by Natacha Guerdat, Head of Research
From November 30, 2023 to December 12, 2023, Dubai will host the 28th session of the COP 28 to the UNFCCC. Acting as a 5-year check-up, countries are expected to expose their progress on meeting the Paris Agreement goals, and they are agreeing on setting objectives for the next decade.
In order to put the world on the right track to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals the climate action plan to reduce emissions by 43% within the next 7 years. At COP28, the plan will be to priorities efforts to accelerate emissions reductions through a pragmatic energy transition, reform land use, and transform food systems. These objectives must then feed next round of nationally determined contributions.
The fossil fuel dilemma
On a good note, the IEA recently shared an update about peak oil consumption projection which they anticipate happening before 2030. This is the result of various factor such as increased investments in renewables in response to climate change and the energy crisis stoked by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Governments across the world. The US and EU have launched ambitious programs to support the growth of renewable energy even with raising criticisms from political opponents over costs.
As major oil and gas companies still invest in new extraction projects, this might be increasing the risks of stranded assets, should these majors misjudge the market and the future demand. Even with this demand peak we are still far from reaching our climate goals.
Ambition and implementation must be accelerated rapidly
Without any surprise we are not on track. Current policies presently in place around the world are projected to result in about 2.7°C. Not only are national plans ambitious enough but their implementation is also way behind planning. The only countries on track identified by the Climate Action Tracker to meet the 1.5° Celsius goal are Nigeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, Gambia and Kenya as well as Costa Rica and Nepal.
Neither are we cutting our carbon emissions fast enough and we are not removing enough carbon dioxide out of the air also known as carbon removal. Some high emitting sectors of the economy are difficult or impossible to decarbonize enough to reach our 1.5 degrees budget. Carbon removal is no substitute for climate action but will be mandatory. Technological innovation must be supported, but sufficient investment will not happen without a realistic price on carbon and political boldness. Let’s see hope it happens at this COP28.