COP28: Updated textual building blocks draft put out options on key issues - Hindustan Times
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COP28: Updated textual building blocks draft put out options on key issues

ByJayashree Nandi
Dec 05, 2023 11:59 AM IST

The options include tripling renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 compared to the 2022 level to 11,000 GW and doubling the global average annual rate of energy-efficiency improvement

A new draft text titled “updated textual building blocks” at the ongoing UN Climate Summit (COP28) on Tuesday put out options on key issues of negotiations including mitigation, especially on fossil fuels, equity, and historical responsibility. The text also has “no text” as an option.

The text shows it is still early days at COP28 and consensus on key issues is yet to be reached. (REUTERS)
The text shows it is still early days at COP28 and consensus on key issues is yet to be reached. (REUTERS)

The options include tripling renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 compared to the 2022 level to 11,000 GW and doubling the global average annual rate of energy-efficiency improvement compared to the 2022 level to 4.1% by 2030.

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The option two has no text. There is also space for “zero and low emission” technologies, which are being substantially scaled up globally. Low-emission technologies include abatement and removal technologies, including carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and low-carbon hydrogen production.

The text has options of an orderly and just phase out of fossil fuels, accelerating efforts towards phasing out unabated fossil fuels and rapidly reducing their use to achieve net-zero CO2 in energy systems by or around mid-century. There is also an option of no text.

The text gives the option of a rapid phase-out of unabated coal power this decade and an immediate cessation of permitting new unabated coal power generation. It refers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s suggestions on a pathway involving a reduction of unabated coal use by 75% from 2019 levels by 2030. Option two here also has no text.

There are options for phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term as well as rapidly increasing the deployment pace for zero-emission vehicles, etc.

This sets the stage for the battle on Global Stocktake (GST) negotiations as it shows divergent views among countries and groupings of developed, developing, and least-developed countries on key matters.

No text is also an option on equity and historical responsibility. One of the options is to recognise that historical emissions and the use of the world’s carbon space are not equitably distributed as per the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report. The text refers to developed countries emitting historically more emissions relative to their share of the global population. It recognises that equitable mitigation action is guided by historical responsibility. The text also acknowledges that developed countries should take the lead on mitigation actions.

There is an option of recognising the consideration of equity can enable greater ambition in climate action and support and increase the likelihood of meeting the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. The goals include just transitions, strengthening resilience, sustainable development, environmental protection, poverty eradication, human rights, and historical, current, and changing contexts within and across nations remain potent factors in the ability to make progress towards climate goals.

The text expresses concern that 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record. It adds that impacts from climate change are rapidly accelerating. The text emphasises the need for urgent action and support to keep within reach 1.5°C goal and address the climate crisis in this critical decade.

The text shows it is still early days at COP28 and consensus on key issues is yet to be reached.

Center for International Environmental Law’s Fossil Economy Program director Lili Fuhr said a Global Stocktake decision without clear guidance on how to phase out fossil fuels would be a massive distraction and a missed opportunity. “Parties need to maintain control over the negotiations at this crucial moment in time.”

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