable for their actions.
Hence, it is necessary that a big organization like Cimate Fresk that holds the power as well as the authority to bring change, should not participate in this controversial event. Participating can result in confusion among the public regarding the image of Climate Fresk. That would be of great negatory stance and would give birth to negative word of mouth to the organization.