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New United Nations climate draft takes baby steps to fossil-fuel free future

  • Published
    13th Dec, 2023


Creating a pathway to reaching net zero by 2050 is humanity’s best shot at keeping temperatures from rising beyond 1.5C by the end of the century, say the scientific assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

COP28 Climate Deal Text: Transitioning from Fossil Fuels

  • Decisive Step Towards Net Zero by 2050: The COP28 draft text emphasizes transitioning away from fossil fuels for a just and equitable net-zero goal by 2050. Net zero by 2050 is crucial to limit temperature rise, requiring a 43% emissions cut by 2030 and 60% by 2035.
  • Global Signal to Phase Out Fossil Fuels: The draft is interpreted as a global call to "phase out" fossil fuels, signaling a shift towards renewables. The fossil-fuel industry is put on notice to adapt to new energy dynamics, according to climate experts.
  • Controversy and Diplomatic Tensions:Previous drafts faced objections, particularly from oil-dependent countries like Saudi Arabia.The term "phasing out fossil fuels" remains contentious, highlighting diplomatic challenges in global climate negotiations.

India's Coal Power and Adaptation Challenges

  • Coal Power Rhetoric Toned Down:The draft softens language on coal, changing from a call to "rapidly phase down" to "accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power." This adjustment reflects considerations for countries like India, heavily reliant on coal for energy.
  • Adaptation and Means of Implementation:Adaptation and support for developing nations are integral to climate talks. Criticism arises from unfulfilled promises of financial support from developed countries, hindering adaptation efforts.
  • Carbon Space and Global Net Zero:Developing countries emphasize fair carbon space distribution and financial aid. Calls for developed nations to reach net zero earlier to create carbon space for developing nations.

Challenges and Divisions in COP28 Negotiations

  • Diplomatic Tensions Over Draft Language: Ongoing debates on specific terms, like "phasing out," showcase diplomatic divisions. COP28 President's decision on the final draft language awaits consensus or objections from participating nations.
  • Financial Gaps and Broken Promises:Developing nations face challenges due to unmet financial promises from developed countries. The gap between pledged financial aid and actual disbursement remains a point of contention.
  • Global Efforts on Adaptation and Mitigation:Global attention on mitigation efforts needs parallel emphasis on robust adaptation strategies. Calls for developed nations to take more significant actions earlier to address climate change challenges.
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