Day 9 at COP28 placed a spotlight on future generations: today’s theme being ‘Youth, Children, Education, and Skills’. Acknowledging that future generations will inherit the subsequent impacts of climate change, this initiative aims to empower them as key stakeholders in shaping the outcomes from COP28 and beyond. The day emphasized providing clear, defined, and accessible opportunities for young individuals to actively contribute to and lead climate solutions at every level. Climate negotiations have also become difficult as parties continue to debate over the inclusion of a fossil fuel phase-out pledge in the final COP28 agreement, while Azerbaijan becomes likely to host COP29.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and
Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
Key Announcements (8th December 2023)
Today, youth and children were the pivotal focus. Youth activists demanded that policymakers put their needs and voices at the forefront of climate action, as the largest youth generation in history (1.8 billion between the ages of 10 to 24) will inherit a planet affected by the climate crisis. COP28 held the Dubai Youth Climate Dialogue, the second youth-led climate forum at COP, which included the Youth Stock Outcomes Launch. Children and youth were able to share policy priorities and collate their opinions, which will be included alongside the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake (GST). The RewirEd Summit also brought together over 1000 participants in the first global meeting focused on the intersection of climate and education. Among other announcements, UNICEF and Generation Unlimited launched ‘Green Rising’ to create pathways for over 10 million youths (especially girls) in developing countries such as volunteering, advocacy, jobs and entrepreneurship, and green skill building, over the next three years.
COP28 negotiations continue contentiously as a new draft of the final COP28 agreement was published today. The new proposed language offers four of five options calling for a fossil fuel phase-out, strengthening options that negotiators can choose from. As over one hundred countries support an agreement to phase out fossil fuels, several other countries remain open to other language variations. The COP28 Presidency has attempted to aid negotiations, and Dr. Sultan al-Jaber has urged countries to collaborate to reach an agreement.
Azerbaijan has become likely to host COP29 next year, after Russia stated it would veto any EU country’s bid. Although Moldova had made a bid, several eastern European countries are expected to back Azerbaijan’s bid alongside Russia. Armenia, thought to oppose Azerbaijan, agreed to back its bid in exchange for membership in the eastern European group’s COP bureau. Azerbaijan, like the UAE, is a major producer of oil and gas and a member of OPEC+. Officials have stated that Azerbaijan’s strategic goals are aligned with COP goals, as it is committed to diversification of energy and resources.
Other announcements include:
o The US, Canada, France, Japan, and the UK, yesterday announced plans to mobilize USD 4.2 billion in government-led investments to ensure a safe, reliable nuclear energy supply chain globally. Following last week’s pledge to triple global nuclear energy capacity, this pledge of investments will improve uranium enrichment, conversion capacity, and access to uranium notably free from Russian influence.
o Dubai announced plans to cut the city’s carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Canada has asked oil firms to curb emissions by up to 38 percent by 2030, including a cap-and-trade system. The UNFAO, WFP, African Union, and UNEC for Africa released a joint report yesterday estimating that over 280 million people are undernourished in Africa – a 57 million increase since the pandemic – urging countries to step up climate action efforts and address food insecurity.
 https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/cop28-president-tells-nations-get-out-comfort-zones-search-final-deal-2023-12-08/; https://apnews.com/article/climate-negotiations-cop28-warming-fossil-fuels-7c8553b85082a6e4d33439add4d8f15a