After intense negotiations, world leaders at COP28 have finally reached an agreement to transition away from oil, gas and coal, the main culprits behind climate change. This is the first time in 30 years of COP summits that nations have collectively agreed to stop relying on fossil fuels, which make up 80% of global energy.

Key points of the deal

Nearly 200 countries signed the agreement at the final COP28 session in Dubai. The deal calls for a just, orderly and equitable transition away from fossil fuels, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Importantly, the text avoids explicitly calling for a “phase-out” of fossil fuels, a point of contention for some countries. Still, the agreement acknowledges the need for significant and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and encourages actions like tripling renewable energy capacity and phasing down coal use.

Some hail the deal as a breakthrough, finally addressing the “elephant in the room” of fossil fuels. Others criticize it for not going far enough, lacking a clear phase-out plan for fossil fuels.

While the agreement signals a major step towards tackling climate change, the real work starts now. Implementation is crucial and countries need to translate words into concrete actions. Only time will tell if this historic deal lives up to its promise.