IT’S4U Caps Off COP28UAE Virtual Conference with Spectacular Closing Ceremony: A Culmination of Innovation, Collaboration, and Global Impact.

By: Irum Fawad TN Media Executive International Affair News:

Limit to oil and gas can lead the world to more richer place. The tag line made me think more about it. Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases.

Changes observed in Earth’s climate since the mid-20th century are driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere, raising Earth’s average surface temperature. Natural processes, which have been overwhelmed by human activities, can also contribute to climate change, including internal variability (e.g., cyclical ocean patterns like El Niño, La Niña and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) and external forcings.

Scientists use observations from the ground, air, and space, along with computer models, to monitor and study past, present, and future climate change. Climate data records provide evidence of climate change key indicators, such as global land and ocean temperature increases; rising sea levels; ice loss at Earth’s poles and in mountain glaciers; frequency and severity changes in extreme weather such as hurricanes, heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, floods, and precipitation; and cloud and vegetation cover changes.

“Climate change” and “global warming” are often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings. Similarly, the terms “weather” and “climate” are sometimes confused, though they refer to events with broadly different spatial- and Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s surface observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. This term is not interchangeable with the term “climate change.”

Since the pre-industrial period, human activities are estimated to have increased Earth’s global average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), a number that is currently increasing by more than 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade. The current warming trend is unequivocally the result of human activity since the 1950s and is proceeding at an unprecedented rate over millennia.

Weather vs. Climate

“If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes: Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur locally over short periods of time—from minutes to hours or days. Familiar examples include rain, snow, clouds, winds, floods, or thunderstorms.

Climate, on the other hand, refers to the long-term (usually at least 30 years) regional or even global average of temperature, humidity, and rainfall patterns over seasons, years, or decades. It’s the threat to entire globe.

Dr David Ko and Mr Richard Busellato are investment managers with 30 years of experience at the highest level. They spent many years delving deeply into sustainable investments and concluded that our planet is simply unable to cope with the vast sums of money involved. Their book tells the story of how this has come about and what to do about it.

In 2021 the IPCC report convinced David and Richard that climate change is a major problem. To tackle this, we have to face the production and use of oil, gas, and coal head-on. COP28UAE gave them the opportunity to find out if we are ready for that.

COP stands for the Conference of Parties. This conference has taken place annually for 30 years. Governments have discussed how to manage our climate challenges, and over the years, civil society groups have become a part of the meetings. However, attending cost more money than most people can afford. #Its4U was conceived to give voice to everyone.

The planning started at the beginning of the year. Dr David Ko and Richard Busellato designed a plan to ask if we are ready to face head-on oil, gas, and coal. They brought a team together so that the Conference of the Parties can be at every village, city and country.

The final leg of preparations kicked-off at the Africa Climate Summit in September where David engaged with the East Africa Campuses and Colleges Green Network (EACCGN) to reflecting on nature and dignity. Following this, as COP28 approached, Sadaf Khalid was hired as Global Coordinator; myself, as Social Media Coordinator and International pod-castor, and Inger-Mette Stenseth the co-founder of the World Climate School helped to connect internationally. Collins Manyasi and Tim Odegwa connected with the members of EACCGN to reach to networks across Africa.

Together, we created 12 days of live streaming and interviews. The events gave voice to women and men, young and old, from villages and cities from all the continents. There was no distinction of rich or poor; we brought faiths together; each day we had prayer and meditation to anchor ourselves. The participants told their stories of how they are looking after our Common Home.

They helped us to understand making the world better is not one-size-fit-all. These stories reinforced for us the message that the migration to a richer world and a better future has started. The stories are empowering. They talked as one about dignity and joy even in the face of the harshest climate challenges. They answered Dr Ko and Mr Busellato’s question in a symphony of a billion voices: we are ready to face oil, gas, and coal head-on.

I had an amazing experience. The agenda of humanity coming together to save the world and planet earth is particularly energizing. After 12 amazing days, we celebrated #Its4U with a closing ceremony. Prof. Dr Benno Werlen, the UNESCO-chair on global understanding for sustainability and founder of the Jena Declaration joined us as the guest of honour.

He reminded us that one-size-fit-all approaches to sustainability do not work. This was the Truth spoken from the participants throughout the 12 days. Everyone’s situation is a little different, and these differences are significant. Their voices resonate with Prof Werlen’s words in a crescendo. We will attain sustainability because people are making it their choice. For Dr Ko and Mr Busellato, it reinforced also the message in their book – we each need to experiment for the right path for ourselves.

The closing ceremony finished with distributing Certificates of Participation to every participant. In the closing remarks Prof Dr Benno said, “all communities must stand together to acheive the goal of sustainability, and government and non-governmental organisations/institutions must work upon this very serious matter; as one action of one man can make a difference.“

Sadaf Khalid, Inger-Mette and Irum Fawad were the three women hosts through out the event. Ms Andrea T Edwards, social media current affairs commentator and podcaster from Thailand made interviews with all the members of the #Its4U team. Arewa Lanre from Nigeria and Nicolas Majluf from Chile designed the graphics. Collin Manyasi and Timothy Ndegwa from Kenya hosted the participants from Africa, and Kaaka and the other members of the East Africa Campuses and Colleges Green Network made the virtual events into physical celebrations of Festivals of Joy that turned climate actions into livelihoods. Nico Ndluvo, Katie Critchlow, Ian Kaplan, together with Dr Ko and Mr Busellato created a comedy segment, Who is tipping over the tipping point? And ensured we can all laugh, sustainably.

Indeed, it was a good 12 days of work and leisure. We hope to have a physical conference in Pakistan. Please do follow us on Facebook. Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and much more. The live broadcasts over the 12 days are available on @rethinkingchoices on YouTube.

Let’s stand up and pledge that we all will work towards the climate change in our own environment.


TN Media News