The two-week-long COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), concluded on December 13 with member nations engaging in extended talks on the final text. In the closing plenary, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber highlighted the summit’s achievements, emphasizing a robust action plan aimed at limiting global warming to the targeted 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times set in the 2015 Paris deal.
Unprecedented Achievements at COP28
1.Transition away from Fossil Fuels
The most significant achievement of COP28 is the historic agreement to begin reducing global consumption of fossil fuels. Unlike previous COP texts that focused on coal, COP28 marked the first time a global commitment was made to transition away from oil and gas, fundamental components of the global economy for decades. The Global Stocktake (GST) text outlines a just, orderly, and equitable transition, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050.
2.Triple Renewable Energy Capacity and Double Energy Efficiency by 2030
A groundbreaking “Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge” was signed by at least 117 countries, committing to tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030. Additionally, countries agreed to double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements from around 2 percent to over 4 percent every year until 2030.
3.Loss and Damage Fund
Countries formally established a loss and damage fund on the first day of COP28, aimed at supporting vulnerable nations grappling with the effects of climate change. Developed countries, acknowledging their responsibility, pledged a combined total of at least $700 million to the loss and damage fund during the summit.
4.Phase-down of Unabated Coal
The final COP28 text called for “accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power.” While limiting new coal plants was initially in the draft text, it was omitted in the final document, potentially favoring countries like India, addressing the challenge of meeting power demand while ensuring accessibility and affordability.
5.Oil and Gas Companies Commit to Lower Methane Emissions
In a historic move, over 50 oil and natural gas producers, accounting for 40 percent of global oil production, pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and near-zero methane emissions by 2030. This commitment includes setting interim targets to reduce methane emissions to 0.2 percent of production by 2030 and ending routine flaring.
6.Food and Agriculture Declaration
COP28 saw countries agreeing on the role of food systems and agriculture in carbon emissions, with over 130 nations signing a declaration recognizing that food contributes a significant share to the warming gases affecting global temperatures.
7.Declaration of Climate and Health
For the first time in 28 years of UN climate talks, the health impacts of climate change took center stage. The declaration calls for climate action to achieve health benefits through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, lower air pollution, active mobility, and shifts to sustainable healthy diets.
8.Global Cooling Pledge
Over 60 countries signed the Global Cooling Pledge, a new initiative launched at COP28 to reduce cooling-related emissions globally by at least 68 percent by 2050 compared to 2022 levels. The pledge aims to achieve this through the adoption of energy-efficient cooling technologies, reducing refrigerant leakage, and phasing out harmful refrigerants. Additionally, it will provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries transitioning to sustainable cooling technologies.
Important Questions Related to Exams
Q: What was the primary focus of COP28 in Dubai?
A: The primary focus of COP28 in Dubai was to discuss and implement measures to address climate change, with an emphasis on reducing global consumption of fossil fuels and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Q. What historic commitment did over 50 oil and gas companies make at COP28?
A: Over 50 oil and natural gas producers, including Saudi Aramco, pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and near-zero methane emissions by 2030. This commitment is significant as these companies account for 40 percent of global oil production.
Q. How many countries signed the Global Cooling Pledge, and what support does it provide to developing nations?
A: Over 60 countries signed the Global Cooling Pledge. The pledge provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries to help them transition to sustainable cooling technologies while working towards the goal of reducing cooling-related emissions by at least 68 percent globally by 2050.