Author: Chia Chun Angela Liang
Affiliation: PhD candidate at UC Irvine, USA; Science and Technology Advisor at Open Dialogues International Foundation; Western Onboarding Chair, National Science Policy Network
With COP28 coming in 2 weeks, more information has been released from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authority. As an early-career scientist representing the American Chemical Society and the Research and Independent Non-Governmental Organizations (RINGO) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is fascinating to attend COP28 compared to other COPs.
First of all, the COP28 leadership may present a conflict of interest to the UNFCCC itself. The president-designate of COP28, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, runs the country's largest oil company, i.e., the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. With its plan to expand fossil fuels, it presents a conflict of interest with the main goal of the UNFCCC as stated in Article 2 Objective, which requires parties to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions to a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic disturbances to the climate system [ref 1]. As a scientist who understands the physical impacts of fossil fuels on our climate system [ref 2], one key point to watch this year at COP28 is how the COP presidency discusses the role of fossil fuels in the future. In addition to this, there are other key topics that are worth taking a look at as scientists:
As an early-career scientist, COPs might be overwhelming because there are many items and topics being discussed and negotiated at the same time. Besides, there are hundreds of side events, exhibitions, and possibly protests happening in both the Blue Zone and the Green Zone every day. There are many ways that an early-career scientist can make an impact, and hopefully this article will be helpful to those early-career researchers who are attending COP28 this year in Dubai, UAE.