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Greentech United x COP28 Dubai Daily Updates

This week, Greentech United’s CFO Rob D’Ambrosio and Renewable Marketing Executive Abdelali Moulua are joining delegates from around the globe to address critical climate action issues, of which the adoption of a global renewable energy plan will be front and center at COP28 in Dubai, UAE.

We’ll be following the events of COP28 in person as developments at this critical gathering unfold in our daily journal.

Sultan Al Jaber reacts as the Loss and Damage Fund becomes operational on Day 1 of COP28. Photo: @COP28_UAE / X

Day 1: Gavel exchange, loss and damage deal, Biden is out

The COP gavel exchange

The former COP27 President provided a reality check that the science shows the world is NOT doing enough. The gavel was handed to the incoming COP28 President, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, who was optimistic and seemed to problematically suggest that he will push for continued use of fossil fuels. Then came the clarion call from the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell: “Don’t come home without a deal that will make a real difference.”

200 nations agreed today to a framework for a new global fund meant to help vulnerable nations under a loss and damage deal

The United Nations climate summit in Dubai began with a parade of wealthy nations offering big cash pledges to help poorer countries cope with global warming. The landmark deal will help mitigate the effects of climate change on some of the more vulnerable populations. 

The United Arab Emirates kicked off support with a pledge of $100 million for the global fund, with the EU following with $250 and the US with $17.5 million.

“We have delivered history today,” said COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber. 

Biden is Out, Harris is In

COP28 marks an especially critical moment for the Biden administration with his climate agenda in question.

Vice President Kamala Harris will replace President Biden in Dubai tomorrow and Saturday after backlash from many upset to hear President Biden would not attend this year’s climate conference.

Biden has helped bring historic investment into renewable energy production and is expected soon to finalize major rules to cut methane. However, his administration’s continued push for new oil and gas facilities in Louisiana and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico and other oil and gas expansion across the US means President Biden is neither living up to his commitments to do what is necessary to tackle the climate crisis. 

The Greentech United team is on the ground at COP28. Photo: Greentech United

Day 2: Financing climate mitigations, philanthropy, and are pledges enough?

US$30bn BlackRock-backed climate fund

A US$30 billion climate fund was announced by the COP28 Presidency, backed by global asset managers BlackRock, TPG, and Brookfield. Called ALTÉRRA, the fund will focus on scaling climate change solutions and hopes to mobilize US$250 billion by 2030.

The UAE announces finance framework

The UAE Declaration on a Global Climate Finance Framework was launched, looking to make climate finance more accessible and affordable.

The inaugural Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum (BPCF) 

The first day of the inaugural Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum (BPCF) saw 500 business leaders join the fight against climate change – the first time that the private sector is being heard at COP. It is hoped that the private sector’s dynamism and innovation could play a vital role in climate action.

No conversation would be complete without adding AI into the mix, and both Microsoft and IBM announced efforts to combat key climate challenges using AI technologies. (Sustainability Magazine)

Previous pledges have been met – but is it enough

According to the OECD, developed countries have finally met their US$100 billion pledge on climate financing – albeit three years later than originally planned.

While these pledges and commitments are welcome, there is a growing sense that it could be too little, too late. COP28 is the first Global Stocktake, and the results are worrying. The Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C will not be met, according to projections that show warming will hit 2.4C to 2.6C – even if all existing pledges are met.

#COP28 #Day2 #conferenceofparties #Greentech #United #UniteActDeliver

Photo: Offshore Technology

Day 3: New pledging event, methane emission caps

Health pledges

Countries and global donors have pledged over US$777 million to help defeat neglected tropical diseases and improve the lives of 1.6 billion people.

The pledging event was hosted by Reaching the Last Mile (RLM), the global health initiative supported by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Methane Finance Sprint

Saturday’s COP28 summit saw governments, philanthropies, and the private sector together announce over $1bn in new funding for methane reduction as part of a ‘Methane Finance Sprint,’ which is due to be administered by a handful of entities including the World Bank and the Global Methane Hub

A call for the Paris Agreement to target methane emissions 

During a summit on methane and non-CO2 greenhouse gases, the UAE called on parties to the Paris Agreement to submit national climate targets (nationally determined contributions, or NDCs) for 2035 that are economy-wide and cover all greenhouse gases, not just CO2 – echoing a recent commitment made by the US and China under a new bilateral climate deal.

“Once countries [start] reporting it, there’s much more of an incentive for them to start addressing it,” said Sean Maguire, strategic partnerships and communications director at the Clean Air Fund.

