The COP28 climate summit ended today (Wednesday) with the announcement of an agreement described by hosts UAE as “historic” but immediately slammed as “desperately inadequate” by some climate campaigners.
The summit agreement, named ‘the UAE Consensus’, includes a reference to the need for parties to “contribute” to a “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems” and, in a boost for renewables, a tripling of green power capacity by 2030.
The inclusion of language directly addressing fossil fuels was hailed by some as a big moment in the global climate process and an improvement on earlier draft versions, but others said the agreement lacks any teeth and flagged big gaps in climate finance provision.
Denmark’s climate minister Dan Jorgensen was among the politicians emphasising the upside.
““What we’re basically saying is the way you make your living now . . . you need to change because we’re moving away fossils. Fossils is not the future,” he was quoted as saying by the Financial Times. “Did we solve all problems? Of course not.”
But campaign group Friends of the Earth said: “Self-interest, weak leadership and a lack of urgency by wealthy countries like the UK, Japan and US and the EU bloc, has resulted in a desperately inadequate COP28 resolution that leaves the world on a collision course with the worst of climate breakdown.”
COP president Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, the chairman of renewables group Masdar and, controversially, CEO of UAE oil giant Adnoc, was in no mood to play down the deal, which he claimed keeps alive the prospect of meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
“We delivered world first after world first,” he said. “A global goal to triple renewables and double energy efficiency. Declarations on agriculture, food and health. More oil and gas companies stepping up for the first time on methane and emissions. And we have language on fossil fuels in our final agreement.”