Our Graduate Assistant to the Sustainability Council, Zoe Baker, along with several other representatives from Penn State, recently attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28). This Conference was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
Representatives from over 200 countries attend COP 28 to determine global climate initiatives, actions, and goals. Additionally, delegates reported on the current progress of their own country in achieving previously set climate goals. COP 28 focused on three main areas: transition to clean energy, finance for the goals set, and a just transition that considers vulnerable populations.
For the first time at this conference, a decision was made on the first day. A Loss and Damage Fund was established and financed to allocate funds to countries already facing damages from climate change. This fund uses over $450 million and is supported by all countries in attendance of COP 28.
130 countries have agreed to triple renewable energy and double the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. Fifty fossil fuel companies committed to eliminate methane emissions and terminate routine flaring by 2030. Action to phase-out fossil fuels in the negotiation text will occur in the coming days. Several countries, including the United States, support a direct mention of phasing-out fossil fuels in the text. This would pledge a complete elimination of fossil fuels in future years.
COP 28 also strived to underpin all their actions and discussions with full inclusivity. COP 28 Presidency and the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC released a statement prior to the event committing to work together to make COP 28 the most inclusive UN Climate Change Conference to date.
To learn more about the conference, visit the UNFCCC webpage here.