#COP28 #Day3 #conferenceofparties #Greentech #United #UniteActDeliver

124 countries endorsed a milestone declaration on climate and health. The political declaration marks the first time that the health impacts of climate change have taken center stage in 28 years of UN climate talks. Photo: Health Policy Watch News

Day 4: First ever Health Day at COP, Relief, Recovery & Peace

The first ever Climate-Health Ministerial at a COP

The first-ever Climate-Health Ministerial at the COP28 event signified a landmark moment where global health and environmental policy intersect. It underlined the importance of integrating health and climate change considerations in policy-making. 

Ministers of health, environment, and finance delivered addresses alongside notable figures like Bill Gates and US climate envoy John Kerry; all gathered at the Al Waha auditorium in Dubai’s iconic Expo City to consider actions to address the impact of climate change on human health.

“Although the climate crisis is a health crisis, it’s well overdue that 27 COPs have gone without a serious discussion of health. No more,” Dr. Tedros said. (Energy News)

74 countries and 40 international organizations endorsed the UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery, and Peace

Speaking on the Declaration, Ambassador Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General,said “Climate change impacts everybody but we are not all being affected equally. In fragile and conflict-affected settings, extreme weather events affect three times as many people annually compared to other countries. Despite this, people living in extremely fragile states receive a fraction – up to 80 times less – of climate finance compared to those in non-fragile states. The COP28 Presidency is committed to driving action and consensus to change this.”

$777 million pledged at the Reaching the Last Mile Forum 

Uniting efforts with NTD-endemic countries, donors answered the urgent call to step up the fight against NTDs in the face of climate change and to work together to improve the lives of the 1.6 billion people worldwide affected by these devastating yet preventable diseases. 

The pledging event was hosted by Reaching the Last Mile (RLM), the global health initiative driven by the philanthropy of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The forum took place on the first-ever Health Day during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28).

#COP28 #Day4 #conferenceofparties #Greentech #United #UniteActDeliver

Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Day 5: World Finance Day, gender equality, and science in question

World Finance Day kicks off

Speaking at the opening of World Finance Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Developed countries must show how they will double adaptation finance to $40 billion a year by 2025 as promised, and clarify how they deliver on the $100 billion, as promised.”

“It is clear that the COP28 action agenda advocating Unite, Act, and Deliver will be a critical guiding principle in scaling up sustainable finance, managing related financial risks, and meeting our internationally agreed climate targets,” HE Khaled Mohamed Balama, Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates Governor, as he reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to accelerating sustainable finance.

To science or not to science

The UN Climate Talks got heated at the opening of World Finance Day. COP28 President Al Jaber was challenged, as he was quoted as previously saying there is ‘no science’ behind demands for the phase-out of fossil fuels, even as entirely phasing out fossil fuels is a key demand from the summit.

“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C –unless you want to take the world back into caves,” Jaber said. 

This is in stark opposition to UN chief Antonio Guterres, who declared at the summit: “The science is clear: the 1.5C limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce, not abate. Phase out, with a clear timeframe.”

On Monday, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber defended his role in hosting this year’s UN climate summit and backpedaled, insisting that he understood and respected the science of climate change, saying, “We are here because we very much believe and respect the science. 43% of global emissions must be reduced by 2030. That’s 22 gigatons. And we need to make that happen to keep 1.5’C within reach.”

UAE banking swings big

The UAE banking sector came together to announce a landmark commitment to collectively mobilize more than $270 billion in sustainable finance by 2030. During the Global Climate Action Through Fostering Sustainable Finance event at COP28, HE Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chair of the UAE Banking Federation unveiled that the UAE Banking Federation has collectively pledged to mobilize the equivalent of AED 1 trillion, growing a list of pledges on everything from building renewable energy to helping farmers improve soil quality.

“At this pivotal moment it is my great honour to announce a landmark commitment that, fulfilling the UAE ambition, our UBF banking, national banks, have collectively pledged to mobilise over 1 trillion dirham,” Abdul Aziz Al Ghurai said.

Gender Equality Day

COP28 launches partnership to support women’s economic empowerment and ensure a gender-responsive just transition at COP28 Gender Equality Day. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 1.2 billion jobs are at risk due to global warming and environmental degradation, and women are expected to be most severely impacted due to their high representation in sectors particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Endorsed by over 60 Parties, the Partnership includes a package of commitments that signatories will implement over the next three years before reconvening at COP31.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry pushing a phase out of fossil fuels at COP28

Day 6: Methane cuts, cooling pledges, fossil fuel lobbyists

US announces plan to cut methane emissions by 80%

The Biden administration has laid out a plan to cut methane pollution from the oil and natural gas sector, which would reduce methane levels by 80% compared to a future without the new regulations- this includes $10 million in grants for enteric methane reductions (mostly aimed at food additives for livestock). Announced at COP28, this involves the US EPA promoting the use of cutting-edge methane detection tech and delivering “significant economic and public health benefits.” 

