What You Need to Know.
- Azerbaijan is poised to host COP29 next year after receiving regional backing. If formally confirmed, Azerbaijan’s COP Presidency would resolve months of deadlock. It will also trigger criticism that next year’s COP will again be hosted by a nation heavily dependent on fossil fuel exports.
- Brazil has been formally chosen to host COP30 in 2025. The venue will be the city of Belém, located in the Amazon rainforest. As Brazil’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Marina Silva, commented: “With its immense biodiversity and vast territory threatened by climate change, the Amazon will show us the way.”
- The UNFCCC has released a revised draft text of the negotiated outcome of the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement. The revised draft no longer mentions the “phase out” of fossil fuels and instead mentions the “substitution of unabated fossil fuels” and “tripling renewable energy capacity . . . by 2030.”
- The inclusion of “phase out” language in the final agreement has been one of the yardsticks by which commentators have suggested the success or failure of COP28 should be measured. Accordingly, the new draft was met by significant criticism, including by the European Union’s representatives who called elements of the text “unacceptable.” Negotiations now center on finding a compromise, almost guaranteeing that discussions at COP28 will continue beyond the official close of the conference on Tuesday, December 12.
- Following the official theme of the day, 154 nations signed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action. The Declaration commits to “expedite the integration of agriculture and food systems into our climate action” and to “scaling-up adaptation and resilience activities and responses in order to reduce the vulnerability of all farmers, fisherfolk, and other food producers to the impacts of climate change.” The contributions of the agriculture and forestry sectors, both as a source of emissions and as carbon sinks, are continuing to gain attention as an important part of the global efforts on climate change.
Why This Matters for Businesses.
- The dropping of the “phase out” language from the current draft of the Global Stocktake is a sign of the deep contention around the future of hydrocarbons in energy systems. Business should keep a close watch on how this debate progresses.
- Of note, the current draft agreement includes a series of more specific comments on technologies such as “zero and low carbon fuels,” “low carbon hydrogen production,” and “rapid deployment of zero and low emission vehicles.” Businesses will want to pay close attention to the language on such different technologies as a bellwether of future policy trends and the emphasis and support pro-climate technologies will receive in the years to come.
- For businesses, the Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action underlines the growing attention this crucial sector is receiving from policy makers and regulators. It will be important to monitor how these goals translate into specific policies in contexts like the European Commission’s Carbon Farming initiative, and the CFTC’s emphasis on more robust rules for voluntary carbon market transactions, including those reliant on the forestry sector.
“The emphasis on public and private funding at COP28 shows that while national-level disagreement remains on climate-mitigation policy, the operationalization of the world’s decarbonization efforts is under way. As we look to COP29 and COP30, there will be significant opportunities for companies that can find the right mix of subsidies, climate finance, and technological innovation to harness this energy and drive global climate action forward.”
—Bradford McGann, Associate, Carbon Management and Climate Mitigation Industry Group
More News and Developments.
- Peter Lehner and David Roberts, The Farm Bill Is The Most Important Climate Bill This Congress Will Pass, Volts, https://www.volts.wtf/p/the-farm-bill-is-the-most-important.
- Gloria Dickie and Charlotte Greenfield, Afghanistan Excluded From COP28 as Climate Impacts Hit Home, Reuters (Dec. 11, 2023), https://www.reuters.com/world/afghanistan-excluded-cop28-climate-impacts-hit-home-2023-12-11/.
- Chuck Abbott, Despite the Hype, COP28 Likely to Say Little About Agriculture and Climate, SuccessfulFarming (Dec. 11, 2023), https://www.agriculture.com/despite-the-hype-cop28-likely-to-say-little-about-agriculture-and-climate-8414041.
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