I wonder what COP28 accomplished

The 28th Conference Of the Parties (COP28) has come and gone. These annual meetings of heads of states and representatives of fossil fuel companies are supposed to find solutions to our climate crisis. At COP21, the 2015 meeting in Paris, world leaders pledged to make every effort to prevent global average temperatures from rising beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We have already reached that point, and temperatures are still rising. After every get-together new plans to fight the crisis are announced, and then promptly ignored.

There can no longer be any doubt about the severity of the climate crisis. We are experiencing more frequent and more extreme disasters – wildfires, droughts, floods, ocean acidification, melting glaciers, pathogen spreads, species extinctions etc.

The source of the temperature increase and the resulting climate disasters have been understood for decades. It is the release of greenhouse gases like CO2 and CH4 from burning fossil fuels. And the solution to the problem is obvious. We need to stop burning oil, gas and coal. Yet, governments are still issuing new drilling permits, and oil companies still keep pumping. Profits über alles!

There are alternative sources of energy that are actually more cost-effective than fossil fuels – primarily solar and wind power. Constructing the necessary infrastructure may be costly, but the energy sources themselves are free and inexhaustible. The fossil fuel industry needs to be phased out, but the corporations fight this tooth and nail, damn the consequences.

One has to wonder how the people running fossil fuel corporations envision their own futures. We only have one planet, and the climate disaster will affect them as much as the rest of us. Once we have pumped enough CO2 and CH4 into the air to make the earth unlivable, these greenhouse gases will stay there for centuries. The oil barons ought to know that their bunkers aren’t going to save them.