Countries at UN climate summit agree on pledge to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels

The COP28 climate summit in Dubai concluded with a landmark decision, as nearly 200 nations agreed to a roadmap for transitioning away from fossil fuels. This agreement, finalized on December 13, 2023, marks the first time a UN climate conference has explicitly addressed the shift away from oil, coal, and gas, although it stops short of demanding a complete phaseout.

Key points of the agreement include commitments to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030. The conference also made progress in areas of adaptation, finance, and operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund. Despite these advancements, the agreement was criticized by many, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, for not being sufficiently ambitious. He emphasized that a fossil fuel phaseout is inevitable and necessary for climate justice.

The agreement faced further criticism for offering the fossil fuel industry loopholes and not providing robust financial support for developing countries transitioning to renewable energy. Representatives from small island developing countries expressed disappointment with the incremental progress, underlining the need for a more substantial change to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

COP28 also saw several other significant achievements, such as the launch of a loss and damage fund for climate-vulnerable countries, a $3.5 billion commitment to the Green Climate Fund, and over $150 million for the Least Developed Countries Fund and Special Climate Change Fund. Moreover, the World Bank announced an increase of $9 billion annually for climate-related projects for 2024 and 2025.

Looking ahead, the next round of national climate action plans is due in 2025, with Azerbaijan set to host COP29 in November 2023, and Brazil offering to host COP30 in the Amazon in 2025

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