More on “A lot of unhappiness over COP28”

Unhappy 2

People are not wild about this final agreement approved at the UN’s COP28 climate conference, which for the first time ever called for a global transition away from fossil fuels. Here is a group email I received from Ceres’ Amit Bando (and here is Ceres President’s Mindy Lubber’s statement):

I just returned from COP28, the international climate conference held in Dubai, where I and a number of my Ceres colleagues were on the ground to help amplify the business and economic case for global climate action.

Over the past two weeks there was a lot of talk and negotiation about a complete fossil fuel phase out. Ceres along with hundreds of businesses and investors supported the call for a phase out, making the case that we must phase out fossil fuels if we are to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately the final agreement fell short of calling for a phase out, and instead calls for a transition away from fossil fuels in a ‘just, orderly and equitable manner.’ While this agreement doesn’t go far enough, it is the first time that fossil fuels have been explicitly mentioned in a COP agreement.

And here’s an article from “The Guardian” from a few days ago:

A draft deal to cut global fossil fuel production is “grossly insufficient” and “incoherent” and will not stop the world from facing dangerous climate breakdown, according to delegates at the UN’s Cop28 summit.

The text put forward by the summit presidency after 10 days of wrangling was received with concern and anger by many climate experts and politicians, though others welcomed elements of the draft including the first mention in a Cop text of reducing fossil fuel production.

Some countries are despairing that the text does not require a full phase-out of fossil fuels. Cedric Schuster of Samoa, chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, said: “We will not sign our death certificate. We cannot sign on to text that does not have strong commitments on phasing out fossil fuels.”

The Cop28 presidency released a draft text in the early evening on Monday, which called for “reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, so as to achieve net zero by, before or around 2050, in keeping with the science”. The text avoids highly contentious calls for a “phase-out” or “phase-down” of fossil fuels, which have been the focus of deep disagreement among the more than 190 countries meeting in Dubai.

But instead of requiring fossil fuel producers to cut their output, it frames such reductions as optional, by calling on countries to “take actions that could include” reducing fossil fuels. “That one word ‘could’ just kills everything,” said Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s environment minister, adding that the EU could walk out of the talks if the text did not improve.

“We can’t accept this text,” Ryan said. “It’s not anywhere near ambitious enough. It’s not broad enough. It’s not what parties have been calling for … we have to stitch climate justice into every part of this text and we are not anywhere near that yet.”