On this episode of OptOutcast, Climate Editor Amanda Magnani brings you inside COP 28, the United Nations' yearly climate conference, which took place last year in Dubai from Nov. 30-Dec. 13. The event was the largest one to date, with an attendance of nearly 100,000 people. On the one hand, it was marked by exciting announcements, such as the Loss and Damage Fund and the treaty to triple renewable energy. On the other hand, it hosted around 2,400 oil lobbyists and a final text that, while representing some progress, was also seen by many as a huge let down.
Throughout the episode, you will hear the sounds of the venue, from the moment Amanda arrives and goes through security to important announcements and the everyday lives of journalists covering the event. To better understand the event, its history, and impact, she talks to Sophie Davies, Chris Wright, and Shreeshan Venkatesh, three journalists from different parts of the world with a long history of covering COPs.
Sophie Davies is a Barcelona-based journalist and editor at OptOut’s participating outlet Gas Outlook, an independent publication launched by Global Strategic Communications Council – GSCC, about the global green energy transition of the fossil fuels sector. Sophie and Amanda met for coffee at Expo Dubai to discuss their experiences at COP 28, the progress of negotiations, empty announcements, and the massive presence of oil lobbyists.
Chris Wright is an Australian journalist and founder of Climate Tracker, an NGO dedicated to supporting climate journalists around the world, especially in the Global South. It was through a Climate Tracker fellowship that Amanda was able to attend COP 28 in person. Chris, who has been attending and covering COPs since 2011, talks about how the event and its coverage have evolved over the past decade and a half, and how the petrostate status of COP 28's host, the UAE, meant for the event and the negotiations.
Shreeshan Venkatesh is an Indian environment and science journalist and editorial head at CarbonCopy, a knowledge platform that tracks developments in the climate and energy sector. He spoke about the first ever Global Stocktake about the main issues regarding fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions for the Global South and about how world leaders usually try to control the narrative in the early days of every COP.
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