In this year of COP28, scheduled to take place in the last quarter, in the UAE, it is but only natural that we focus abundantly on the recent iterative history, personalities and the sub-events planned in the lead-up to the mega-event.
This intense focus is essential for understanding the expected direction, context, front-channelling and back-channelling efforts, the tone of the discussions and the desired mini-outcomes towards the grand goal of limiting the further heating of the Earth’s surface. The understanding, in itself, is important for the necessary course-correction we need to take as an industry.
To receive an intimate view of the event, we at Climate Control Middle East reached out to Dr Rajendra Shende, the Former Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to request him to write a year-long guest column. Dr Shende, a chemical engineer, is eminently qualified to present a macro-view as well as a granular view of the mega-event, given the profound nature of his participation in discussions in past COPs. In addition to his tenure with UNEP, he served as the Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)/Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) special report on Safeguarding the Ozone layer and Global Climate System, in 2005; the work of the IPCC/TEAP, along with significant contributions by many scientists, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Additionally, Dr Shende is Founder-Director of the Green TERRE Foundation; Prime Mover of the Smart Campus Cloud Network (SCCN); and Chairman of the International Advisory Board, Operation Earth, China.
As manufacturers, suppliers, consultants, contractors, developers, policy-makers, regulators, testing & commissioning professionals, Operation & Maintenance professionals and Facility Management companies, it would perhaps help to follow the narrative and internalise the global drive to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Doing so just might help give a better expression as stakeholders with the capacity to contribute effectively and substantially to the global effort towards lowering emissions. Now is the time, if ever.