Tomorrow the most important international meeting of climate negotiations begins in the United Arab Emirates, the twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties (COP 28), which will bring together 198 nations — or groups of nations such as the European Union — to discuss what the next steps will be in climate policy. It will culminate with new international agreements on December 12 and in which Argentina will be a participant.
This is a gigantic event and this is not a well-intentioned congregation. Here particular interests and needs come together and, after a series of marathon discussions, they try to reach an agreement. It is one of the few where sectors such as industry, banking, agriculture and energy come together with environmental organizations, scientists, activists and religious representatives. In other words, they are not simple discussions.
This year, the attendance was confirmed, at least for the first days of the conference, of political figures such as King Carlos III and seven Latin American leaders including Lula da Silva, Gustavo Petro and Xiomara Castro, and the presidents and prime ministers of France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. In addition, in the midst of the war in Ukraine and Russia, and the conflicts in Gaza, there will also be the presence of Volodomir Zelenskyy, and the presidents Isaac Herzog of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian State.
In the Argentine case, both President Alberto Fernández and the Minister of the Environment, Juan Cabandié, decided not to attend the conference. His negotiating team will be led by the Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation, Cecilia Nicolini; the National Director of Climate Change, Florencia Mitchel and the Director of Environmental Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, Corina Lehmann.
However, before the event ends, there will be a new Government in the country. One with which, until now, no member of the Ministry announced a communication bridge. From the La Libertad Avanza space they confirmed that they will not send any delegates for the last two days of the international event, in which there will be high-level discussions.
“We are working right now to go to all possible meetings and face the transition. Practically the entire meeting will still happen in the government of Alberto Fernández," they explained to La Nación from the space of the next chancellor, Diana Mondino.
As of the publication of this note, they have not defined a clear strategy regarding climate policy either. The Ministry of the Environment will be one of the 10 that will disappear. Both the president-elect, Javier Milei, and other members of his team have denied the existence of a climate crisis caused by human action.
“Policies that blame humans for climate change are false and the only thing they seek is to raise funds to finance payments from socialists who write second-rate papers," Milei has said.
This is a summary. Read the full story in Spanish on La Nación's website.
This story was produced as part of the 2023 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published in Spanish by La Nación on 29 November 2023, and has been translated and lightly edited for length and clarity.
Banner image: World Heads of States walk down Al Wasl avenue after their group photo during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai on December 1, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates / Credit: COP28, Neville Hopwood.