COP28 Recap

Join the Climate Emergency Forum along with special guest Dan Galpern, as they provide mixed assessments of COP28, recognizing some positive developments but also highlighting areas where stronger action is needed, particularly in phasing out fossil fuels and addressing subsidies. The discussion emphasizes the importance of holding governments accountable for their climate commitments.

This video was recorded on December 18th, 2023, and published on December 23rd, 2023.

Regina shares her observations about previous COPs and addresses some media portrayals of COP28 in Dubai. The discussion then turns to the outcomes of COP28, with Paul expressing both pros and cons. He mentions the extensive media coverage leading up to and during the COP, emphasizing the importance of raising public awareness about climate change. However, Paul critiques the focus on the 1.5-degree Celsius target and the overemphasis on certain metrics. He also suggests the need for a different format for future COPs.

Dan Galpern provides insights into the central question of COP28: addressing fossil fuel usage. He discusses the evolution of language in the global stocktake document, emphasizing the significance of commitments to phase out fossil fuels. However, he notes the weakened language in the final communique and the challenges in achieving meaningful results.

Dan expresses his astonishment at the bold and audacious attempts of major fossil fuel companies to influence the outcome of COP28 citing a specific incident involving the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), where the secretary general wrote to member nations urgently, expressing concern about pressure against fossil fuels and the potential irreversible consequences of phasing them out. The letter urged countries to reject any decision targeting fossil fuels, emphasizing the perceived threat to prosperity and future posed by politically motivated campaigns.

Dan also notes the ironic and hazardous air quality in Dubai, attributing it to the proximity of oil refining activities, emphasizing the contradiction of hosting a climate conference in a city surrounded by toxic pollutants generated by the very processes the conference aims to address.

Peter adds his observations, expressing concerns about the COP28 president’s background in the oil and gas industry and the lack of strong language regarding the phase-out of fossil fuels. He also criticizes the absence of a clear commitment to ending fossil fuel subsidies.

Charles notes the differences in venue layout and the challenges of navigating separate buildings for national and NGO pavilions. He also highlights the introduction of a faith pavilion, which saw significant success with 70 sessions featuring presentations from various faith leaders.

Heidi emphasizes the success of their engagement with youth delegates and mentions specific participants, including Reyanne Mustafa and the group Operaatio Arktis from Finland. Additionally, she highlights collaborations with organizations such as the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge.


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We’d like to acknowledge these two organizations without which our attendance at COP28 would not have been possible.


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