Amidst the backdrop of Dubai, UAE, from 30th November to 12th December 2023, COP28 unfolds, promising discussions on climate change. While the gathering of leaders, innovators, and activists converges, scepticism lingers about the conference's ability to deliver substantive solutions to the urgent environmental crises we face. Will a summit hosted in one of the wealthiest oil-producing nations yield impactful measures against climate change? Experience the comprehensive coverage of COP28's pivotal moments, encompassing breaking news and crucial highlights.
COP28 brings together global leaders to address the paramount challenges of climate change. Join us as we delve into the key events that unfold during this critical summit, shaping the future of environmental policies and initiatives. COP28 arrives amidst the year 2023, set to become the hottest year in human history. In order to restrict warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, experts emphasise the imperative for these emissions to commence decline within the coming year or so, and achieve a reduction of 43% by 2030.
On the inaugural day of the climate conference, a positive development emerges as delegates reach an agreement to activate a fund aimed at assisting countries affected by the repercussions of climate change. This fund serves as a conduit for financial aid to nations severely impacted by climate-related calamities. Its initiation stands as a longstanding aspiration of developing nations and signifies a promising momentum, as expressed by COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber.
The United Kingdom, United States, and United Arab Emirates commit millions in aid for nations impacted by disasters. The UK has just committed to sending £60m, US special climate envoy John Kerry, who has pledged £13.83m, and COP28's host country, UAE, has pledged £79m, known as the "loss and damage" fund.
On the second day of COP28, the UAE revealed a $30 billion (£23.7 billion) fund aimed at supporting 'global climate solutions'. King Charles addressed a packed room of delegates at COP28, highlighting the perils of climate change.
During an interview, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and a climate philanthropist, admitted that he no longer pursues the goal of preventing global temperatures from rising by 1.5°C.
The Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action emerged as the new prominent agreement among world leaders regarding the future of food.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £1.6 billion ($2 billion) UK funding allocation for climate-related projects, encompassing renewable energy, green innovation, and forest initiatives. Sunak further disclosed an agreement between Masdar and RWE, signifying a joint commitment of £11 billion ($13.9 billion) to the UK's forthcoming wind farm at Dogger Bank.
India made its mark at COP by expressing its desire to host a future meeting and pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2070.
During day 4 of COP28, over 115 countries, including Australia, pledged to triple their renewable energy capacity by 2030. Notably, this commitment did not include China and India.
The US, among other nations, joined a coalition aiming to eliminate coal-burning power plants and introduced regulations to reduce methane emissions. Fifty oil and gas companies endorsed a "decarbonisation charter" that analysts have censured for overlooking emissions released when customers burn these fuels. Twenty-two countries committed to tripling their nuclear capacity by 2050. Colombia, a significant producer of fossil fuels, has officially become part of an alliance advocating for a treaty on fossil fuel non-proliferation. The goal is to prevent the "omnicide of planet Earth."
The President of COP28, Sultan Al Jaber, has asserted that there is "no scientific evidence" suggesting the necessity of phasing out fossil fuels to limit global heating to 1.5C. This information has been brought to light by the Guardian and the Centre for Climate Reporting.
Sultan Al Jaber resumed his presence, fulfilling both his roles as the chief executive of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) state oil company and the president of the COP28 climate negotiations in Dubai. Al Jaber asserted that his dual role allowed him to effectively persuade fossil fuel companies to enact change.
An unprecedented number of fossil fuel lobbyists gained access to the COP28 climate talks. Analysis revealed that at least 2,456 lobbyists affiliated with the fossil fuel industry have been granted access, showcasing a significant increase compared to COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. The presence of oil and gas influencers in Dubai is striking, surpassing the number registered for COP27. Lobbyists advocating for the interests of companies like Shell, Total, and ExxonMobil outnumber nearly all country delegations, trailing only behind Brazil, anticipated to host COP30 in 2025, and the host country itself, which registered 4,409 attendees.
