After marathon negotiations, global leaders reach a historic deal at COP28 that includes ‘transitioning away from fossil fuels’. This marks the first time in three decades of climate summits that nations have agreed to move away from oil, gas, and coal.
Marathon Negotiations Lead to Historic Agreement
Global leaders have reached a deal, after marathon negotiations, to ‘transition away from fossil fuels’ at the global climate summit COP28. This marks a historic move as it’s the first time in three decades of climate summits that nations have agreed to move away from oil, gas, and coal, which currently account for around 80 per cent of global energy.
The Final Deal and Implementation Challenges
The final deal was approved by nearly 200 countries at the UN climate summit, with no objections or changes when the latest draft was proposed. However, while the agreement is seen as historic, the hard work for countries to implement the deal is just beginning. The COP28 president emphasized the importance of tangible actions to turn the agreement into reality.
Details of the Final Draft
The final draft called for ‘transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly, and equitable manner, aiming to achieve net zero by 2050’. However, it fell short of calling for the ‘phase-out’ or ‘phase-down’ of fossil fuels sought by many countries, especially small island states. While some hailed the draft as a breakthrough, others criticized it for being too weak.
Mixed Reactions and Criticisms
Scientists and environmentalists have expressed both support and criticism for the agreement. Norway’s minister for climate and the environment praised the agreement as the first time the world united around the need to transition away from fossil fuels, while the World Wildlife Fund deputy global climate and energy lead believed it still fell short of calling for the full phase-out of coal, oil, and gas. The document recognized the need for deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and urged nations to take actions, including tripling renewable energy capacity and rapidly phasing down unabated coal.