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Outcomes of COP28 Summit
News: COP28: The annual climate conference this year saw some key resolutions on fossil fuels, methane emissions, funds to fight global warming, among others. However, many concerns remain.
• Please note that we have covered some of the topics already earlier. However, this is a comprehensive article on the summit recently concluded.
Positive outcomes of COP28
Loss and Damage Fund
• COP28 operationalised this fund on the opening day of the conference, and several countries, including hosts UAE, made funding commitments. By the end of the conference, commitments worth about US$ 800 million had been made.
• This is a positive outcome for poor and vulnerable countries who face difficulties in recovering from climate-induced disasters.
Phase-down of coal
• Despite being a fossil fuel, just like oil or natural gas, coal has received a separate mention in the agreement. This is because coal was already singled out for phase-down in the Glasgow conference in 2021.
Global Climate Stocktake
• Based on the global stocktake review at COP28, countries would be required to submit raised emissions reduction targets by mid-2025 for finalisation at COP30. This stocktake can guide our future climate action.
Fossil fuel Phase out
• It was the most hotly contested issue at COP28 however after much deliberations the final agreement called upon countries to contribute towards “transitioning away” from fossil fuels, “so as to achieve net zero by 2050”.
• While it doesn’t have proper schedules or targets but it is significant considering its mention.
Tripling of renewable energy
• The COP28 agreement calls upon countries to contribute to tripling of global installed capacity of renewable energy, and doubling of annual improvements in energy efficiency.
• Together, these two measures have the potential to avoid emissions of about 7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent between now and 2030, more than all the net result of all the other climate actions being currently taken.
Methane Emissions cut
• The agreement talks about “accelerating and substantially reducing non-cabon-dioxide emissions globally, including in particular methane emissions by 2030”.
• Methane is the most widespread greenhouse gas apart from CO2, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of all emissions. It is also about 80 times more potent than CO2 in causing global warming.
Global Goal on Adaptation
• The work programme resulted in the identification of some common adaptation goals, important for the entire world which included reduction in climate-induced water scarcity, attaining climate-resilience in food and agricultural production, supplies and distribution, and resilience against climate-induced health impacts.
What were the major drawbacks of COP28?
• No binding ambitious climate action was agreed upon
• No time schedules and targets have been fixed for the phase out of fossil fuel
• COP 28 failed to resolve the impasse over the proposal that no new coal-fired power plants could be opened without an in-built carbon capture and storage facility.
• COP 28 has failed to set up a financial mechanism to finance the Global Goal on Adaptation.
• The term Collective but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and Polluter’s pay principle have been missing from the draft of the COP 28.
• Identify visible parameters to measure progress on each goals taken up at COP28, provide adequate financial mechanism to meet climate targets and initiate efforts to build binding commitments at least for the developed countries.