This November and December, nearly 200 countries convened in Dubai for the global climate summit COP 28, continuing a legacy that dates back to 1995. The purpose of this summit was to foster international collaboration and create innovative ways to slow the impacts of climate change. This year, the summit reached a historic agreement, passing a proposal to move away from non-renewable energy sources and transition to renewable energy usage.
In recent years, there has been an international push to switch from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy, in an attempt to combat climate change. COP 28 was incredibly important in helping promote these efforts as it promoted international collaboration in solving the issues surrounding climate change.
Although many European countries have begun transitioning away from fossil fuels and pushed for others to do the same, many countries with oil-dependent economies have been more hesitant to join them. Additionally, there has been a fierce backlash from some world leaders against wealthier, developed nations for failing to provide enough financial support to less-developed nations to help them transition away from using fossil fuels.
Despite these holdups, COP 28 concluded with the drafting of a resolution to move away from fossil fuels, the first proposal of its kind. The agreement calls for action to reduce CO2 emissions to prevent the average global temperatures from rising more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5ºC) per year. It aims for nations to triple their output of renewable energy, drawing from wind, water, and solar power to fuel their efforts.
It is important to note that although the UN deal is a monumental step in the effort to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the environment, it did not explicitly mention the word “fossil fuels,” a significant producer of carbon emissions. Furthermore, the deal is not legally binding, meaning that countries do not have to make any of the changes agreed to. Many climate organizations and activists are pushing for stronger and more enforceable action, encouraging countries to sign legal documents saying they will reduce their fossil fuel use and diminish their carbon emissions, with the penalty of sanctions. Focus now shifts to domestic legislation until next year’s climate conference.
How can you help?
Writing for Kids Fight Climate Change: If you are interested in making climate change news more accessible, you should consider joining us! Check out this link: Join the Team | Kids Fight Climate Change: Youth Climate Education
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If neither of those options applies to you, there are still ways to raise awareness! Simply by sharing articles such as this one, you are doing your part to spread important climate information. That is activism.
Plumer, Brad, and Max Bearak. “In a First, Nations at Climate Summit Agree to Move Away from Fossil Fuels.” The New York Times, December 13, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/13/climate/cop28-climate-agreement.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare.
Smith, Patrick. “Cop28 Climate Summit Agreement Hailed as ‘beginning of the End’ for Fossil Fuels.” NBC News. December 13, 2023. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/cop28-global-warming-climate-summit-fossil-fuels-rcna129465.
Lee, Dulcie. “COP28 Agreement on Fossil Fuels Live: New Global Deal Agrees to Move Away from Oil, Gas, and Coal.” BBC News. December 13, 2023. https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-67674841.
Dewan, Angela, Laura Paddison, Ella Nilsen, and Rachel Ramirez. “World Agrees to Climate Deal That Makes Unprecedented Call to Move Away from Fossil Fuels, but ‘cavernous’ Loopholes Remain.” CNN. December 13, 2023. https://www.cnn.com/2023/12/13/climate/cop28-climate-summit-makes-unprecedented-call-for-transition-away-from-fossil-fuels-but-cavernous-loopholes-remain/index.html.