COP28 Conclusion(s)

COP28 Conclusions Sahar
Sahar Azarkamand at the COP28 celebrated in Dubai. / Photo: Sahar Azarkamand

Sahar Azarkamand, the postdoctoral researcher at the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change of ESCI-UPF, was in Dubai from the 8th to the 12th of December as a COP28 observer. In this article, she discusses the highlights and main outcomes of the Conference.

COP28 has been officially the largest-ever UN climate summit, with 80,000 participants registered. This year,  COP featured three significant highlights. First, nations participating in it proposed a formal phase-out of fossil fuels as a crucial component of the final agreement at the UN to combat global warming. Second, this COP put the climate impact of the food system on the agenda for the first time. Third, COP28 established a loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries and in total it has successfully mobilized over $83 billion, marking the inception of a new era in climate action. These include the first-ever declarations on the transformation of food systems and health, renewable energy and efficiency, and initiatives to decarbonize heavy-emitting industries.

Despite the request to phase out fossil fuels, the outcome of the first global stocktake was a shift toward transitioning away from fossil fuels which may not be enough to combat the urgent matter of climate change. Below, I will mention some important outcomes to approach rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5 °C pathways and calls on Parties to contribute to the following global efforts, in a nationally determined manner, taking into account the Paris Agreement (Article 28):

  1. Triple global renewable energy by 2030

  2. Accelerate efforts to reduce coal power

  3. Move to emission-free energy by mid-century

  4. Just transition from fossil fuels by 2050

  5. Accelerate tech for zero emissions and reduce non-CO2 emissions

  6. Reducing GHG emissions significantly until 2030, especially methane

  7. Speed up emission cuts in transportation

  8. Phase out inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels as soon as possible

It is important to add that COP28 has prioritised the climate impact on the food system by putting it on the agenda. A new declaration, the ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action,’ has been signed by 158 nations, pledging to reduce emissions caused by food production. Article 63, Part B of the First global stocktake, is dedicated to food matters, encompassing the goals of achieving climate-resilient food and agricultural production, ensuring the sustainable supply and distribution of food, and promoting increased sustainable and regenerative production, along with equitable access to adequate food and nutrition for all.  In this regard, more than $3.1 billion has been mobilized by the global community to support the food-climate agenda.

Now that COP28 has concluded, it is crucial to actively facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels and collectively work towards mitigating the impacts of climate change. This involves a concerted effort to implement sustainable practices, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance global resilience against the challenges posed by climate change. By fostering collaboration and commitment on a global scale, we can address the complex issues associated with climate change and work towards creating a more sustainable and resilient future.

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