News Update


Examining the likely impact of COP28 on climate change

For the first time, the accord struck in this flashy city identifies the role of fossil fuel emissions in driving higher temperatures and sets a projected fall for coal, oil, and gas.

That is monumental in UN terms, and the most significant move forward on climate since the Paris agreement in 2015.

But, by itself, would this agreement be enough to save the COP’s “north star” – keeping global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius this century?

Probably not.

The transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems is a watershed event in the agreement.

However, the language is significantly weaker than many countries would like.

The UAE presidency had included strong text from the start of the summit advocating for a fossil fuel phase out.

However, in the face of widespread resistance, they dropped it from their first draft agreement.

Progressives are outraged, and many are placing fingers at oil companies.

A man stands in a flood.
South Sudan is one of many countries devastated by the effects of climate change.
This was not entirely the responsibility of countries such as Saudi Arabia.

The attitude of middle-income emerging countries, who were very skeptical of the much-hyped phase-out of fossil fuels, was a crucial influence in softening the wording.

Nigeria, Uganda, Colombia, and others complained that they needed to use earnings from coal, oil, and gas sales to pay for the transition to cleaner energy.


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