This methane crackdown is part of a powerful policy tool that will strengthen the Biden government’s authority to decrease GHG emissions across all sectors. It will use the social cost of carbon – a calculation giving policymakers the legal authority to aggressively tackle climate change – which has gone up from $5 per ton during the Trump presidency to $190 a ton now. (GreenQueen Media)

60 countries sign up to ‘cooling pledge’ 

Earlier today, more than 60 countries signed up for a pledge to slash emissions from cooling. The Global Cooling Pledge calls for countries to reduce their cooling-related emissions by at least 68% by 2050. 

With the world only getting warmer, the demand for cooling (like air conditioning systems) is likely to increase. Installed cooling capacity is expected to triple by 2050, with emissions rising to between 4.4 billion and 6.1 billion tonnes of CO2, according to a UNEP report published today.  

That would be around one-tenth of the world’s expected carbon emissions. 

“The cooling sector must grow to protect everyone from rising temperatures, maintain food quality and safety, keep vaccines stable and economies productive, but this growth must not come at the cost of the energy transition and more intense climate impacts,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. (UNEP News)

Fossil Fuel lobbyists up 4x from previous COP’s

Analysis from the Kick Big Polluters Out coalition has revealed that over 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists are attending this year’s COP summit – four times higher than any previous gathering. This is also more than the entire delegations of all countries except Brazil (3,081) and the current host, the UAE (4,409).

Day 7: Urbanisation Day, finding pledges, tipping points

Urbanisation Day

Today the COP28 presidency held a ministerial meeting on urbanization and climate change alongside the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The result is a ‘Joint Outcome Statement on Urbanisation and Climate Change,’ supported by dozens of national ministers of environment, urban development, and housing. It lays out a 10-point plan to build climate action into different levels of government and make sure enough adaptation finance reaches cities. (EuroNews)

Campaigners call for Loss and Damage fund to be filled

Climate activists gathered at a protest area inside the Blue Zone to demand the newly created Loss and Damage fund to be filled. 

“We are not going to stop just because we have got a fund; the next step is: build the fund. The fossil fuel industry is making profits of $4 trillion annually,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network (CAN). “Please don’t be fooled,” he added, “it’s nothing compared to the profit the fossil fuel industry is making.” Meanwhile, pledges for the fund for climate victims currently stand at around €700 million.

The tipping points that could endanger us all

More than 200 scientists contributed to a report on tipping points. Crossing those points could lead to irreversible effects on natural systems that are crucial to human livelihoods, write the authors, who add that it’s time to confront these dangers head-on — and accelerate efforts to prevent them.

“Right now, even at 1.2°C of global warming, we’re running a significant risk of some fast tipping points, including we’re seeing the loss of coral reefs, which 500 million people depend on for their livelihoods. We’re also running a risk of a tipping point in the North Atlantic circulation that within a decade could make the climate far more seasonal in the UK and Western Europe, thus reducing the growing season of major crops by two months or more,” said Lead author Professor Tim Lenton from the University of Exeter.

Day 8: Accelerating nuclear energy, climate resilient buildings

Day 8 is the official rest day of the summit, but the agreements and momentum power on. 

Accelerating nuclear energy 

An ambitious initiative as part of an international strategy to commercialize nuclear fusion power, which was unveiled by U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry. The United States has announced its intent to collaborate with other nations to expedite the development of nuclear energy, with a focus on nuclear fusion as a new source of carbon-free energy.

The objective is to triple the capacity of nuclear energy by 2050, recognizing its crucial role in limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This announcement came amidst the US’s commitment, alongside China, to accelerate the substitution of unabated coal, reinforcing the country’s climate leadership even as its oil and gas output hits record levels

Initiative drives climate resilient buildings and near zero emissions targets 

France and Morocco, along with the UNEP, have launched the Buildings Breakthrough initiative at the summit, which brings nations together to transform the construction sector. The aim is to reach near-zero emissions and make climate-resilient buildings the ‘new normal’ by 2030, with 27 countries having signed on. (Green Queen Media) 

*We’ll be updating this blog with daily updates. Follow us here and on Instagram and Linkedin for hot off the press updates on this crucial gathering for defining the future of our planet’s climate initiatives.

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