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10 thoughts following COP28

We know you’re all COP’d out – but…


Here’s a quick roundup of the outcomes. And the questions they raise!

The final text of COP28 was finalised in the early hours of Wednesday morning. For us at Cool Earth, it’s frustrating that a phase-out of fossil fuels was not agreed upon – but good to see that it has finally been acknowledged by all that we need to move away from fossil fuels if we are going to tackle climate change.

Saudi Arabia was the strongest opponent of including the fossil fuel “phase out” but also Iran, Iraq and Russia.

Our thoughts:

  • It’s taken 30 years of COP climate talks to agree to transition away from Fossil Fuels
  • Fossil fuel lobbyists outnumbered representatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities by 7 to 1
  • There are still loopholes in the text, which means it is highly unlikely that enough will be done to limit global heating to 1’5’C
  • The text does not enable the ‘transition away’ to be done fairly or quickly enough (not enough climate finance reaching Indigenous people and local communities and not fast enough)
  • Oil-producing nations will still continue to increase oil and gas production but now that the ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels has been agreed in the text, it means there will be more leverage to put pressure on those nations to reduce their production
  • Island nations hard-hit by climate change are critical and must be included in all negotiations. A representative from Samoa says they were “not in the room” when the deal was approved
  • There is not anywhere near enough climate finance pledged by rich countries to support those needing support in adaptation
  • AND not anywhere near enough funds have been pledged by rich countries to help poorer countries transition from fossil fuels: the text mentions there has not been enough finance but does not include an agreement on how that will be addressed
  • The next COP is in Azerbaijan 2024: so there is not much hope that much progress will be made in another oil-producing country
  • But Brazil is hosting the COP30 in 2025: this will be the best opportunity for Indigenous people to be included and outnumber the fossil fuel lobbyists

It is also worth noting that the Loss and Damage fund that was hailed as a success is just $700 million. That’s 0.2% of what is needed. Developing countries are experiencing an estimated total of $400bn losses each year from climate change. For example, Somalia has said that it needs over $5bn per year for the next decade to tackle the impacts of climate change on its population. This means private finance is going to have to play a huge part in meeting that gap.

So, it wasn’t quite a disaster, but we’re looking forward to a COP where Indigenous people are front and centre.

Bring on Brazil 2025.