13.12.23 / COP 28 / Article

COP28 Outcomes: A Disappointing Legacy of Broken Promises

As the curtains fall on COP28, the world is left with a bitter taste of unmet expectations and diluted commitments. At Razom We Stand, we scrutinize the outcomes of this critical climate summit through a lens sharpened by the urgency of the climate crisis and the dire need for immediate, decisive action.

This year’s summit starkly revealed an overwhelming appetite for maintaining the status quo in the fossil fuel business. The political reluctance to expedite the energy transition, coupled with false solutions like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and the endorsement of fossil gas, has not only perpetuated conflict and war in Ukraine but also posed severe threats to vulnerable nations struggling to combat the climate crisis.

Last minute deals

The discussions at COP 28 centred on a last-minute new draft climate agreement released at the eleventh hour of the summit. For the first time, the draft explicitly called for transitioning away from fossil fuels to mitigate the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. However, it fell short of including explicit commitments to phase out or down fossil fuels, despite widespread calls from various countries, civil society groups, and scientists urging for stronger actions.

The proposal urged countries to contribute to global efforts in transitioning away from fossil fuels "in a just, orderly and equitable manner," aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with scientific recommendations. Despite acknowledging the need for rapid greenhouse gas emission reductions and a call to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, this proposal lacked explicit commitments to phase out ALL fossil fuels.

While the updated draft demonstrated some progress, many delegations, including Razom We Stand, found it unsatisfactory and laden with loopholes.

Hollow Commitments in Renewable Energy

COP28's emphasis on tripling renewable energy capacity and investments may sound promising, yet it remains a far cry from what the climate crisis demands. While some hailed it as progress, Razom We Stand views this as an insufficient gesture. A mere tripling of RE capacity doesn't align with the monumental strides needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We stand firm in advocating for a fivefold increase in RE capacity and investments by 2030—a benchmark for genuine climate ambition.

Fossil Fuel Industry's Brazen Influence

The haunting echo of last year's empowerment of the fossil fuel industry by select Western governments resonates in the outcomes of COP28. This empowerment, amidst a backdrop of global crises, indicates a concerning trend—where industry gains take precedence over legitimate climate action and the imperative transition towards renewable energy.

Geopolitical Manipulation and OPEC+ Dynamics

The conspicuous presence of Putin in the UAE during COP28 signifies a brazen display of political intent. This geopolitical manoeuvring within OPEC+, the oil dictators' trade union, casts shadows on their roles in perpetuating conflicts fueled by profits from fossil fuels. It underscores the toxic alliance between energy agendas and political manoeuvres that hinder genuine climate progress.

Future COP Prospects: Oil Dependence and Climate Crisis Funds

The upcoming COPs scheduled in oil-dependent countries like Azerbaijan and Brazil pose grave concerns. Will these host venues pave the way for ending wars funded by fossil fuel profits or, worse, serve as platforms for accumulating funds for a global climate war? Razom We Stand emphasizes the critical need to confront these looming challenges in future climate talks.

We must acknowledge that the sooner we eliminate the global demand for oil and gas, step by step, through country-specific policies and political actions, the sooner we can quench the incessant thirst for ever-increasing oil consumption.

Just look at who is consuming the most oil and gas.

The sentiments echoed at COP28 expose the glaring divide between words and actions. The refusal to sign a draft devoid of robust commitments on fossil fuel phase-outs highlights the urgency for unwavering, resolute actions.

While the draft promises an increase in renewable energy capacity, it falls woefully short of the standards set by global climate leaders. The talks underscore the dire need for an assertive phase-out plan for fossil fuels.

As COP28 draws to a close, it leaves behind a legacy of broken promises and diluted ambition. The outcomes signify a betrayal of the urgency of the climate crisis, demanding immediate, substantive action.

At Razom We Stand, we call upon world leaders to transcend mere rhetoric and embrace tangible, transformative actions aligned with the gravity of the climate emergency and the war in Ukraine. The conclusion of COP28 isn't an endpoint but rather a starting point for a renewed, unwavering commitment towards a sustainable future for all.