COP28 Agreement Signals “Beginning of the End” of the Fossil Fuel Era-UNFCCC

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) closed today with an agreement that signals the “beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era by laying the ground for a swift, just and equitable transition, underpinned by deep emissions cuts and increased funding.

 

In a demonstration of global solidarity, negotiators from nearly 200 Parties came together in Dubai with a decision on the world’s first ‘global stocktake’ to ratchet up climate action before the end of the decade – with the overarching aim to keep the global temperature limit of 1.5°C within reach.

 

The main aim is to maintain the temperature rise limit of 1.5°C within reach.

 

Whilst we didn’t turn the page on the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this outcome is the beginning of the end,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell.  Now all governments and businesses need to turn these pledges into real-economy outcomes, without delay.

 

The global stocktake is considered to be the central outcome of COP 28, as it contains all the elements that were negotiated and can now be used by countries to develop more ambitious climate action plans to be implemented by 2025.

 

The global stocktake recognises the scientific evidence that global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. But it notes that the parties are not on track to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

 


The stocktake calls on Parties to take actions towards achieving, at a global scale, a tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030.  The list also includes accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power, phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and other measures that drive the transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, with developed countries continuing to take the lead.

 

In the short term, Parties are encouraged to present ambitious economy-wide emission reduction targets, covering all greenhouse gases, sectors and categories and aligned with the 1.5°C limit, in their next round of climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, by 2025.

 

Helping countries strengthen resilience to the effects of climate change

 

The two-week-long conference got underway with the World Climate Action Summit, which brought together 154 Heads of States and Government. Parties reached a historic agreement on the operationalization of the loss and damage fund and funding arrangements

 

-the first time a substantive decision was adopted on the first day of the conference.


  Commitments to the fund started coming in moments after the decision was taken, totalling more than USD 700 million to date.

 

There was more progress on the loss and damage agenda with an agreement also reached that the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Office for Project Services will host the secretariat of the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage.

 



 

This platform will catalyze technical assistance to developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

 

Parties agreed on targets for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and its framework, which identify where the world needs to get to in order to be resilient to the impacts of a changing climate and to assess countries’ efforts.



 

The GGA framework reflects a global consensus on adaptation targets and the need for financial, technological and capacity-building support to achieve them.

 

Increasing climate finance

 

Climate finance took centre stage at the conference, with Stiell repeatedly calling it the “great enabler of climate action.”

 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) received a boost to its second replenishment with six countries pledging new funding at COP28 with total pledges now standing at a record USD 12.8 billion from 31 countries, with further contributions expected.

 

Eight donor governments announced new commitments to the Least Developed Countries Fund and Special Climate Change Fund totalling more than USD 174 million to date, while new pledges, totalling nearly USD 188 million so far, were made to the Adaptation Fund at COP28.

 

However as highlighted in the global stocktake, these financial pledges are far short of the trillions eventually needed to support developing countries with clean energy transitions, implementing their national climate plans and adaptation efforts.

 

In order to deliver such funding, the global stocktake underscores the importance of reforming the multilateral financial architecture, and accelerating the ongoing establishment of new and innovative sources of finance.

 

At COP 28, discussions continued on setting a "new collective quantified target for climate funding" in 2024, based on the needs and priorities of developing countries. This new target, including US$100 billion per year, will form the basis for the design and subsequent implementation of national climate change plans to be implemented by 2025.

 

As regards transitions towards low-carbon economies and societies, the "mitigation work programme" launched last year at COP 27 will continue until 2030, with at least two global dialogues per year.

 

Event participation and inclusivity

 

World leaders at COP 28 were joined by civil society, business, indigenous peoples, youth, philanthropy and international organisations in a spirit of shared determination to bridge the gap to 2030. Some 85,000 participants attended COP 28 to share ideas and solutions, and build partnerships and coalitions.

 

The decisions taken here today re-emphasise the crucial importance of empowering all stakeholders to engage in climate action, in particular through the action plan on Action for Climate Empowerment and the Gender Action Plan..

 

Strengthening collaboration between governments and key stakeholders

 

In parallel with the formal negotiations, the Global Climate Action space at COP28 provided a platform for governments, businesses and civil society to collaborate and showcase their real-world climate solutions.

 

The High-Level Champions, under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, launched their implementation roadmap of 2030 Climate Solutions These are a set of solutions, drawing on ideas from a wide range of non-Party stakeholders on effective measures that need to be scaled up to halve global emissions, close the adaptation gap and increase resilience by 2030.

 

The conference also saw a number of announcements aimed at strengthening the resilience of food and public health systems, and reducing emissions from agriculture and methane production.

 

Looking ahead

 

Negotiations on the "enhanced transparency framework" at COP 28 laid the foundations for a new era in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. UN Climate Change is developing the transparency reporting and review tools for use by Parties, which were showcased and tested at COP28. The final versions of the reporting tools should be made available to Parties by June 2024.

 

COP28 also saw Parties agree to Azerbaijan as host of COP29 from 11-22 November 2024, and Brazil as COP30 host from 10-21 November 2025.

 

The next two years will be critical. At COP 29, governments must establish a new climate finance target, reflecting the scale and urgency of the climate challenge. At COP 30, they must arrive with new nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that apply to the whole economy, cover all greenhouse gases and are fully aligned with the 1.5°C temperature limit.

 

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