COP28 Press release: The final stretch – ambition must go up, and not be watered down

Negotiations at the UN Climate Summit, COP28, are struggling. The usual conflicts over finance and equity are making it difficult for parties to agree. The new text, which builds on consultations with the parties, is a sign of some worrying  compromises, as they inadequately  acknowledge the seriousness of the climate crisis. Still, countries are far apart and getting ambitious decisions at this COP seems a tall order.  

This is despite COP 28 starting on a good note with the adoption of a decision to set up the Loss and Damage fund and funding arrangements. 

Nushrat Chowdhury, Climate Justice Policy Advisor, Christian Aid, comments:

  • This is a landmark  moment for communities and people on the frontline of climate induced loss and damage impacts. The fund must be capitalized and continuously replenished to a scale that meets the loss and damage impacts costed at hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

2023 has been full of climate related disasters, in both the global north and the global south, and climate scientists have delivered fresh and concerning research, indicating that we need bold and drastic decisions to manage the climate crisis.

Mattias Söderberg, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group, comments:

  • We must remember that the climate crisis is about people, and their lives and livelihoods.  For people who are displaced by flooding in South Sudan, or who face landslides in Nepal, the need for mitigation, adaptation and efforts to address loss and damage, is evident.

Controversial elements include the phasing out of fossil fuels. A phase out of all fossil fuels, not just unabated fossil fuels is urgently required in order to keep global temperature rise to 1.5C. However, failure to phase out fossil fuels without appropriate measures to create alternative income and employment and to ensure access to renewable energy for all through a just transition will have devastating impacts on growth and development around the world. Thus, climate finance, and initiatives to promote collaboration to ensure this just transition, is the key to a strong COP28 outcome.

Sara Savva Deputy Director GOPA-DERD/ACT Alliance – Member of ACT MENA CJWG comments:

  • If we do not act now, consequences will be terrifying for us all, especially for the most vulnerable in the global south, as worldwide temperature increase moves beyond 1,5 degrees.

Julius Mbatia, ACT Alliance global climate justice programme manager, comments:

  • It is undeniably true that the world must transition from fossil fuel-run development to greener, renewable energy powered development. This transition must be fair, and equitable with rich countries taking the lead and providing sufficient finance  to cushion the transition in countries without equal levels of wealth and capacity. 

Mattias Söderberg, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group, comments:

  • The only option we have is to phase out all fossil fuels. The alternative will be terrifying for us all, and global temperature increase will move beyond the 1,5 degree.
  • It is sad that this need is not acknowledged and respected by the global north. Finance and commitments about cooperation are a crucial block in these talks, and we will not have an ambitious outcome of fossil fuels unless we also have an ambitious outcome on finance.

Finally, the fact that the climate crisis is so critical, makes the Global Goal on Adaptation even more important. COP28 should adopt a framework for this goal, to ensure that we have  a blueprintfor adaptation action. It should present global targets for adaptation action, and guide governments, politicians and organizations, when they invest in adaptation, ensuring that their efforts have impact.

Sara Savva Deputy Director GOPA-DERD/ACT Alliance – Member of ACT MENA CJWG comments,

  • Without  a good blueprintfor adaptation, I am afraid the scarce adaptation funds will not have the desired impact. 
  • A blueprint  without targets indicators will be difficult to monitor, and if there are no references to funding, it will be very uncertain if the plans actually will be implemented. 
  • The current text for the Global Goal on Adaptation is far too weak, and it will not become the tool governments, organisations and politicians will need when they plan their adaptation interventions.  

Mattias Söderberg, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group, comments:

  • As ACT Alliance, we urge all the parties to come to consensus on a final decision at this COP that incorporates strong climate justice, clear indicators on the Global Goal for Adaptation, a full phase out of fossil fuels that includes a just transition, and adequate new and additional climate finance- in the form of grants, not loans- to meet the needs of countries and communities in the global south, who face the brunt of the impacts of climate change already.

Media contact:

Simon Chambers, director of communications, ACT Alliance
WhatsApp: +1-416-324-0972 email: simon.chambers@actalliance.org