Monday Mar 25, 2024

Charles McNeill, PhD

Senior Advisor for Climate & Forests The United Nations

COP28 & Vatican Conference

Introduced by: Hilary Butler

Charles McNeill PhD reports to the Rotary Club of Bowen Island on his participation at COP28 and at the Vatican Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge & Science.  Charles provides a detailed discussion of both events and his talk is illustrated with PowerPoint slides. A question & answer session follows.

The 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 2023 13. McNeill reported that were several significant outcomes.

  • A new fund for Losses and Damage vulnerable countries face from climate impacts.
  • A decision to transition away from “Fossil Fuels” — the first time main driver of climate change appeared in a COP’s formal outcome.
  • Focus on first-ever Global Stocktake, the Paris Agreement’s process to assess progress every 5 years.
  • The outcome in Dubai, “UAE Consensus” covered the full scope of climate issues, and guidance for next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) due in 2025.
  • Significant progress outside the formal climate negotiations — including new commitments to Reduce Methane Emissions and Sustainable Food Systems, Protect Forests etc.

McNeill was pleased that two of his personal issue were covered at COP28: Forest & Land Use and Engagement of Faith Communities. Also, for the first time, all nations agreed to move away from fossil fuels and rapidly ramp up renewable energy and energy efficiency, while Food Systems and Cities were elevated in the climate fight more than ever.

On March 14–15 McNeill participated in the Vatican Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge and the Sciences — combining traditional knowledge and sciences for resilience to address climate change, biodiversity loss, food security and health.

McNeill noted that Indigenous Peoples comprise 5% of world’s population but safeguard 80% of the planet’s biodiversity.

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