COP28 president urges countries to set plans for fossil fuel transition

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 3:44 AM

By Gloria Dickie

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates, host of last year’s COP28 climate summit, called on Tuesday for governments to take action in transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Intense negotiations last December saw countries agree to move away from fossil fuels in COP28’s UAE Consensus document, aiming to limit the worst impacts of climate change. Now, nations must lay out plans for how they’ll get there.

“We must now turn an unprecedented agreement into unprecedented action and results,” COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber said on Tuesday.

Countries must update their plans to tackle climate change, known as nationally determined contributions or NDCs, said Al Jaber, who also leads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, at the Paris headquarters of the International Energy Agency.

The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw countries commit to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7F) above preindustrial levels, requires that countries update their NDCs every five years.

Earlier this month, the UAE said they would create a “troika” with Azerbaijan and Brazil, the hosts of the next two U.N. climate summits, to push countries to set ambitious emissions-cutting goals ahead of the next 2025 deadline.

“Everybody has to have a plan, and that is not where we are today,” said U.S. climate envoy John Kerry at the IEA roundtable event, which brought climate and energy leaders together to discuss actions beyond COP28.

“In the end, there’s no faking it in this next period of time,” Kerry said.

Kerry, who has served as the US climate envoy for three years, announced plans in January to step away from the role some time this spring.

On Tuesday, Kerry said he was not retiring and that he “will stay involved in climate. I will focus on the finance.”

COP29 will take place in Baku in November.

(Reporting by Gloria Dickie; Editing by Bernadette Baum)