The Global Carbon Project's report indicates that the world is set to consume more coal, oil, and gas in 2023 compared to 2022, contributing to a 1.1% increase in carbon dioxide emissions. This occurs at a critical juncture when emissions must decrease significantly to mitigate the intensification of extreme weather events. The revelation coincides with the ongoing Cop28 climate summit in Dubai. Additionally, Climate Action Tracker (CAT), in a separate report published on Tuesday, adjusted its projections for future warming slightly higher than its estimates from a conference in Glasgow two years ago.
The Australian government received commendation for joining a global alliance dedicated to halting the allocation of billions of dollars in foreign aid and loans towards fossil fuel expansion. However, this decision has reignited appeals for the government to reconsider subsidies that support pollution domestically.
The affluent nations primarily accountable for the climate crisis have currently committed a collective sum of slightly over $700 million (£556 million) to the loss and damage fund. This amount translates to less than 0.2% of the ongoing irreversible economic and non-economic losses experienced annually by developing countries due to global warming.
At the outset of the COP28 summit in Dubai, a landmark decision was reached to establish the loss and damage fund during the opening plenary. This achievement stands as a hard-fought success for developing countries, signifying their hope for a tangible commitment from developed, polluting nations to provide financial aid for the destruction already underway.
The Australian government has committed $150 million in climate finance for Pacific nations but has abstained from contributing to a newly established global loss and damage fund. During the inaugural day of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, almost 200 nations achieved a historic consensus to establish the loss and damage fund. This fund aims to assist the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries in coping with the irreversible effects of climate-related disasters.
Today marks a rest day at COP28.
After a rest day yesterday, today's COP seems low-key. More events and discussions between countries continue, but there's a lack of breaking COP28 news today.
More events and discussions between countries continue, but there's a lack of breaking COP28 news today.
More events and discussions between countries continue, but there's a lack of breaking COP28 news today.
The initial COP28 agreement is facing extensive criticism due to concerns about its notably weak language, notably the complete removal of the phrase "phasing out" fossil fuels. This is due to the COP28 team issuing a new agreement, ditching some of the key language. Criticism has swiftly emerged from the US, EU, and the Alliance of Small Island States, branding it as unacceptable and profoundly disappointing. Nearly 200 nations are engaged in discussions to devise various agreements aimed at mitigating climate change. The EU has voiced its readiness to withdraw from the climate talks unless substantial changes are made to the draft agreement.
As COP28 draws to a close, approximately 200 nations convene to determine the global approach to combatting climate change. The consensus of all 198 countries is necessary for the agreement. In line with every COP session since 2004, COP28 has surpassed its deadline, leading to an official overrun. Initially anticipated to signal the commencement of the end for fossil fuels, the failure to meet the deadline casts a shadow over the prospects.
Following an extensive night of negotiations, the latest iteration of the climate deal was released early in the morning in Dubai. The COP presidency is optimistic that this version will break the deadlock regarding the future of fossil fuels, aiming to garner the support of all 198 countries with its updated language. The revised draft eliminates the contentious phrase "phase out of fossil fuels" and substitutes it with "transitioning away" from fossil fuels, encompassing coal, oil, and gas, signifying a significant advancement. Notably, the new text strengthens weak language, replacing "could" with "contribute" in key points.
The European Union's commissioner for climate action, in an interview, hailed this as a "very significant step towards" achieving the crucial 1.5°C target for limiting global warming, expressing optimism about reaching the inception of the end of fossil fuels.
After what seems to have been an all-night effort, the COP28 deal has finally been agreed upon, presenting an amended version of the initially proposed draft. Moreover, the new draft text acknowledges the likelihood of global emissions rising and peaking around 2025.
This moment is being hailed by many as potentially historic, particularly for its incorporation of language on fossil fuels after a span of 30 years. However, alongside this recognition, criticisms have emerged. The absence of goals to decrease methane emissions and the insufficient financial support for developed nations transitioning away from fossil fuels stand out. The expectation for all countries to make this transition simultaneously overlooks the historical economic advantages that developed nations have long enjoyed from the use of oil, gas, and coal.
Take a retrospective journey through the significant milestones of both COP27 and COP26, revisiting the crucial events and impactful decisions that defined the discourse on climate change at the global stage.