The Cop28 live event has resumed negotiations as countries work towards reaching a final deal.
The findings of Cop28 demonstrate the significant influence of livestock emissions on the environment. Livestock emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide, making them a major contributor to the current climate emergency.
The FAO discovered that livestock agriculture systems, such as those involving cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens, account for 6.2 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) emissions.
This makes up roughly 12% of the total emissions in 2015, the initial year selected for the research.
It also found:
Among the six types of animals discussed, cattle are responsible for more than 60% of total emissions from livestock worldwide.
Two-thirds of the emissions from edible animal products, such as meat, milk, and eggs, are attributed to the production of meat among all species.
Another third of emissions is generated through the creation, handling, and transportation of feed inputs.
In the year 2050, there is expected to be a 20% increase in demand for animal products compared to levels in 2020.
If not addressed, this rising pattern may lead to a rise in emissions from livestock operations, potentially sabotaging attempts to decrease GHG emissions and worsening global temperature increases.
The FAO determines that implementing more environmentally friendly methods is necessary. This includes breeding livestock with lower emissions and modifying their diet, along with promoting dietary changes among humans.
The report revealed concerning data for activists. According to the study, cattle in sub-Saharan Africa emit significantly more emissions compared to North American cattle. However, many conservationists view traditional herding as more environmentally sustainable than the large-scale farms in the US Midwest.
According to the report, the total emissions from intensive livestock farming in the US are significantly higher than those from African herds. However, it also suggests that there are opportunities for interventions in Africa that could lower emissions.
Advocates will not be satisfied with the US escaping responsibility and small-scale farmers being unfairly blamed – that would be an incorrect interpretation of their information.
On Sunday, FAO will also provide a separate presentation outlining a roadmap for the global food systems to remain within a 1.5C limit.
According to Ivo Vlaev, a professor at Warwick Business School, changing dietary habits in wealthy countries with high meat consumption is a difficult task. This is because people’s food preferences are deeply rooted and influenced by cultural, social, and personal factors. In order to effectively intervene and promote change, these influences must be taken into consideration. Strategies such as social norming (showcasing the increasing popularity of plant-based diets), framing (emphasizing the individual health benefits of reducing meat consumption), and making alternative protein sources easily accessible may be helpful.
During a heated media briefing, Cop28 president Sultan Al Jaber addressed the Guardian’s report that he had claimed there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that eliminating fossil fuels will lead to a 1.5C temperature target. A reporter then brought up a potentially conflicting statement made by UN secretary general António Guterres just days earlier.
The Associated Press reporter reported that the secretary general recently stated that we should not even discuss reducing or lessening our use of fossil fuels, but instead should completely phase them out in a specific timeframe in order to meet the 1.5C limit as outlined by scientific evidence.
Al Jaber replied, “I appreciate you bringing up what the secretary general said. He’s correct. But you know what? I actually said it a day earlier and it went unnoticed, not even mentioned.”
According to Al Jaber, he addressed the oil and gas sector and convinced them to participate in commitments, likely referring to the decarbonisation charter for the industry that was announced at Cop28.
“Let me simplify this. I expressed the same idea, it was an exact match. No differences, no additional details. The [secretary general] receives the most attention.”
Following the press conference, the Guardian contacted the Cop28 press office to inquire about the “identical” remarks and the timing of Al Jaber’s statement. Despite multiple requests, no response has been received thus far.
The pressing battle at Cop28 in the second week is the decision whether to phase out or phase down fossil fuels. Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate leader during the signing of the Paris agreement, strongly supports a phase-out.
Figueres, the creator of Global Optimism, stated that if we desire progress in this Cop, we must not make concessions when it comes to phasing out. She emphasized that this action conveys a political message that has consequences for businesses as they determine their investment plans.
During a Guardian Live event on Wednesday, Figueres stated that additional language regarding the phase-out process would address various concerns. She emphasized the importance of equity in this language, noting that industrialized nations have the capability and responsibility to phase out at a faster rate than developing countries that rely on exports. Figueres also highlighted the significance of including language on a fair and smooth transition.
“The implication of using softer language like ‘phase down’ is that it implies a longer duration for demand and production of fossil fuels,” stated Tessa Khan, a UK-based lawyer and the founder of the Uplift campaign group.
“This is a concerning message to convey to governments, investors, and companies who are currently facing a critical decision on whether to invest in new fossil fuel resources or expedite the transition to more sustainable energy sources.”
The two parties issued a joint statement announcing their efforts to improve their relationship. This includes the release of prisoners of war and Armenia withdrawing its Cop bid and pledging support for Azerbaijan.
