Historic agreement at COP28
The negotiations at the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, concluded on 13 December. The conference culminated in an agreement that could herald the beginning of the end for fossil fuels.
“For the first time, all of the world’s countries have agreed to transition away from fossil fuels. This will have a crucial impact on the global climate transition and on moving us away from global dependence on fossil fuels,” says Minister for Climate and the Environment Romina Pourmokhtari.
COP28 was the culmination of the Global Stocktake – the first evaluation of the Parties’ collective initiatives to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. It resulted in an agreement outlining how the global community will accelerate efforts to reduce emissions, transition away from fossil fuels, increase adaptation capacity and reform financial flows. Based on the Global Stocktake, the countries of the world will produce new nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
“This agreement is a historic step forward and in the right direction. Of course, we would have liked to see an even more ambitious agreement with even more stringent wording. But it’s now clear that fossil fuels belong to the past and will not be a part of our future,” says Ms Pourmokhtari.
Agreement on a new fund to help vulnerable developing countries to deal with climate-related loss and damage was reached on the first day of COP28. A number of developing countries – particularly island nations – have been calling for a fund of this kind for many years. The decision got the conference off to a positive start and strengthened alliances.
“Cooperation between EU Member States and within our alliances with ambitious and vulnerable countries has been stronger and closer than ever at this climate change conference,” says Ms Pourmokhtari.
A just transition work programme was also adopted at the conference. The programme aims to promote climate adaptation that also increases prosperity and takes account of labour rights. Agreement was also reached at COP28 on a framework to strengthen efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement’s global adaptation goals. This includes a goal for all countries to have a climate and vulnerability analysis in place by 2030.
Another important issue was supporting poorer countries in their efforts to reduce emissions and deal with climate change.
Ahead of COP28, Sweden had decided to increase support to climate adaptation in developing countries via two global climate funds, and on new funding to the UN.
Sweden will contribute new funding of SEK 60 million via Sida to the UN’s Early Warnings for All initiative. The aim is to support the establishment of early warning systems for extreme weather events and climate-related disasters.
Sweden is also increasing its support to the Adaptation Fund by SEK 100 million for 2023, to a total of SEK 230 million. The fund focuses on developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Sweden is also contributing a total of SEK 230 million (an additional SEK 100 million this year) to the Least Developed Countries Fund. The fund includes support to agriculture, food security, health, access to water and nature-based solutions.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a framework for measures to limit climate change. The Convention was signed in 1992 by 195 parties (194 states and the European Union) and entered into force in 1994. Representatives of the Parties to the Convention meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP). Decisions are taken by consensus at the meeting. COP meetings also include meetings of the Parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement and the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.