How did the talks finish up?
Throughout the talks, all eyes were on the negotiations about the Global Stocktake (GST) – the first ‘report card’ on climate action since the Paris Agreement in 2015. Paris was a milestone where countries committed to limit warming to as close to 1.5℃ as possible. The GST text was the key deliverable from this COP and will shape national climate plans until 2040.
The final outcome was a mixed bag. Significantly, COP28 reached an agreement to transition away from fossil fuels but it also opened the door to dangerous distractions
and weakening of past commitments – falling short of its potential to deliver a landmark agreement to phase out all fossil fuels. Securing this commitment was widely seen as a measure of success for these talks.
It was good to see countries pledge to triple renewables and double energy efficiency
by 2030, but this needs to go hand in hand with phasing out fossil fuels. There is no room for fossil fuels if we are to have any chance of averting the worst of climate catastrophe and delivering justice for millions of the most vulnerable people around the world.
Encouragingly, this COP saw Norway and Australia sign the Clean Energy Transition Partnership,
which Tearfund and others have been campaigning on for years. If fully implemented, the partnership, which now has 41 signatories, could shift more than US$28 billion per year out of fossil fuels and into clean energy.
The talks saw limited progress in scaling up finance to meet the escalating costs of the climate crisis. However, a key milestone was reached in making a ‘loss and damage’ fund a reality, with many countries, including the UK, pledging funds. This is a welcome step, though it falls well short of the billions of dollars required to help people rebuild their lives in the wake of climate disaster. We need to see wealthy countries make regular and substantial contributions to the fund if it is to deliver justice.
Among the announcements came the welcome news that the Scottish Government will allocate funds to Tearfund
to support survivors of the devastating floods in Pakistan last year. These vital funds, totalling £250,000, will enable communities who have suffered enormous losses to rebuild their lives.