“We Will Not Sign Our Death Certificate“
Negotiators at the COP 28 climate talks in Dubai are facing a major backlash over a new draft agreement that weakens the language on fossil fuels. The draft removes the phrase “phase out” and instead suggests countries “could” reduce their use of coal, oil and gas. This has sparked criticism from many nations with the Alliance of Small Island.
The EU and US have also expressed disappointment that the EU’s climate commissioner called the draft “fully unacceptable”. Also, the US state department urged for “substantial strengthening” of the language on fossil fuels.
The head of the talks, Sultan al-Jaber defended the draft calling it a “huge step forward” and reflecting his ambitions. However, with many countries unhappy with the current wording, it remains unclear whether a final agreement can be reached.
COP28 Key Issues and Latest Outcomes:
- Fossil Fuels: The biggest issue at COP 28 remains the language regarding fossil fuels. The draft agreement initially called for a “phase out” of fossil fuels, but this was later changed to “reduce consumption and production.” This change angered many countries, particularly small island nations and the EU.
- Loss and Damage: Developing countries have long called for developed countries to provide financial assistance to address the loss and damage they are experiencing due to climate change. COP 28 established a new fund to help developing countries deal with loss and damage. However, the details of the fund, such as how much money will be available and how it will be distributed, have not yet been worked out.
- Adaptation: While mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) is crucial, adaptation (helping communities cope with the impacts of climate change) is also essential. COP 28 made some progress on adaptation, including the launch of a new initiative to help developing countries build resilience to climate change. However, more needs to be done to ensure that adaptation receives the same level of attention and funding as mitigation.
- Finance: Developed countries have pledged to provide $100 billion per year to developing countries to help them address climate change. However, they have not yet met this goal. COP 28 did not make any major breakthroughs on the issue of climate finance. Developed countries reiterated their commitment to the $100 billion goal, but there was no concrete plan for how they will achieve it.
- Transparency: It is important for countries to be transparent about their emissions and climate actions. COP 28 made some progress on transparency, including the adoption of new guidelines for countries to report their emissions. However, more needs to be done to ensure that all countries are reporting their data accurately and in a timely manner.
- The COP 28 talks were attended by representatives from nearly 200 countries.
- The talks were overshadowed by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
- There was a strong youth presence at COP 28, with young people from all over the world demanding action on climate change.
- The COP 28 climate talks have made some progress on a number of important issues. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to address the climate crisis.