The final agreement made at the end of COP28 has been viewed by many as a successful step towards keeping the world on track to address climate change and meet obligations under the Paris Agreement.
In particular, the agreement reached a consensus on the need for a global transition away from fossil fuels, although it does not amount to a commitment to phase out the use of fossil fuels completely. As highlighted by the COP28 President, the true test of the consensus will be whether it is implemented in practice by national governments, prompting a just and urgent transition. Governments also need to continue to accelerate action to keep the world on track to addressing climate change.
Throughout the summit, several key decisions and agreements were made, allowing some progress to take place in the absence of a more ambitious agreement. Some of the most significant outcomes of discussions at COP28 include:
- The conclusion of the first Global Stocktake: a five year process to assess the world’s progress towards addressing climate change, with the publication of a ‘political outcome’ which will directly influence how countries ‘ratchet-up’ their climate ambitions in the future.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s Roadmap to 1.5: a global roadmap for achieving zero hunger without breaching the 1.5°c threshold, initiating a multi-year process for decarbonising food systems.
- A joint statement from the COP28 presidency and the presidency of COP15 for the Convention on Biological Diversity, calling for an alignment of national climate and nature strategies.
- The Buildings Breakthrough (as part of the Breakthrough Agenda): a framework to link business, governments, and civil society to support the transition to climate resilient and near-zero emissions buildings as a global norm by 2030.
- The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge: a commitment to triple the world’s renewable energy generation capacity by 2030, with a series of additional commitments around increased energy efficiency. The Pledge makes no formal commitments on phasing-out fossil fuels and has been signed by around 120 countries, leaving it with significant limitations.
- Negotiations towards an ‘Adaptation Playbook’ to support the financing and roll-out of the Global Goal on Adaptation, following the Adaptation Gap Report in November. Ultimately, negotiations were unable to reach a final outcome due to disagreements about the responsibilities of different countries to contribute towards global adaptation.
- The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health: A statement emphasising the connections between climate change and health, supported by guiding principles for financing climate and health solutions.
- Delivery of an agreement on the Loss and Damage Fund: an agreement to provide supporting finance for the developing countries most vulnerable to historic climate change, with 700million USD of funding committed at COP28.
- Initial steps towards a work programme on delivering a just transition: initial discussions between countries and observers to support a climate transition which is just and equitable for everyone.
- The Global Tipping Points Report: a scientific assessment published during COP28 by researchers from around the world, assessing the risks and opportunities associated with major global tipping points in earth systems and society.
- Further developments, including smaller shifts in how the climate crisis is discussed and addressed, such as the increased recognition of the role of oceans in negotiations and media attention around negotiating language on fossil fuels.
Read the full briefing for more information.