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COP28 - Outcome Vs. Reality

Another COP, another compromise? Or are we seeing genuine movement?

DECEMBER 1: World Heads of State pose for a group photo at Al Wasl during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai on December 1, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (C) UNClimateChange, Flickr.

COP is over for another year, and while there were areas of success, there is a lot to unpack for this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP). The event marks a critical juncture in global efforts to address climate change. However, the choice of the UAE, one of the world's largest oil producers, as the host country and the appointment of Al Jabar, CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, to lead the talks ignited intense criticism before the event had even begun, raising questions about the integrity of the commitment to a sustainable future. 

Ahead of talks, researchers at Climate Action Tracker warned that the world was on track for a 2.7°C temperature increase by 2100 - dangerously above the 1.5°C target agreed at COP21 for mitigating the most severe impacts of climate change. A U.N. report now highlights we could breach this 1.5 target in the next two decades, underscoring the urgent need for more decisive actions to align progress with the ambitious goals set in the Paris Agreement.

Below, we have highlighted some of the key outcomes (and their realities) of COP28.

Key Outcomes from COP28:

Loss and Damage Fund: 

Outcome: A positive development in the early stages of COP28 was the announcement that the "loss and damage" fund could begin distributing money. This fund, established at COP27, aims to address the impacts of climate change, with wealthier nations (those most responsible for the climate emergency) supporting countries in the Global South already experiencing the adverse effects of global warming and rising sea levels.

Reality: Countries primarily responsible for the climate crisis have committed just over $700 million (£556 million) to the loss and damage fund. This is equivalent to less than 0.2% of the irreversible economic and non-economic losses, with estimates for the cost of the damage from global warming varying from $100bn-$580bn annually.

(C) 2023 UNClimateChange, Flickr.

The Use of Fossil Fuels:

Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice: 

Carbon Markets and Nature-Based Solutions:

Women’s Representation:

Climate change and taking better care of our world are urgent issues that require immediate action from all of us. COP28 may have left you disappointed, but we can still do many things to make a difference. By donating to TreeSisters, supporting and standing shoulder to shoulder with local and Indigenous groups, consuming less, and demanding companies do more for Nature, we can all play a part in protecting our planet. It's important to remember that every action we take, no matter how small, can have a positive impact. Join us as we work together to create a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.


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