COP28 action agenda aims to cut 22 gigatons of emissions

Sultan Al Jaber, president of the 28th Climate Change Conference (COP28), said the first pillar of this year’s COP action agenda, aims to eliminate 22 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions in the coming 7 years to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming target.

In a speech at the UN Climate Ambition Summit in New York, Al Jaber reminded the international community that “we are not powerless” to overcome the climate crisis and urged the world to “get after gigatons.”

He highlighted recent data from the first Global Stocktake, which confirmed that “the world is falling short, and we are running out of time,” but was emphatic in stating that it is not too late to change course.

Al Jaber called on the world to be “brave” and “bold” and get “back on track” to meet its climate ambitions, reaffirming the founding principles of the UN and to think “beyond borders, beyond politics, and beyond our own lifetimes.”

He went on to detail the COP28 Presidency’s action agenda to get the world “back on track” to meet the ambitions set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The COP28 president called on parties to do their part towards a “massive expansion of renewable energy” and triple global capacity to 11TW by 2030. He also emphasised the power of energy efficiency improvements as “the simplest cheapest and fastest way to dial down emissions.”

He also stressed the need to “rapidly and comprehensively decarbonize the energies we use today,” before reiterating his previous calls on the oil and gas industry to eliminate methane emissions by 2030 and align with net zero by or before 2050.

In terms of climate finance, Al Jaber spoke on the need to restore trust between parties and for contributing countries to deliver the $100 billion pledge this year. He further stressed the need to go “much further” and noted, “If we are to unlock trillions, we need to unleash the full potential of private capital.”

Reform of “outdated international financial institutions, smart innovation across the financial system and better-functioning carbon markets” is required, he said. “The objective is to create an ecosystem where finance is more available, more accessible and more affordable so that the money flows to where it needs to go – to the people who need it most.”

Al Jaber’s speech comes 71 days before COP28 in the UAE later this year. He also detailed the COP28 Presidency’s action agenda to get the world “back on track” to meet the ambitions set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. He called on those present and listening across the world to make actionable commitments across its key pillars: to fast-track a just and orderly energy transition, fix climate finance, focus on lives and livelihoods, and underpin everything with full inclusivity.

Tags: Al Jabar, Climate Action, COP28, Emissions