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 SUMMARY of the article “COP28 centrepiece,” by Aisha Khan, published on November 25th, 2023

The COP28 summit in Dubai signifies a pivotal shift from Paris and presents a crucial moment for an honest assessment of global efforts in combating climate change. Despite advancements since Paris, such as reduced warming forecasts and falling clean technology costs, the progress remains insufficient to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target. Occurring as global temperatures surpass the 2°C mark, COP28 is a critical juncture. The Global Stock-take (GST) response at COP28 is considered the last opportunity for a clear signal towards systemic transformation. Key components of an ambitious balanced package include tripling renewable energy, doubling energy efficiency, phasing out fossil fuels, and enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions. The challenge lies in reaching an agreement on adaptation costs, estimated at $215 billion annually, with international finance falling significantly short. COP28 emphasizes the role of the UAE and sheds light on the hindrance posed by the oil and gas industry in climate change efforts. Focusing on fossil fuel phase-out, renewable energy acceleration, and emission reductions is crucial to align with the 1.5ºC target. The following are some of the negotiated outcomes needed as next steps:

• Framework to close gaps in Global Goal on Adaptation and raise political visibility.
• Operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund, with next steps to establish it.
• Converge on core elements of multilayered NCQGs to lay the basis of decisions at COP29.
• Strengthen action on Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement.
• Finalise rules and acknowledge the need for more action under Article 6.8.
• Take substantive decisions on mitigation ambition and process decisions to link the 2024 Global Dialogue to GST implementation

Easy/Short SUMMARY:

COP28 in Dubai is a critical event for evaluating global progress in addressing climate change. Despite some positive developments since Paris, like reduced warming forecasts and lower clean technology costs, current efforts fall short of the 1.5 degrees Celsius target. COP28 marks a turning point, with the Global Stock-take providing the last chance for a clear signal toward transformative actions. Key goals include increasing renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, and phasing out fossil fuels. Adaptation costs, a major challenge, require substantial international support. The summit emphasizes the role of the UAE and underscores the impediment posed by the oil and gas industry. Focusing on fossil fuel phase-out, renewable energy expansion, and emission reduction is crucial for achieving climate goals.

SOLUTIONS of The Problem:

Enhance International Finance for Adaptation

Lobby for increased international finance to meet the estimated $215 billion annual adaptation costs, addressing the significant shortfall and supporting developing nations in adapting to climate change.

Accelerate Fossil Fuel Phase-Out

Advocate for an accelerated phase-out of fossil fuels, aligning with recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency to reduce methane emissions and achieve the 1.5ºC target.

Amplify Renewable Energy Goals

Encourage nations to commit to tripling renewable energy to over 11,000GW by 2030, aligning with COP28 goals and emphasizing the urgency of transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

Establish Robust Rules for Article 6.8

Work towards finalizing rules and acknowledging the need for increased action under Article 6.8, addressing potential loopholes and ensuring more effective implementation.

Strengthen Global Goal on Adaptation

Develop a comprehensive framework to address gaps in the Global Goal on Adaptation, raising its political visibility and ensuring a more cohesive and impactful response.

IMPORTANT Facts and Figures Given in the article:

  • COP28 takes place as global temperatures exceed 2°C for the first time above pre-industrial averages.
  • Estimated modeling costs of adaptation stand at $215 billion per annum this decade.
  • International public finance flows for adaptation are 10-18 times lower than the needs of developing nations.
  • The New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) currently has pledges from 25 countries, totaling $9.3 billion, compared to the last replenishment total of $10 billion from 32 countries.
  • COP28 emphasizes the need to triple renewable energy to over 11,000GW by 2030, double energy efficiency, and reduce methane emissions by 75% in the energy sector.
  • COP28 aims to publish the first iteration of a roadmap for future food systems from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

MCQs from the Article:

  1. What is the estimated annual cost of adaptation this decade?
    A. $100 billion
    B. $215 billion
    C. $387 billion
    D. $10 billion

  2. How many countries have currently pledged to the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) at COP28?
    A. 10
    B. 32
    C. 25
    D. 50

  3. What is the primary focus of COP28 in terms of energy goals?
    A. Halving renewable energy capacity
    B. Tripling renewable energy by 2030
    C. Maintaining current energy efficiency levels
    D. Expanding fossil fuel consumption

  4. What is the main challenge regarding international finance for adaptation?
    A. Surplus funding
    B. Significant shortfall
    C. Excessive contributions
    D. Uniform distribution

  5. What does COP28 emphasize regarding the oil and gas industry?
    A. Accelerating expansion
    B. Maintaining current levels
    C. Highlighting its hindrance
    D. Ignoring its role


  1. Pivot Shift (noun) (دورہ): A significant change or transition, often indicating a shift in focus or direction.

  2. Reckoning (noun) (حساب): A moment of truth or assessment, often involving a clear evaluation of a situation.

  3. Spectre (noun) (پریت): A haunting or threatening possibility or occurrence.

  4. Incremental (adjective) (تدریجی): Relating to or denoting small, gradual steps or changes.

  5. Pre-industrial (adjective) (پیش صنعت): Referring to a period before the industrial revolution.

  6. Juncture (noun) (لمحہ): A critical or pivotal point in time.

  7. Inclusive (adjective) (شامل): Comprehensive and encompassing, ensuring the involvement of all relevant elements.

  8. Crucial (adjective) (فیصلہ‌ء۔): Extremely important or decisive.

  9. Synergies (noun) (تعاون): The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents.

  10. Concrete Actions (noun) (محسوس کردار): Tangible and specific measures or steps taken to address a situation or problem.

