The phrase “the science is clear” has been repeated and glorified ad infinitum at COP28. But as the summit draws to a close, it appears the world still cannot come to a consensus on the action needed to prevent climate change.
This is City A.M.’s round up of everything that happened today at COP28.
The long-awaited draft agreement for fossil fuel production and consumption dropped today at COP28.
It does not include the terms “phase out” or “phase down” which have been the centre of much of the summit’s controversy, stewarded by the UAE’s oil magnate president Sultan Al Jaber.
In fact, hardly any of the verbs in the latest draft text actually demand or enforce action.
Instead, terminology like “notes”, “recognises” and “invites” are bolstered (barely) by the occasional “calls on”.
Crucially, the draft does make good on its emphasis that fossil fuel consumption must fall, but without an indicator of the rate of change needed.
Government delegations will meet this evening to discuss the text but already the draft is causing outrage.
Former US vice president and founder of the Climate Reality non-profit, Al Gore, described the text as “deeply offensive,” on X, formerly known as Twitter.
COP28 is now on the verge of complete failureAl Gore
“COP28 is now on the verge of complete failure,” he wrote.
“The world desperately needs to phase out fossil fuels as quickly as possible, but this obsequious draft reads as if OPEC dictated it word for word – it is even worse than many had feared, it is ‘Of the Petrostates, By the Petrostates and For the Petrostates’,” he added.
Other climate change luminaries such as the EU’s climate tsar commissioner, Wopke Hoekstra and COP26 chaiman Sir Alok Sharma also slammed the draft as insufficient.
The UK has pledged $44m to the Amazon Fund, the largest source of international funding for the preservation of life in the Amazon, according to The Guardian.
Together with Norway, which pledged $50m, the UK’s money will be used to monitor deforestation attempts, combating illegal trading and exploratory activities and the upkeep of over 1m sq miles of jungle.
The Rainforest Foundation Norway welcomed the new money for the Amazon Fund from the UK and Norway, but stressed that more is needed.
“Brazil needs international support to fulfil its ambition of zero deforestation in the Amazon – this vital rainforest is of global importance for climate and biodiversity, and protecting it is a responsibility that cannot lie with Brazil alone,” said the Rainforest Foundation Norway’s director, Toerris Jaeger.
Into the woods
Brazil has formally been chosen to host COP30 in 2025.
The city of Belém, capital of the country’s northern Pará region, will welcome delegates between November 10th-21st. It will be the first COP to be held in the Amazon rainforest.
“With its immense biodiversity and vast territory threatened by climate change, the Amazon will show us the way,” said Marina Silva, Brazil’s minister of the environment and climate change.
“Holding COP30 in the heart of the forest is a strong reminder of our responsibility to keep the planet within our 1.5C mission.”
There is one more petrostate to host the summit before then, however.
Azerbaijan, a country steeped in oil reserves, will host COP29, becoming the third petrostate in a row to host the conference.