The statement expressed the desire of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan for other countries in the eastern European group to also back Azerbaijan’s bid to host.
There is no guarantee for this. Moldova has also applied as a potential candidate, and according to Reuters, Serbia is contemplating submitting a bid.
If an agreement cannot be reached, it is still possible that Bonn, where the UN climate secretariat is based, or a bigger city in Germany may end up being the designated location.
The climate change minister of Australia, Chris Bowen, does not have authority over the decision but has been observing from afar. The hold-up of next year’s discussion has also delayed the determination of the location for Cop31 in 2026. Australia had applied to co-host with Pacific nations.
Bowen stated that there seemed to be a positive development regarding the location of Cop29 in the Azerbaijan-Armenia statement, which was met with approval.
When asked if he was taken aback, he responded, “Yes, I was a bit surprised. However, the fact that Azerbaijan and Armenia were able to come to an agreement through the efforts of a Cop… strike does provide a glimmer of hope for the world.”
Mary Robinson attended the Cop28 conference shortly after her conversation with Cop28’s president, Sultan Al Jaber, sparked controversy about the impact of fossil fuels on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
At the entrance of the Blue Zone, a photograph showed the ex-president of Ireland stressing the importance of gradually eliminating fossil fuels in order to achieve the goal.
“Countries must do more than offer superficial pledges. We need radical collaboration to ensure an ambitious response plan to the Global Stocktake. To protect the 1.5°C warming limit this requires a phase out of all fossil fuels,” she said on X.
Earlier this week, Al Jaber had to strongly defend his opinions on climate science after the Guardian reported his statement that there is no evidence or prediction supporting the idea that phasing out fossil fuels will lead to a 1.5C temperature increase.
An open letter was issued on Thursday urging COP28 negotiators to safeguard the rights of Indigenous communities during the transition to clean energy.
The message, endorsed by numerous Indigenous-led groups and supported by environmental organizations like Earthjustice and anti-poverty groups like Oxfam, called on delegates to advocate for regulations that would mandate Indigenous communities’ approval before any mining on their traditional territories.
According to the statement, we have historical, traditional, and emotional connections to our territories that not only demand our involvement in promoting climate action, but also compel us to adhere to responsible methods of caring for the environment that are fundamental to our lifestyles.
According to the letter, Indigenous communities are at the forefront of advocating for the elimination of fossil fuels. However, if the transition is not accompanied by necessary precautions, these communities could face potential risks. The production of clean energy technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles requires a significant amount of minerals compared to traditional fossil fuel-based options. Additionally, a study from 2022 revealed that over half of the global deposits of minerals needed for the energy transition, such as lithium, copper, nickel, and others, are situated on or near Indigenous lands.
The correspondence requests that authorities acknowledge the rights of Native communities to participate in decisions regarding mining projects on their territories. This includes safeguarding the right to give free, prior, and informed consent as stated in previous agreements made by the United Nations.
According to the letter, for a long time, companies in the oil, gas, and mining industries have taken advantage of Indigenous communities and territories. However, at COP28, there is a chance for officials to shape a better and more inclusive world that benefits all communities and peoples.
The ministerial pairings at Cop28 in Dubai indicate that negotiations are progressing to a crucial new phase.
Each climate conference, a representative from a developed country and a developing country are partnered to lead discussions on important topics in order to come to an agreement on the ultimate document.
Once discussions with government representatives have reached their limit and ministers must start making concessions in order to achieve a conclusive political deal, the process commences. Sultan Al Jaber, as the leader of the UAE presidency, will then take charge of bringing everything together.
At the 28th Conference of Parties (Cop28), there may be disagreement over the language surrounding the reduction of fossil fuels, as well as the text addressing climate change adaptation, which is considered a critical concern in developing nations.
Daisy Dunne from Carbon Brief has compiled a list of this year’s ministerial pairings.
The presidency is seeking input from an informal group of ministers, including the Canadian environment minister, on the role of fossil fuels in the final agreement. It is also known that others have been consulted for their perspectives.
Additional insights from my coworker Patrick Greenfield about Canada’s responsibilities in the days ahead.
Sultan Al Jaber, the president of Cop28, has praised Canada for its initiative to mandate a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from its fossil fuel sector. This move has sparked the creation of a fashionable accessory at Cop28.
Earlier this week, the leader of the oil and gas industry had to vehemently defend his stance on climate science when the Guardian uncovered his statement claiming that there is no evidence or scenario supporting the idea that phasing out fossil fuels will lead to achieving a 1.5C temperature goal.
