As COP28 wraps up in Dubai, Prof. Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS), has given an update on some of the highlights of the conference.
According to Bentley, a big highlight of COP was the Majlis, at which senior delegates gathered to discuss climate challenges and make decisions. The COP president, Al Jaber, convened ministers and heads of delegation and told them that under no circumstances should they allow ambition to be diluted.
On Day 1, nearly 200 countries adopted the framework to establish an international loss and damage fund, with hundreds of millions of dollars already pledged to the fund. The loss and damage fund provides a mechanism for rich countries to compensate poorer countries for the extreme impacts of climate change.
Another big highlight came on Day 2, when over 100 countries, including big emitters like the US and China, agreed to triple renewable energy capacity worldwide by 2030 and double the annual rates of energy efficiency improvements. Over the last week or so, the conference heard countries including Nigeria pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies and France ban ESG funds from oil companies.
COP28 has also demonstrated new technologies such as batteries that don’t require lithium, nickel or cobalt. Japanese electrical company Hitachi is now using 100% green aluminum in its products. Attendees also heard that the destruction of the Amazon rainforest has decreased sharply over recent years and that China’s carbon dioxide emissions may have already peaked and be starting to fall.
Alongside this, countries like Canada and Belgium have made ambitious net zero pledges – more ambitious than they had before. Furthermore, the city of Dubai, where COP is being hosted, has pledged to cut its emissions by 50% by 2030.
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