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COP28: “The UAE Consensus”calls for transition away from fossil fuels by 2050  

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has concluded with an agreement named The UAE Consensus, that sets out an ambitious climate agenda to keep 1.5°C within reach. This calls on Parties to transition away from fossil fuels to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Perhaps, this ushers in the beginning of the end of fossil fuel era.  

The global stocktake, the first ever comprehensive assessment of the collective progress in implementing climate goals of 2015 Paris Agreement delivered by COP28 recognised that global greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. But the assessment found that the Parties are off track when it comes to meeting their Paris Agreement goals. Hence, the stocktake called on Parties to triple renewable energy capacity, to double energy efficiency improvements by 2030, to phase-down of unabated coal power, to phase to out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and to take other measures that drive the transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, with developed countries continuing to take the lead. In the short-term, Parties are encouraged to come forward with economy-wide emission reduction targets and aligned with the 1.5°C limit in their next round of climate action plans by 2025. 

The UAE Consensus provide response to the Global Stocktake and delivers on the central aims of the Paris Agreement. The key commitments of the consensus include:  

  • A reference to transitioning away from all fossil fuels to enable the world to reach net zero emissions by 2050. 
  • A significant step forward in the expectations for the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by encouraging “economy-wide emission reduction targets.” 
  • Building momentum behind the financial architecture reform agenda, recognizing the role of credit rating agencies for the first time, and calling for a scale up of concessional and grant finance. 
  • A new, specific target to triple renewables and double energy efficiency by 2030. 
  • Recognizing the need to significantly scale up adaptation finance beyond the doubling to meet urgent and evolving needs. 

Outside the Global Stocktake, COP28 delivered negotiated outcomes to operationalize Loss and Damage, securing $792 million of early pledges, providing a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), and institutionalizing the role of the Youth Climate Champion to mainstream youth inclusion at future COPs. Under the total Action Agenda at COP28, over $85 billion in funding has been mobilized and 11 pledges and declarations have been launched and received historic support. 
 

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Sources:  

  1. UNFCCC. News – COP28 Agreement Signals “Beginning of the End” of the Fossil Fuel Era. Available at https://unfccc.int/news/cop28-agreement-signals-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-fossil-fuel-era  
  2. COP28 UAE. News – COP28 Delivers Historic Consensus In Dubai To Accelerate Climate Action. Available at https://www.cop28.com/en/news/2023/12/COP28-delivers-historic-consensus-in-Dubai-to-accelerate-climate-action  

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Umesh Prasad
Umesh Prasad
Science journalist | Founder editor, Scientific European magazine

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