Three key issues at COP28

Three key topics require attention at COP28.

Firstly, there is a need to address emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes at least a quarter of atmospheric warming. Tackling methane emissions, particularly in the energy industry, where it is a significant component of natural gas, could significantly impact the slowing of global warming. Efforts by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative and deals struck with countries like China and the EU to include methane in their climate plans signal progress in this area.

Secondly, there is a shortfall in climate finance, with the rich world failing to fulfil its promise of providing $100 billion in climate finance by 2020. This has created dissatisfaction among emerging economies. To achieve the transformation of energy systems, trillions of dollars annually will be needed by 2030, primarily from the private sector. The UAE intends to lead by launching a $25 billion global climate-finance fund seeded with its oil wealth.

The third topic revolves around the contentious debate over how and how fast to phase out fossil fuels. While rapid phasing out of fossil fuels is a legitimate ambition, the reality of fossil fuel dependence poses challenges. Currently, fossil fuels comprise 80% of the world’s energy supply and are still growing. Some argue that abatement technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, should enable a managed end to fossil fuel use without causing supply shocks.

Source: The Economist