Good morning from Dubai! The 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, or COP28, is entering its ninth day.
The themes for today are nature, land use and oceans. The world reached a major deal to protect nature at the UN biodiversity conference last year, which took place just after the COP27 climate summit. So COP28 is an important occasion to bring these twin crises into conversation – and see how the agreement to restore at least 30 per cent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030 aligns with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5C.
As for keeping 1.5C in sight: negotiations are continuing. A new version of the core text being discussed at COP8 – the Global Stocktake – was released yesterday afternoon, to some cautious optimism from developing countries and campaigners. It includes four possible choices on fossil fuels, which all refer to a phase out, rather than a phase down.
BREAKING #COP28 new text on global stocktake
Now 5 options on fossil fuel phaseout:
1⃣phase out all fossil fuels in line w/ science
2⃣as above + 1.5C + Paris principles
3⃣”unabated” + peak + “predominantly” FF free 2050
4⃣unabated + net-zero
— Simon Evans (@DrSimEvans) December 8, 2023
“We are excited about the possibility of strong language on phasing out fossil fuels coming out of this COP,” says ActionAid USA’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, Brandon Wu.
But greater climate finance is key to bridging an agreement between developed and developing countries. “A global fossil fuel phaseout that isn’t backed up by financial support for developing countries will place unrealistic and impossible expectations on those countries, many of which are already locked into destructive cycles of debt and extraction,” adds Wu.
The possibility of an ambitious deal on fossil fuels has got OPEC+ rattled. In a leaked letter seen by the Guardian newspaper yesterday, the oil cartel has warned its member countries with “utmost urgency” that “pressure against fossil fuels may reach a tipping point with irreversible consequences” at COP28.
Catch up with our coverage of COP28 yesterday, where children were centre stage, and civil society groups said they were facing unprecedented levels of restriction around protest: