The victors and casualties of Cop28: ranging from companies in the fossil fuel industry to generations to come.
is a crucial component of the global economy, providing energy for transportation, heating, and electricity generation.
The oil and gas sector plays a vital role in the worldwide economy, supplying fuel for transportation, heating, and powering electricity.
The importance of shifting away from fossil fuels may have been acknowledged after 30 years of climate discussions, but there is no definite requirement or strict timeline for achieving this goal. Additionally, there are several exceptions in the form of “transition fuels” and references to carbon capture technologies and carbon credits.
have a complicated relationship, with both countries being major economic and political powers
The relationship between the United States and China is intricate, as they are both significant forces in the realms of economics and politics.
The two largest contributors to emissions will likely feel relieved after the Cop conference, as they were not burdened with significant changes despite increasing global concern over climate change. The US has committed to providing only $20 million in new funding for developing nations and remains the top producer of oil. China is still able to construct coal-powered plants.
Sultan Al Jaber, the president of Cop28
Despite facing harsh backlash, he successfully reached a compromise agreement that was highly praised by other countries as the most attainable option. This accomplishment will not jeopardize his position as the CEO of Adnoc, the largest oil company in the United Arab Emirates, which intends to increase production despite scientific warnings that this will worsen the global climate crisis by surpassing the 1.5C (2.7F) threshold above pre-industrial levels.
Clean energy companies
Clean energy companies, including those that harness solar and wind power, are expected to experience a significant increase in demand due to the promise made by 118 governments at Cop28 to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity by 2030. This goal aims to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels for energy production, but currently, renewable sources have been supplementing rather than replacing oil, coal, and gas.
There was a large turnout of industry representatives in Dubai, with 2,456 delegates from the oil and gas sector, 475 from the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry, and over 100 from agribusiness, among others. Some attendees left Dubai feeling satisfied, as the final text did not address the involvement of beef companies in the climate crisis and showed support for CCS. However, the discussion on regulating the carbon trading market was postponed for the time being.
Cop28 has essentially killed off the Paris agreement’s ambitious target of capping global warming at 1.5C. Despite record-breaking temperatures, companies responsible for contributing to climate change can continue to increase production without any urgency or clear guidelines outlined in the agreement. This means that the goal is only technically still in place, but not realistically attainable.
Small island states
The Alliance of Small Island States, a group that represents those who are at the highest risk of sea level rise, stated that the agreement includes numerous loopholes and only offers small improvements, which will not be enough to prevent temperatures from rising above 1.5C.
At the Cop28 conference, a “loss and damage fund” was established, but developing countries, who bear the brunt of the climate crisis despite being the least responsible, claim that wealthier, industrialized nations are not providing sufficient aid to assist with their adaptation and shift to renewable energy sources.
are at risk
The well-being of future generations and other species is in jeopardy.
Many young people are not well-represented in decision-making regarding the climate crisis, despite the extreme heat experienced in 2023. This year may still be relatively mild for them compared to what is to come. While conservation groups appreciate the target of achieving zero global deforestation by 2030, the effects of increasing temperatures will continue to harm various ecosystems.
Experts in climate science expressed satisfaction with the acknowledgment of fossil fuels in the agreement, however they noted that it failed to adequately address the pressing and unambiguous nature of the issue. Friederike Otto, a co-founder of the World Weather Attribution group and a professor at Imperial College London, stated that the lukewarm outcome of Cop28 will have consequences for all nations, regardless of their economic status. She also pointed out that the vague language and lack of concrete commitments in the final text will result in countless more individuals being directly impacted by the effects of climate change, potentially leading to loss of life.