COP28 took place in Dubai November 20 through December 12, where global heads and industry leaders converged to discuss climate change and ways in which the environment can be protected and preserved. While discussions around fossil fuels once again were most prevalent, there was plenty of news out of the summit worth keeping an eye on. Here are a few worth reading:

COP28 draft climate deal criticized as ‘grossly insufficient’ and ‘incoherent’ | The Guardian

A draft deal to cut global fossil fuel production is “grossly insufficient” and “incoherent” and will not stop the world from facing dangerous climate breakdown, according to delegates at the UN’s COP28 summit.

The COP28 presidency released a draft text in the early evening on Monday, which called for ‘reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, so as to achieve net zero by, before or around 2050, in keeping with the science.’

Mary Robinson, chair of the Elders group of former global politicians, said, “It is not good enough to say you recognize and respect the science but then fail to take heed of its dire warnings in the collective action you commit to … It is not good enough to use weak language or to permit loopholes for the fossil fuel industry to continue to contribute to the very problem countries are meant to be committed to tackling here in Dubai … this current version of the COP28 text is grossly insufficient.

The text tackles the issue of fossil fuel production head on, rather than referring to the emissions from fossil fuels. Saudi Arabia has been trying throughout the conference to insist on the term fossil fuel emissions, in place of fossil fuel production, in order to leave room for the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS).”

New COP28 draft text does not mention phase out of fossil fuels | Reuters 

“The U.N.’s climate body on Monday published its latest draft text of the deal it hopes to reach at the COP28 summit in Dubai, which includes a range of actions countries could take to reduce emissions. The list did not refer directly to a phase out of fossil fuels, which was a key demand by the European Union and many developing countries that are especially vulnerable to climate change.

The relevant section of the text said parties recognise “the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in GHG (greenhouse gasses) emissions and calls upon Parties to take actions that could include, inter alia: (a) Tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030; (b) Rapidly phasing down unabated coal and limitations on permitting new and unabated coal power generation; (c) Accelerating efforts globally towards net zero emissions energy systems, utilizing zero and low carbon fuels well before or by around mid-century; (d) Accelerating zero and low emissions technologies, including, inter alia, renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies, including such as carbon capture and utilization and storage, and low carbon hydrogen production, so as to enhance efforts towards substitution of unabated fossil fuels in energy systems. (e) Reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by, before, or around 2050 in keeping with the science; (f) Accelerating and substantially reducing non-CO2 emissions, including, in particular, methane emissions globally by 2030; (g) Accelerating emissions reductions from road transport through a range of pathways, including development of infrastructure and rapid deployment of zero and low emission vehicles,(h) Phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and do not address energy poverty or just transitions, as soon as possible.”

China’s Veteran Climate Chief Works With US to Clinch COP28 Deal | Bloomberg

“China’s climate envoy said his team at COP28 is in intensive talks with the US and others to find language on fossil fuels that can bring the two-week climate summit to a successful close.

Xie Zhenhua, 74, a fixture of global climate diplomacy for more than a decade, will retire after this year’s COP in Dubai and wants to end on a high. He told reporters on Saturday evening that compromise may lie in the agreement he reached with US counterpart John Kerry at the Sunnylands estate in California last month.”

COP28 Slug Fest Over Language Heats Up | CleanTechnica

“COP28 is scheduled to wrap up in two days’ time, but this year’s conference is bogged down in semantics as the delegates from various nations push their own agendas. The central failing of this and all COP conferences is that the rules require any final statement to be approved unanimously by all conference members — an arrangement that gives enormous power to laggards who want to slow walk climate action to save their own skins. At COP26, a last minute demand to insert the word “phase-down” into the final communiqué led to president Akok Sharma reading it in tears.

A draft of the text of a final statement made public by COP28 officials on Friday included several options for final language, ranging from a call to phase out fossil fuels “in line with the best available science,” to no mention at all of the future of oil, gas and coal. The possibilities also included a phaseout of “unabated” fossil fuels, a vague term that suggests that oil, gas and coal could continue to be used as long there was technology to capture and store the resulting carbon emissions. No such technology currently exists at the scale that scientists say is required, the New York Times noted.

Al Gore is pushing for changes to the U.N. rules so that future agreements would require approval from a supermajority of 75 percent of countries, rather than unanimous consent. Under the current rules, countries have to “beg for permission from the petro-states” to “protect the future of humanity,” Gore said at an event hosted by Bloomberg at COP28.

There is some truth to that. Fossil fuel companies are all jiggly over the idea that they can burn coal, oil, and gas and simply capture the resulting carbon emissions and bury them underground, in the ocean, or perhaps hide them in the pantry with their cupcakes. Unfortunately, as anyone with an IQ higher than an armadillo knows, all those abatement procedures are an illusion. While they promise to capture up to 90 percent of emissions, in fact they sequester about 10 percent at most. To make matters worse, the cost of those paltry efforts is up to $300 per ton — far too high to be of any commercial value.”

