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On Day 12, the penultimate day of COP28, key leaders entered the last round of negotiations for a final climate agreement, including the key debate over how to manage dependency upon fossil fuels. The most recent draft of the Global Stocktake (GST) text calls for a just and orderly reduction of fossil fuels, including a rapid phase down of coal and limitations on new coal-based power generation, as well as commitments to tripling renewables and doubling energy efficiency. Parties are providing the UAE with their opinions on the latest draft. Although the draft does not currently call for a complete fossil fuel phase out, if included, the agreement would be the first-of-its-kind call to reduce fossil fuels coming out of a UN climate summit.[1] We at Uniqus welcome a climate action agreement, which allows for functional multilateralism, equity, and growth to achieve previously set targets.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber

COP28 President-Designate,
UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and
Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology

Key Announcements (11th December 2023)


Debates over the final COP28 agreement continue fiercely, as certain members of OPEC, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, resist a global call to phase out fossil fuels.[2] On the other hand, a coalition of over 80 countries, including the US, EU, and small island nations, have been pushing for a fossil fuel phase out, albeit with various differences in implementation.[3] For example, members of the UN Umbrella Group, including the US, UK, and Japan, have supported a phaseout of unabated fossil fuels in energy systems by 2050.[4] As a compromise, the UAE published the most recent draft form, in which the terms ‘phase out’ and ‘phase down’ have been omitted in favor of a requirement for countries to ‘reduce’ their fossil fuel production (i.e., achieving the same effect as a phase down without the contentious language several countries oppose). All stakeholders, including Indigenous and frontline communities, financial institutions, those with fossil fuel interests, and civil society groups, are watching closely as world leaders finalize a deal.


Other key announcements include:
a. The European Commission plans to release a proposal for the EU’s 2040 emissions target, including communications on industrial carbon management, by early February 2024. Several EU and EU member officials have indicated ambitious recommendations of at least 90 percent emissions cuts from 1990 levels, a major increase from the EU’s 2030 target of at least 55 percent.[5]
b. Over 30 countries announced that they joined the Freshwater Challenge, a global effort to protect and restore rivers, lakes, and wetlands – including the US, UK, UAE, Fiji, and Canada (a country home to over 20 percent of global freshwater reserves).[6] The initiative recognizes that freshwater ecosystems, which are some of the most degraded worldwide, serve as critical carbon stores that mitigate the impacts of climate change.
c. Azerbaijan has been selected to host COP 29. The world must continue to build momentum on climate action, ensuring we keep 1.5°C within reach and leave no one behind.