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COP28 Reflections

COP28 Reflections

by Dastan Abdyldaev, CVF Capacity-Building Fellow from Kyrgyzstan

At the COP28 Summit in Dubai, delegates and participants warned of irreversible climate disasters approaching unless urgent action is taken to reduce GHG emissions. 2023 marked the hottest year on record, with Mediterranean countries suffering the most from the abnormal heat this summer. In Turkey and Greece, tourists had to be evacuated due to forest fires – the flames were approaching hotels, local beaches were enveloped in smoke. A sharp rise in day and night temperatures was also recorded in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Poland.

Climate impacts are especially devastating to developing countries. The deadly losses and enormous damage caused to such developing countries by climate change feels especially unfair given the fact that they themselves have caused the least damage to the environment. Without drastic action, some regions—such as the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti) and the southwestern part of Asia—will simply become uninhabitable due to abnormal heat in the coming years, according to a joint report by the UN and the Red Cross.

Thanks to the support of the CVF Capacity Building Fellowship, I took part in COP28 in Dubai, UAE. Like many delegates, I took part in various side events, negotiations, official and informal meetings, and more. By the end of each day, I was exhausted by the packed schedule, but the fatigue was pleasant and I returned to the hotel with a feeling of pride. Every morning I got up with a sense of responsibility, optimism, and pride for my country and went to COP28 venue.

One of the main achievements for Kyrgyzstan was the inclusion of the issues of preserving the mountain ecosystems in the Global Climate Agenda and the creation of the Mountain Partnership (MPG) negotiating group at COP28. These are critical signs of progress, as mountains play a key role in maintaining the biodiversity of our planet and provide water resources to many regions and climate change is becoming a serious threat to both nature and people living in mountainous areas.

These initiatives received support at the COP28 from other mountainous countries including Andorra, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat expressed its support and welcomed the creation of the Mountain Partnership Group.

As a result, the Mountain agenda was finally included in the main documents of the UNFCCC, marking an important step towards bringing joint attention to mountain regions and their sustainable development in a changing climate. The MPG will contribute to achieving significant results in the conservation of mountain ecosystems and ensuring the well-being of mountain communities. Admittedly, this is just the beginning of a journey of thousands of miles.

As part of my participation at COP28, I also actively took part in various side events, official and informal meetings, negotiation groups on Carbon Markets and Finance.

On 1 December 2023, I had the honour to be a Moderator of a side event on Climate change issues in Kyrgyzstan and mitigation/adaptation development projects, organised by Climate Finance Center (CFC) under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision of Kyrgyzstan.

The main objective of the event was to attract the attention of MDBs, international development partners and climate funds to key promising areas of joint mitigation and adaptation projects in Kyrgyzstan. This event was attended by the representatives of the World Bank, EBRD, ADB, GIZ, UNDP, and NDC Partnership.

On 5 December 2023, I had the great pleasure to be one of the speakers at another event on “Scaling Inclusive Green Finance and Carbon Markets in Emerging Markets,” organised by the Global Climate Action Partnership. At the event, I presented on “the main opportunities and challenges for carbon market development in Kyrgyzstan.” Other panelists discussed and highlighted the experiences of early implementors of financing mechanisms and provided a forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities for green financing and carbon market, drawing on the developing countries’ perspectives.

On 8 December 2023, I attended a joint meeting of the CVF Climate Diplomacy Fellows and CVF Youth Fellows at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, where we discussed the results of the first week of the COP28 and shared our thoughts on the Global Climate Agenda. I would like to thank the Climate Vulnerable Forum for giving us the opportunity and funding to attend COP28.

I would like to end by noting that although important decisions were made on the creation of the Loss and Damage Fund and beginining the transition away from fossil fuels, the specific actions of countries will ultimately be required to show the long-term sustainability of this decision and make it a success.

Furthermore, the lack of key decisions on NCQG and on several Article 6 items obliges us all to work even harder in preparation for COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.