COP 28 conference

The United Nations COP 28 Conference on Climate Change has begun in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. 198 countries will have representatives at the meeting. One of the aims of the meeting is to put in place arrangements to support the 46 countries which are listed as “least developed” in coping with the effects of climate change through a “Damage and Loss Fund”. Unfortunately, Professor Saleemul Huq, one of the most influential and outspoken supporters of their case, died at the age of 71, in October.

We must hope that someone with knowledge and energy will take his place.         There is controversy over the fact that the President of the Conference, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, from the host country, is an executive of an energy company which produces oil for export around the world. The same company is also developing renewable energy sources, as well … is that good ? You will probably have heard the rumours of secret meetings to discuss new oil wells being developed, taking place during the Conference.

Britain cannot claim to be doing better because our Government has recently approved the Rosebank oil field and given licences for oil exploration.

A new feature of this conference is that, as well as the official representatives meeting, there will be a meeting where anyone who wishes to express their ideas publically can make their contribution independently.

Elsewhere: It is encouraging to hear of Prince William’s promotion of the “Earthshot” prize – financial support for the best ideas for sustainability.

Peter Johnstone