Top UN Official Criticizes ‘Bloated’ Climate Conference Attendance

( – This year’s United Nations COP28 Climate Summit has drastically increased in size, prompting a critique from the head of the United Nations Development Programme. Achim Steiner provided comments to a German news outlet on December 4, stating that he personally believes “that these conferences have become too big.” Over 97,000 delegates will be attending the summit, which is 52,000 more than attended COP27. Steiner said that while Dubai may have the capability of hosting such a large venue, it could be difficult to find other locations around the world that could accommodate future summits.

Many attendees made their way to the summit via private jet, which many have claimed to be hypocritical. The United Arab Emirates unsurprisingly has the most delegates attending since it is hosting the summit. Brazil sent more than 3,000 delegates, followed by China and Nigeria with around 1,400 delegates attending. Nigerian citizens launched criticism of its government for sending such a large delegacy less than one month after the Nigerian president used public funds to buy a yacht. With virtual attendees included, over 100,000 will be in attendance, which is drastically higher than the 2,000 who made the trip to the first summit in Germany back in 1995.

The main focus of the summit will be on the agricultural food industry, with leaders making recommendations on how to reduce carbon emissions. The shift away from criticizing the manufacturing and energy industries recently sparked fury from United States lawmakers. Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Representative Glenn Thompson, recently stated that “the world needs American farmers and ranchers more than the UN.”

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization plans to encourage Western citizens to consume less meat with its road map for global food systems at the summit. They will likely use the results of a 2021 study that claimed the agricultural food industry was responsible for 34 percent of the world’s emissions. The 12-day summit will conclude on December 12.

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