  11. Mind-stretching (adjective) (ذہانت‌ء۔): Requiring significant mental effort or expanding one’s intellectual capacity.

  12. Human Security (noun) (انسانی حفاظت): A concept emphasizing the protection and well-being of individuals, encompassing economic, food, health, environmental, and political dimensions.

  13. Crisis in the Cryosphere (phrase) (برفانی ریجن میں مشکل): A situation highlighting issues and challenges in regions of the Earth where water is in solid form, such as glaciers and ice caps.

  14. Social-Ecological Systems (noun) (سماجی ماحولی نظام): Complex systems involving interactions between human societies and their surrounding ecosystems.

  15. Implementation Gap (noun) (عملی میں فرق): The disparity between planned or intended actions and their actual execution or realization.

  16. Moral Mandate (noun) (اخلاقی حکم): A moral authority or obligation to act in a particular way, often based on ethical principles.

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COP28 centrepiece
By Aisha Khan

THIS year will mark a pivot shift from Paris to Dubai. The first Global Stock-take will provide a moment of reckoning and an opportunity for an honest reality check. Since Paris, forecasts of future warming are lower, renewable energy and cost of clean technologies have fallen, and countries are more aware of the need to invest in preparedness. However, this mixed progress does not meet the criteria of staying within the safe threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

COP28 is taking place this year in a month when the global temperature has for the first time exceeded the 2°C for two days above pre-industrial average. It is an ominous sign that the spectre of a burning planet is not merely a future deterministic scenario but happening in the here and now.

The negotiated decision and political declaration constituting the GST response at COP28 may well be the last chance to send a clear systems transformation signal to guide all actors to shift from the current incremental progress to transformational levels of implementation. Working towards an ambitious balanced package would include energy transition and investment goals of tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency, while phasing out fossil fuels and setting the stage for a more ambitious and inclusive round of Nationally Determined Contributions.

With modelling costs of adaptation estimated at $215 billion per annum this decade, and international public finance flows 10-18 times lower than the need of developing nations, reaching an agreement on scale, access and affordability for domestic adaptation priorities, estimated at $387bn, will pose the biggest challenge. The ambitious package will also require operationalising the Loss and Damage Fund, advancing progress on reform of the international financial architecture, protecting natural capital, and recognising the centrality of food systems in meeting climate goals.

Hosted by the UAE, COP28 has shone a spotlight on fossil fuels, highlighting the role of the oil and gas industry in the stymying efforts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency have clearly closed the door on fossil fuel expansion, emphasisng the need for accelerating fossil fuel phase-out, tripling renewable energy to over 11,000GW by 2030, doubling energy efficiency from 2022 levels by 2030, and reducing methane emissions by 75 per cent in the energy sector to align warming with the target of 1.5ºC.

In the run-up to the summit, it would be wise to reassess the strategy for climate engagement.

Finance will dominate the discourse, increasing pressure on ministers to give a clear political signal that the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) is significantly bigger in size, inclusive and fit for purpose. Currently, 25 countries have pledged $9.3bn compared to the last replenishment total of $10bn from 32 countries. COP28 can play a role in advancing efforts for unlocking greater magnitudes of investments and unlocking new finance from innovative sources, including taxes and levies and contributions from rich and high emitting countries.

The following are some of the negotiated outcomes needed as next steps:

• Framework to close gaps in Global Goal on Adaptation and raise political visibility.

• Operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund, with next steps to establish it.

• Converge on core elements of multilayered NCQGs to lay the basis of decisions at COP29.

• Strengthen action on Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement.

• Finalise rules and acknowledge the need for more action under Article 6.8.

• Take substantive decisions on mitigation ambition and process decisions to link the 2024 Global Dialogue to GST implementation

Parties will be looking at the UAE for clarification on the way forward to help guide political discussions on GST outputs and more details from the High Level Committee on key messages to inform GST outcomes. This will require the parties to work together to build momentum on achieving a specific language in the GST decision on solutions that have the potential to plug the current implementation gap. Means of implementation — serving as key enablers for developing countries to meet their mitigation and adaptation targets — will require ramping up action for transformations across all countries, sectors, and systems to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

COP28 is also due to publish the first iteration of a roadmap for future food systems from the Food and Agriculture Organisation. It will be vital to set milestones for fair sustainable food systems and also ensure that the biggest emitters of agricultural methane and mineral fertilisers agree to absolute cuts in methane and 50pc nitrogen reduction in farming practices by 2030.

So far, trends and positions taken by the parties at meetings in the run-up to the climate summit don’t provide hope for a satisfactory outcome in December. The UN secretary general’s alarming statements about a burning planet followed by summit meetings on polar regions drawing attention to the crisis in the cryosphere, and reports about the planet crossing six out of nine planetary boundaries, represents critical thresholds that divide the desirable and undesirable regimes in social-ecological systems.

As we prepare for COP28, it would be wise to reassess the strategy for climate engagement. The need for tandem and parallel climate diplomacy has never been more urgent. Regional ownership, collective efforts and looking for solutions closer to home can pay rich dividends. Remaining entrapped in a cycle of conflict at a time when we need peace and stability to invest in human security, will accelerate and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the making.

The one planet, one people agenda with the moral mandate of leaving no one behind, needs to move beyond mind-stretching perspectives to concrete actions. The GST offers a chance to strengthen synergies for harmonising development with security. The way forward is a common roadmap to enhance implementation by party/non-party stakeholders. COP28 has the opportunity to seed a new narrative that can turn the tide of global climate action.

The writer is chief executive of the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change.
[email protected]

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2023

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