What it means for an oil producing country, the UAE, to host U.N. climate talks | NPR

“The talks, known as COP28, are taking place in the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers, and the fossil fuels industry’s presence can be seen everywhere at the sprawling conference complex.

That has left many at COP28 concerned that the interests of oil companies and fossil fuel producers are influencing this year’s summit, despite billions of dollars allocated by the UAE toward renewable energy projects at home and abroad.

The question of what the world will agree to do about the use of fossil fuel looms large as the negotiations draw to a close in the coming days and countries hammer out an agreement, all of it shepherded by the UAE. The final text at COP28 laying out the world’s next steps to address climate change will require the consensus of nearly 200 countries.

The man leading these talks, al-Jaber, has used more temperate language around the continued use of fossil fuels, saying a phasedown is inevitable. But in a speaking engagement just before COP28, he insisted incorrectly that there is “no science” that a phase out of fossil fuels will keep global temperatures from rising. Al-Jaber later said his comments had been misinterpreted and insisted the UAE understands the urgency of this matter, adding “we very much believe and respect the science.”

COP28 clashes over fossil fuel phase-out after OPEC pushback | Reuters 

“Countries clashed on Saturday over a possible agreement to phase-out fossil fuels at the COP28 summit in Dubai, jeopardizing attempts to deliver a first-ever commitment to eventually end the use of oil and gas in 30 years of global warming talks.

On the other side, at least 80 countries including the United States, the European Union and many poor, climate-vulnerable nations are demanding that a COP28 deal call clearly for an eventual end to fossil fuel use. COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber told nations late on Saturday to speed up their work to find a final deal, saying there were ‘still more areas of divergence than agreement.’

By insisting on focusing on emissions rather than fossil fuels, the two countries appeared to be leaning on the promise of expensive carbon capture technology, which the U.N. climate science panel says cannot take the place of reducing fossil fuel use worldwide.

He said there was little chance the summit would be called a success if nations could not agree to language on the future of fossil fuels. India’s environment minister, Bhupender Yadav, demanded “equity and justice” in any deal, holding that rich countries should be leading global climate action.

With the summit’s scheduled to end on Tuesday, government ministers from the nearly 200 countries at the Dubai summit have joined in trying to resolve the fossil fuel impasse. Climate-vulnerable countries said a rejection of a fossil fuel mention at COP28 would threaten the entire world. ‘Nothing puts the prosperity and future of all people on earth, including all of the citizens of OPEC countries, at greater risk than fossil fuels,’ said Marshall Islands climate envoy Tina Stege in a statement.”

COP28: Here are the key developments to watch | Axios

“The COP28 climate summit begins Thursday in Dubai and takes place against a kaleidoscope of competing interests in the worlds of energy, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions management.

The summit is a critical test of whether the global community is willing to slash planet-warming emissions enough to meet Paris Agreement targets. The world is currently on course to sail past those benchmarks, yielding a potentially catastrophic amount of warming of about 3°C (5.4°F) compared to preindustrial levels. On the one hand, renewables like solar and wind are surging in the U.S., Europe and China. On the other, oil and gas companies are showing few signs of cutting production and turning their attention and windfall profits to low-carbon ventures.

This COP will conclude the first “Global Stocktake,” which is the process through which countries look at where we are in terms of planet-warming emissions compared with where the globe needs to be in order to meet Paris targets. The UN’s analysis informing this process concluded emissions are far too high to meet the 1.5-degree goal (and likely the 2-degree target as well). More significant emissions cuts need to be made pre-2030 to have a chance of meeting either limit.

The intrigue: Because of his fossil fuel ties, al-Jaber is under an intense microscope. He came under withering criticism early this week when reports emerged, first via the BBC, that he and his staff allegedly pursued oil and gas deals during COP-related meetings with foreign officials.

The UAE COP presidency is also committed to ensuring the 1.5-degree target remains viable through any agreement. However, a stream of recent reports shows the world must cut emissions by about 40% compared with current policy scenarios to align with the Paris benchmark.” 

***Guest post from FischTank PR interns: Veronica Riga ***

Want to learn more about Cleantech, Sustainability, Renewable Energy, and Climate PR?

FischTank PR works with top brands and companies in the Cleantech, Sustainability and Renewable Energy industries, helping them achieve various communications and public relations strategies designed to boost their business and promote the industry’s message. If you’re looking for a climate PR firm with great industry understanding and a results-oriented approach to media relations, please contact us at [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Get the latest news, tips, and PR/marketing strategy from FischTank PR

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google
Consent to display content from - Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from - Sound