COP28 reaches a “historic” agreement for the abandonment of fossil fuels: what are the key points?

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 11 Min Read
origin 1Mitzi Jonelle Tan of the Philippines hugs Adriana Calderon Hernandez, proper, and different activists at the finish of an anti-fossil gas protest at COP28 this morning. ©AP Photo/Peter Dejong

An agreement was reached at COP28 that marks the “beginning of the end” for fossil fuels.

Remarkably, it’s the first time a UN local weather summit has concluded with a name to deal with the root trigger of the local weather disaster.

For this motive, the presidency of COP28 in Dubai defines it as “historic”. In a approach, it may well’t assist however be, given the crucial second the world finds itself in with 1.2°C of world warming and rising local weather disasters.

But the COP and local weather consultants are very divided on the place the deal will take us – and the way shortly. Here we analyze some of the most knowledgeable reactions to the key points.

COP28: Landmark agreement signals ‘beginning of the end’ for fossil fuels at UN climate conference

1. What does the COP28 agreement say about fossil fuels?

It appeared like at one level it won’t arrive, however COP28 has reached the vacation spot COPs are supposed for: a collection of authorized choices, agreed by all events beneath the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ).

With a essential textual content: the losses and damages fund – agreed at the very begin of the summit, the occasion was dominated by discussions on fossil fuels.

In explicit, there was a concentrate on how the Global Budget textual content will describe the future of fossil fuels. This one first global budget it’s a response to the Paris Agreement – ​​the actually historic agreement signed in 2015 to restrict world warming to 1.5°C – and units out how international locations will attain that focus on which they at the moment fall far brief of.

The textual content agreed at the moment in Dubai: “recognizes the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 1.5°C and invite Parties are expected to contribute to the following global efforts, in a nationally determined manner, taking into account the Paris Agreement and their different national circumstances, pathways and approaches…”

Regarding fossil fuels, he calls on international locations to: “[Transition] away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a fair, orderly and equitable way, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to reach net zero by 2050 in line with the science.”

COP consultants are analyzing each phrase of this. From the weak language of “invite” to “transition” – a far cry from the preliminary gradual elimination choice desired by activists and the advisable time interval.

origin 1Ministers converse throughout the last plenary session of the COP28 local weather summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on December 13.AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

2. What does the COP28 agreement imply for fossil fuels?

It sends a sturdy sign to industries and traders that point is operating out for oil and fuel, in addition to coal, which was mentioned for a “phasing out” at COP26 in Glasgow.

Big oil producers, resembling Saudi Arabia, have struggled to remove phase-out choices that appeared in earlier drafts of the textual content. While rising economies have resisted a phase-out that may have been required of them with out enough monetary help to transition away from fossil fuels.

Headlines round the world at the moment will learn that we are shifting away from fossil fuels. “We are finally naming the elephant in the room. The genie will never go back into the bottle again. Future COPs will only turn the tables on dirty energy even further,” says Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa.

“Financial institutions and investors should be under no illusion,” says Mark Campanale, founder and director of Carbon Tracker.

The a whole lot of billions invested in fossil gas enlargement appear significantly riskier.

“The hundreds of billions invested in fossil fuel expansion seem significantly riskier. Stranded fossil resources are now more, not less, likely as a result of this COP and the momentum it will generate.”

However, activists level to “gaps” left in the sector – resembling the unproven carbon seize and storage (CCS) expertise talked about in the textual content – and “potholes” in the highway forward.

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3. What about renewable vitality?

In the identical part, the Global Budget textual content calls for “tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030.”

This is a massive win in response to vitality consultants. “For the first time, the world has recognized the scale of ambition required this decade to build the new clean energy system,” says Dave Jones of clear vitality assume tank Ember.

Renewable vitality and effectivity should now be at the coronary heart of each vitality and local weather plan.

“Renewable energy and efficiency must now be at the top of every energy and climate plan. Together they represent the largest actions that can lead to rapid cuts to fossil fuels this decade.”

The director normal of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Francesco La Camera, calls the end result “monumental” and “the most realistic course correction to urgently accelerate the global energy transition”.

4. What did COP28 do for local weather finance?

Underlying local weather motion is the have to finance it adequately, with funding to assist growing international locations with the transition; assist susceptible international locations adapt to local weather change; and to assist them get well when it strikes lethally.

Adaptation funding has one of the most obvious gaps between what is required and what is offered. Established by the Paris Agreement, the Global Adaptation Goal (GGA) goals to assist change this. COP28 has now agreed on the textual content to implement it, however the language has additionally been watered down.

Where a draft textual content “calls on developed countries” to supply financing to growing international locations, the last model states that “continued and enhanced international support is urgently needed” for growing international locations.

But some consultants discover constructive elements right here too. “Although the parties did not achieve as strong a global adaptation goal as vulnerable countries would have liked, there is now a path forward to improve adaptation actions, marking the beginning of a coordinated and formal global effort to adaptation and resilience”, says Ana Mulio, researcher at E3G. Álvarez.

“The parties must commit to this path with the utmost ambition and solidarity”.

Summing up the progress made at the moment at COP28, Summit President Al Jaber predicted the mobilization of greater than $85 billion (€78.8 billion) in new monetary commitments, throughout all local weather areas.

But, as he additionally acknowledged to international locations throughout the closing plenary, “an agreement is simply pretty much as good as its implementation.”

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5. What does COP28 imply for future COPs?

Having simply skilled the hottest yr on file, folks round the world are more and more wanting for concrete motion – and lots of are skeptical about the UN summit’s capability to attain this aim.

As we defined Beforethe UNFCCC’s multilateral course of – which suggests everybody has to agree – is each its most important energy and weak point.

“Some may have had too high expectations for this meeting, but this outcome would have been unheard of two years ago, especially at a COP meeting in a petrostate,” provides Adow. “It shows that even oil and gas producers can see that we are moving towards a fossil-free world.”

While many high-profile commentators welcome the progress made by COP28, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has known as it a “fossil fuel-fueled failure”. “We need alternative forums to manage the decline of fossil fuels, free from the influence of those who profit from them,” says Nikki Reisch, Director of CIEL’s Climate and Energy Program.

Other activists have advised changing consensus decision-making with voting. That’s a dialogue for one other day, maybe. For now, we go away you with an vital reminder from Greta Thunberg, pinned to the prime of her Twitter/X feed for two years:

“Those in power don’t need conferences, treaties or agreements to start taking real climate action. They can start today. When enough people join together, change will come and we can achieve almost anything. So instead of searching Hope – start creating it.”

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