Explained: How COP28 Ensures Beginning of the End of Fossil Fuel Era?

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In the short-term, Parties are encouraged to come forward with ambitious, economy-wide emission reduction targets, covering all greenhouse gases, sectors and categories and aligned with the 1.5°C limit in their next round of climate action plans (known as nationally determined contributions) by early 2025.

New Delhi (ABC Live): COP 28, hosted in Dubai, marked a watershed moment in the global response to the climate crisis. 

COP 28 closed with an agreement that signals the “beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era by laying the ground for a swift, just and equitable transition, underpinned by deep emissions cuts and scaled-up finance. As COP 28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said: “We have language on fossil fuel in the (COP) final agreement for the first time ever.” It clearly points to the direction of travel in the energy transition, and that the scale and pace of change can’t be stopped or reversed.

The call on nations to transition away from fossil fuels was part of a decision by nearly 200 Parties on the world’s first ‘global stocktake’ to ratchet up climate action before the end of the decade – with the overarching aim to keep the global temperature limit of 1.5°C within reach.

“Whilst we didn’t turn the page on the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this outcome is the beginning of the end,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell. “Now all governments and businesses need to turn these pledges into real-economy outcomes, without delay.”

The ‘global stocktake’ is considered the central outcome of COP 28 – as it contains every element that was under negotiation and can now be used by countries to develop stronger climate action plans due by February 2025.

The stocktake recognizes the science that indicates global greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. But it notes Parties are off track when it comes to meeting their Paris Agreement goals.

The stocktake calls on Parties to take actions towards achieving, at a global scale, a tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030. The list also includes accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power, phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and other measures that drive the transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, with developed countries continuing to take the lead.

In the short-term, Parties are encouraged to come forward with ambitious, economy-wide emission reduction targets, covering all greenhouse gases, sectors and categories and aligned with the 1.5°C limit in their next round of climate action plans (known as nationally determined contributions) by early 2025.


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