The 28th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28 ) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has entered its third day.
In today’s sessions (Saturday, November 2), countries and oil companies pledged major progress in the fight against global warming. 100 countries pledged to triple the use of renewable energy by 2030.
And 50 oil and gas companies, including Aramco, pledged to stop contributing to global warming by 2050.
The pledges only cover carbon emissions. Fossil fuels are not included. For this reason, environmentalists argue that these promises made by countries and companies will not be enough to deal with global warming.
New support for the loss and damage fund
The announcement of support for the Loss and Damage Fund, which was announced on the first day of the summit and welcomed especially by countries vulnerable to the climate crisis, continued on the third day. Canada announced a $16 million contribution to the fund. The Netherlands will provide 15 million dollars to the fund and 25 million dollars for country financing arrangements. Slovenia pledged 1.5 million Euros and Italy 100 million Euros.
The World Climate Action Summit was also organized on the third day of COP28. Speaking at the summit, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber announced that 123 countries have approved climate-health financing, which aims to increase cross-sectoral cooperation and reduce emissions in the health sector.
The 2023 Zayed Sustainability Awards were also presented today.
President Al Jaber and Fatih Birol, President of the International Energy Agency (IEA), issued a statement yesterday that they claim, it is supported by more than 40 countries and major CEOs, announcing a consensus around the goal of reaching 11,000 GW by 2030 and doubling annual energy efficiency improvements.
Will early targets affect the outcome?
COP28 organizers and participants were pleased with progress on the loss and damage fund and renewable energy in the early days of the summit, but experts say the second half will be more difficult. For a “big victory”, they say, Al-Jaber will need to strike a deal that meets the demands set out in the Global Stocktake. Key to this would be a plan to phase out fossil fuels and embed the x3 clean energy target in a UN text with a clear accountability mechanism, and national climate plans covering all sectors and gases.
Who wants what?
The first draft “Global Stocktake” text was released at 02:00 on Friday, but it is still too early for agreement. The current positions of the parties involved are as follows:
- China: Opposes specific, sectoral targets (energy); wants trade measures (CBAM) to be addressed.
- Saudi Arabia: Opposes fossil fuel and energy references; questions IPCC data; supports CCS (carbon capture and storage).
- AILAC (Latin America): Pushing for the phase-out of fossil fuels.
- USA: Pushes broader base for 2.1C; pro CCS; position on fossil fuels is distant.
- EU: Advocates phasing out unabated fossil fuels, x3 clean energy, limited use of CCS, sectoral action in NDCs.
- Small Island States (AOSIS): They call for a focus on IPCC data and science recommendations, more cash to address the impacts of the climate crisis and a phase-out of fossil fuels.
- Africa Group: They want a fair and equitable energy transition, access to finance and due diligence on CBAM concerns.
- Brazil: Echoing CBAM’s concerns, advocating for richer countries to take the lead on GHG cuts and cash.
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
The impact of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) on countries already struggling with huge debt burdens is increasingly high on the agenda. For the EU, the UK and the US, it is an important policy measure designed to protect local industries and capitalize on the shift. But as September’s Nairobi Climate Declaration made clear, many African countries feel it will prevent them from competing on a ‘fair and equal basis’.
COP in figures
- 598 million dollars: Loss and damage commitments made so far at COP28 (still $300 million less than the value of Man City)
- $14 billion: For adaptation under the Africa Adaptation Accelerator supported by the AFDB.
- 15.5 billion dollars: Vietnam’s JET-P Resource Mobilization Plan (including gas).
- 16 billion dollars: The net income of the global oil and gas industry since the COP began. France, Kenya, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and Spain are considering how this could be used for clean investments.
UAE’s climate rating
As talks continue, UAE staff may need to review the country’s own climate plans. Experts at Climate Action Tracker have revised the UAE’s rating to ‘critically inadequate’. This is because estimates of F-gas (air conditioning) emissions are significantly higher. ADNOC‘s October $17 billion worth of contracts to develop the Hail & Ghasha offshore gas fields does not help. The CAT annual COP update will be held on December 5.
COP advisor resigns
Former Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine was the first to quit the COP28 advisory committee following BBC revelations that the UAE used climate bilateral agreements to secure oil and gas deals in 2023. “These actions undermine the integrity of the COP presidency and the process as a whole,” he wrote to Al Jaber. In emails to the media, COP28 officials blamed the BBC: “We have been completely transparent, clear and honest throughout this process, and it is shameful to see unverified reports influencing our team.”
US Climate Envoy John Kerry and Vice President Colisha Harris are also attending the talks in Dubai. Countries, charities and industry have announced over $1 billion in grant funding for methane reduction: This will catalyze global action to reduce emissions in line with the #GlobalMethanePledge, particularly in developing countries.
Kerry said on his social media account: “Methane and other non-CO2 emissions cause more than half of current warming, but receive far less than half of global attention. The COP28 Presidency has called on countries to include greenhouse gases from all sectors in the Paris Agreement targets and accelerate non-CO2 reductions.”
Iran walks out of the conference
Tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the climate summit yesterday (Friday, December 1), with the Iranian delegation leaving the conference due to the arrival of Israeli President Herzog. According to the IRNA news agency, Iran found Herzog’s presence “contrary to the goals and principles of this conference”. Herzog’s COP28 speech, like those of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Iraqi President Abdullatif Rashid, focused on the conflict.
Hospitals under threat
Relying on fossil fuel energy could leave hospitals facing closure during the weather disasters they need most, according to analysis released last night. The study by climate risk analysis firm XDI examines how extreme weather threats to 200,000 global hospitals will increase as warming continues.