‘Building blocks’ of first COP28 Global Stocktake draft released | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Building blocks’ of first COP28 Global Stocktake draft released

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Dec 02, 2023 05:26 AM IST

The first draft text of the Global Stocktake (GST) was released on Thursday with “textual building blocks” of what may be the final GST reflected in the Dubai agreement that is expected to come out by December 12 or 13.

​The first draft text of the Global Stocktake (GST) was released on Thursday with “textual building blocks” of what may be the final GST reflected in the Dubai agreement that is expected to come out by December 12 or 13.

Participating world leaders and delegates pose for a family photo during the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023. (AFP)
Participating world leaders and delegates pose for a family photo during the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023. (AFP)

The building blocks retain all important elements of meeting the Paris goal of keeping the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. It is important to remember that these are merely directional as far as GST is concerned; countries will negotiate on the building blocks.

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In the energy sector, for instance, likely to be one of the most contentious sections of GST, the building blocks are phasedown/phaseout of fossil fuels (and fossil fuel subsidies) and coal, no new coal plants, a trebling of renewables, doubling energy efficiency, the role of transitional fuels, and the importance of a just energy transition. The building blocks also include carbon management/removal approaches; transport, including timelines for zero-emission vehicles; and international shipping and aviation.

The draft notes that parties (countries) have different responsibilities, national circumstances and capabilities to contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, while the impacts and risks associated with warming are unevenly distributed. Given this, mitigation action should be guided by equity, common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR-RC), historical emissions and pre-2020 climate action.

The text acknowledges that significant collective progress towards the Paris Agreement goals have been made with all parties communicating nationally determined contributions that have significantly reduced the expected global temperature increase from over 4 degrees C according to some projections to 2.5–2.9 degrees C. But, there is a rapidly narrowing window to raise ambition and implement existing commitments in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

It also calls for an assessment of progress towards delivery of $100 billion a year which was long promised by developed nations, and discussion of adequacy of quantity and quality of finance and debt burdens. The text highlights the growing gap between the needs of developing countries and the support provided and mobilized for their efforts to implement their nationally determined contributions, highlighting that such needs are currently estimated at U$ 5.8-5.9 trillion for the pre-2030 period.

Analysts and experts said many of these elements are likely to be debated, tweaked, changed, even dropped over the course of next two weeks. Already, during a meeting on GST, the US, among other rich nations, objected to clauses on equity and common but differentiated responsibilities especially in the context of historical responsibilities.

“The Global Stocktake needs to have a balanced outcome focusing both on past progress and gaps and a framework for future ambition. The US, EU, Australia and Canada are unhappy with mentions of equity in context of the global carbon budget, historical obligations and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities while Like Minded Developing Countries, Group of 77 and China and African Group of Negotiators do not want GST to prescribe new Nationally Determined Contributions or sectoral targets. This clearly shows that perspectives on a “balanced” GST mean different things for the Global North and South with neither wanting references that would indicate their obligations for action whether for the past or the future,” said Tamanna Sengupta, programme officer, climate change at Centre for Science and Environment who is at COP28 as an observer.

HT reported on November 28 that any language on fossil fuels is a sensitive issue at COP28 and UN reports have indicated that top emitters globally are heavily invested in oil and gas. The challenge of getting top emitters on board was also revealed by COP28 director-general Majid Al Suwaidi, who said fossil fuels are a “complicated” issue for all parties.

The latest developments should also be seen in the light of two reports, “Planet Wreckers” by OilChange International and the Production Gap Report 2023 by United Nations Environment Programme and Stockholm Environment Institute, experts said.

Only 20 countries could be responsible for nearly 90% of the carbon dioxide pollution from new oil and gas fields and fracking wells planned between 2023 and 2050, the Oil Change International report.

National governments still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, the Production Gap Report 2023 said. Major producer countries have pledged to achieve net- zero emissions, but none have committed to reduce coal, oil, and gas production in line with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, it said.

HT reported on November 23 that over the few months parties to the UNFCCC have submitted their opinion and wishlists of what they would like to see in the GST. Experts have said that the GST this year will be so critical that it may be the cover decision text coming out of Dubai. But the GST submissions show that top emitters have very divergent views on what they wish the GST to address. This may create a challenge and open up new fronts of debate at COP28.

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