COP was a supersoaker | Summary and Q&A

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December 14, 2023
by
Simon Clark
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COP was a supersoaker

TL;DR

COP 28 made some improvements in addressing the climate crisis, but the final text fell short of meaningful action to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Was COP 28 a success in addressing the climate crisis?

In terms of addressing the climate crisis, COP 28 fell short of meaningful action. While there were some positive outcomes, the final text did not prioritize the rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

Q: Did COP 28 explicitly acknowledge the role of fossil fuels in causing climate change?

Yes, COP 28 marked a historic first by explicitly calling for a transition away from fossil fuels. However, the language used was not strong enough to meet the urgency highlighted by scientists and activists.

Q: Did COP 28 prioritize the phase-out of unabated coal power?

The final text of COP 28 called for accelerated efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power, with "unabated" referring to carbon capture and storage (CCS) techniques. However, CCS is not a practical solution and falls short of the needed phase-out of fossil fuels.

Q: How do fossil fuel companies benefit from COP 28's final text?

The final text of COP 28 allows fossil fuel companies and Petro States to continue expanding their operations and selling fossil fuels, while putting the onus on users to capture the emissions through CCS. This allows these companies to engage in greenwashing, portraying themselves as taking climate action while maintaining their business models.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • COP 28 took place in Dubai, a Petro State, raising concerns about the influence of the state oil company in shaping the conference.

  • The final text of COP 28 was seen as an improvement compared to previous agreements, but fell short of the urgent action needed to combat climate change.

  • Positive outcomes of COP 28 included the inclusion of agricultural emissions and emissions from cooling in countries' carbon budgets.

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