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          COP28: Pivotal Climate Commitments

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          Written by: Rahul Bhushan

          Published: 14 December 2023

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          Delegates from across the globe concluded the COP28 global climate conference in Dubai on December 12th, 2023.

          The agreement, reached with swift consensus, firmly commits to transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly and equitable manner. This commitment, while seemingly obvious in the fight against man-made climate change, holds historical significance. In my view, it’s comparable in importance to the 2015 Paris Agreement, where nations pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius and to 1995 when the IPCC first recognised the discernible impact of human activity on climate change. Consequently, we can anticipate a surge in environmental activism opposing new fossil fuel initiatives.

          Here are the noteworthy and positive key outcomes from COP28

          Key outcomes:

            1. Commitment to Transition Away from Fossil Fuels: The COP28 agreement emphasised transitioning from fossil fuels to achieve Net Zero by 2050, in line with scientific recommendations for limiting global warming​​.1
            2. Big Renewable Energy Push and Energy Efficiency: We saw a commitment to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 and double energy efficiency, marking a significant push towards clean energy sources​​.2
            3. Climate Finance Innovation: The UAE President announced a $USD 30 billion fund for global climate solutions, aimed at attracting $USD 250 billion in investment by 2030. Additionally, $USD 700 million was pledged to assist lower-income countries with climate change-related loss and damage​​.3
            4. Advancements in Agriculture and Food Systems: Over 130 countries signed a declaration to incorporate agricultural emissions into their national climate plans. A coalition was formed to scale regenerative agriculture over 160 million hectares​​.4
            5. Methane Reduction Commitment: Fifty oil and gas companies pledged to achieve near zero methane emissions by 2030, with plans to be submitted by 2025. A fund was announced for methane abatement projects in emerging markets​​.5

          Other notable developments:

            1. Green Climate Fund Replenishment: Commitments worth $USD 3.5 billion were made to replenish the Green Climate Fund’s resources​​.
            2. Investment in Climate-related Projects: The World Bank announced an increase of $USD 9 billion annually for financing climate-related projects for 2024 and 2025​​.
            3. Global Cooling Pledge: Endorsed by 66 countries, this pledge aims to reduce cooling-related emissions by 68% from current levels​​.

          Conclusion

          We believe that COP28 marks a historic moment in our global fight against climate change. The commitment to transition away from fossil fuels by 2050 reflects a united global front acknowledging the urgent need for action. This, coupled with the significant push towards renewable energy and energy efficiency, indicates a decisive shift towards sustainable practices. The financial initiatives introduced, like the UAE’s $USD 30 billion fund for climate solutions and the support for lower-income countries, underscore the importance of inclusive and equitable progress. This conference may well be remembered alongside other pivotal moments in environmental activism.

          UAE's $USD 30 billion fund for climate solutions

          References

          1

          Reuters, “Nations strike deal at COP28 to transition away from fossil fuels”, December 2023. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/countries-push-cop28-deal-fossil-fuels-talks-spill-into-overtime-2023-12-12/

          2

          Ibid.

          3

          WWF, “COP28 food, agriculture and freshwater day wrap-up: WWF responds to key announcements”, December 2023. Available at: https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?10384916/COP28-food-day-wrap-up-WWF-responds-to-key-announcements-on-transforming-food-and-freshwater

          4

          BCG, “This Is What Has Been Agreed at COP28 So Far. What Happens Next?”, December 2023. Available at: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/this-is-what-has-been-agreed-at-cop28-so-far

          5

          World Resources Institute, “Statement: At COP28 Countries Announce New Efforts to Reduce Methane Pollution”, December 2023. Available at: https://www.wri.org/news/statement-cop28-countries-announce-new-efforts-reduce-methane-pollution

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