New CEI paper analyzes the top issues up for negotiation at COP28

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) continues its focus on COP28 in Dubai with a new paper by Henrique Schneider, who is a professor of economics and has represented Switzerland as a negotiator at previous COPs. In “Four Hot Issues at COP28: Climate summit will mean wealth transfers, more bureaucracy,” Schneider analyzes the top four most consequential and politically contentious issues under negotiation in Dubai.

While more than 75 agenda items will be under negotiation at COP28, Schneider identifies four issues that will likely be the most contentious.

  • Loss and Damage: Defined as “the actual and/or potential manifestation of impacts associated with climate change in developing countries that negatively affect human and natural systems,” loss and damage seeks to have developed nations provide funding to developing nations to offset claims of negative effects attributed to climate change.
  • Climate Finance: Due to an agreement at COP15 in 2009, high-income countries have an annual goal of mobilizing $100 billion for climate action. Negotiations at COP28 will touch on inducing international financial institutions like the World Bank Group to invest more money on climate policies.
  • Global Goal on Adaptation: The Paris Agreement established the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) to encourage countries to take collective action on climate adaptation. At last year’s COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, countries agreed on a framework for achieving these climate adaptation goals. That framework will likely be considered and adopted at COP28.
  • Global Stocktake: This is a two-year process for assessing the implementation of the Paris Agreement globally. The two-year process happens every five years and involves asking parties to the agreement to make more “ambitious” commitments to emissions reductions than agreed to in the previous five-year period.

“The outcomes for these major issues at COP28 will almost certainly mean more supranational and national bureaucracy, more money dedicated to unquantifiable goals, and more celebration of a bubble that does not even seem willing to solve the problems it identifies,” said study author Schneider. “This predictable pageantry still poses genuine costs in the form of harmful governmental intervention and wealth transfers. Policymakers should reject the idea that more government and more spending are solutions and recognize removing governmental obstacles, clearly defining private property rights, and defending economic freedom will lead to better environmental outcomes and human flourishing.”

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