Al Jaber commended Canada’s choice to mandate reductions of 35-38% below 2019 levels for its fossil fuel industry, beginning in 2030. He also emphasized the importance of decarbonizing all high-polluting industries.
Al Jaber praised Canada for their decision to cap pollution from the oil and gas industry, calling it a significant move in their decarbonisation efforts. The news was announced on Thursday.
“Cop28 is focused on raising ambition and delivering practical action that will help reduce emissions by 43% by 2030, to keep 1.5C within reach. We have made the decarbonisation of all heavy-emitting industries a top priority and are engaging with countries and companies to triple renewables, double energy efficiency, reduce methane, and scale hydrogen.
“We urge all oil and gas companies to commit to the Cop28 oil and gas decarbonisation charter, which mandates the cessation of routine flaring and methane emissions by 2030 and the adoption of a net-zero trajectory by 2050 or earlier. Furthermore, we will persist in our efforts for greater progress.”
The emission cap policy of Canada has also become a trendy fashion statement in Dubai.
The environment minister stated on Friday morning that Canada was requested by the Cop28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, to assist in creating wording regarding the potential reduction or elimination of fossil fuels.
On Thursday, Steven Guilbeault, the environment minister for one of the top oil and gas producers globally, stated that Canada will mandate its fossil fuel sector to decrease emissions by 35% to 38% from 2019 levels by 2030.
Guilbeault expressed confidence that an agreement on “historic” language regarding fossil fuels would be reached.
The UAE presidency has requested our assistance in finding a mutually agreeable language that all parties can accept. Over the next few days, we will be working with numerous allies from both the northern and southern regions.
“I am certain that it is necessary for us to depart from Dubai and Cop28 with a statement addressing fossil fuels. Will it meet all of our expectations? Only time will tell. Even if it falls short of some’s ambitions, it would still be a significant milestone. I have been attending Cop conferences since the first one in Berlin in 1995. This would mark the first instance in nearly 30 years of international negotiations where we can reach a consensus on language regarding fossil fuels.”
Australia has not received significant commitments from multiple countries for this proposal. According to Bowen, they will stay involved and have requested a minimum allocation for small island developing states and the least developed countries.
“We have established a minimum allocation, but the specific percentage has not been determined yet. Therefore, we would like to continue discussing this matter in the future.”
He recognized that the pledge made to the Green Climate Fund was “small”. The conservative group had given $200 million in 2014 under former prime minister Tony Abbott, who did not believe in climate change, but later withdrew their support.
Bowen stated that he has made it clear in both public and private statements that he desires to see the Green Climate Fund taking more effective action in the Pacific. He also mentioned that this is the reason for their small donation in order to rejoin the discussions.
The full story is here.
Today, the main focus at Cop is on the younger generation and children. Demonstrations led by youth are already taking place, calling for more immediate action.
On a lighter note here is a piece outlining what people got up to on yesterday’s rest day – from world’s biggest waterpark to a an indoor ski centre?
While we anticipate the resumption of Cop28, this article serves as a reminder of the significant progress that wealthier G20 nations still need to make in tackling climate change.
A few representatives have expressed worries about the expenses associated with interpretation services at Cop28, resulting in some individuals being unable to fully participate in the proceedings.
Translation is a crucial aspect of the Cop28’s operations, with numerous individuals from various countries participating in the climate summit. The UN’s official languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, and organizers bear the expense of providing translation services for many events.
However, there are individuals who are unable to cover the cost, causing some delegates to feel marginalized and requiring them to depend on others to clarify the situation.
Environmental justice coordinator Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos, hailing from the United States, has been serving as a translator for Indigenous representatives from the Amazon in order to assist them in keeping up with the proceedings. She expressed that there is a mounting sense of frustration.
“Most of the communication is conducted in English. Some may have access to an interpreter if they have the means to pay for it, but for others, it is not feasible. It is disheartening to see people travel to Cop without being able to comprehend the proceedings.”
The speaker expressed frustration that individuals are unable to actively participate or share their experiences. She noted that people are risking their livelihoods to be present and share the events taking place in their communities, but are unable to fully comprehend the situation.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been reached out to for a statement.
The Guardian will be providing live updates on the negotiations as usual and we welcome your input. Please send any thoughts or suggestions to [email protected]. Helena Horton ([email protected]) will be taking over later.
Today’s focus will be on youth, children, education, and skills, with additional conversations revolving around food as the Food and Agriculture Organization hosts a series of events.
The representatives will come back after taking a well-deserved day off, hopefully feeling refreshed and prepared for the busy week of discussions ahead. Stay tuned for all the latest news and announcements.