COP28 concludes with groundbreaking commitments and realistic climate action approach

COP28's final text, the UAE Consensus, emphasises a pragmatic approach to climate change, recognising diverse global needs and energy transitions.

In brief:
  • COP28's final text acknowledges the need for a global energy transition and a variety of clean energy solutions.
  • The agreement highlights the importance of regional flexibility and the complexity of balancing climate action with economic and geopolitical realities.
  • Major commitments outside negotiations include a focus on methane mitigation, nuclear energy, and oil and gas decarbonisation.
In detail:

COP28, a pivotal event in global climate action, concluded with the historic ‘UAE Consensus’, a final text that balances the urgency of climate change with the complexities of economic and geopolitical realities. The agreement, endorsed by 198 Parties, marks a significant shift in acknowledging diverse global needs and the necessity of a pragmatic approach to energy transitions.

Armond Cohen, Executive Director of CATF, reflected on the agreement's significance, stating, "The world is finally beginning to reckon with the hard realities of climate change and what it will take to address it, and the proof is in the final COP28 text." He emphasised the historic recognition of the need to transform the energy system and the importance of a wide range of tools, including renewables, nuclear energy, carbon capture and storage, carbon removal, and low-carbon hydrogen.

The negotiations witnessed a contentious debate over fossil fuel phase-out language, highlighting the divide between various nations' priorities. Cohen added, "The final text for the first time reflects the size of the challenge and the need for multiple shots on goal." This acknowledgment underlines the necessity of a strategic approach to a zero-carbon future, considering factors like energy access, security, and geopolitics.

Beyond the negotiating room, COP28 saw groundbreaking commitments in methane mitigation, nuclear energy deployment, and oil and gas decarbonisation. Notably, world leaders announced a new grant funding of over $1 billion aimed at cutting methane emissions. Additionally, the Net-Zero Nuclear Initiative was launched, committing to tripling the world’s nuclear energy capacity by 2050.

Lee Beck, Senior Director, Europe and the Middle East, highlighted the conference's turning point, saying, "Leaders are getting real about the challenge at hand and beginning to propose solutions that work in the real world and for different countries, serve energy security, economic growth, and climate needs alike."