Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Guilbeault welcomes the “monumental” compromise ; COP28 | COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

The Canadian Press

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Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault describes the agreement reached Wednesday at the end of the Nations summit as “monumental” United Climate Council, which agreed for the first time to “move away” from fossil fuels in energy systems.

The agreement approved by the nearly 200 participating countries was hailed by some observers as a historic turning point in global climate negotiations – and a firmer compromise than the proposal put forward earlier this week in Dubai.

Many have warned of what they describe as flaws and diversions in this agreement. Gaps that could ultimately undermine the action needed to meet the global commitment to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Minister Steven Guilbeault said Wednesday that Canada played a leading role in consolidating the agreement at COP28.

The text contains decisive commitments on renewable energy, energy efficiency and the transition away from fossil fuels, he wrote on the X platform.

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This result is monumental […]. COP28 set the tone for the coming years as we continue our efforts to combat the climate crisis.

A quote from Steven Guilbeault, Canadian Minister of the Environment

COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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Minutes after Wednesday's session opened in Dubai, COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber gave his approval to the central document – ​​an assessment of the gap between targets and reality in the world, and how to fix it – without giving critics a chance to comment.

The chief negotiator for a coalition of small island countries said his group was not in the room when the Emirati president of the COP28 affirmed that the agreement was concluded.

The 21-page agreement calls on signatory countries to move away from fossil fuels in their energy systems by accelerating action during this critical decade, in order to achieve carbon neutrality. here 2050.

Liz McDowell, senior campaigns director at environmental group Stand.earth, however, believes the deal is weakened by dangerous diversions. She underlines in particular that this compromise leaves the door open to so-called transition fuels, such as natural gas, and that it does not commit rich countries to financing this energy transition.

Back home, we are determined to hold the Canadian government accountable for the commitments it has made taken here in Dubai to move our economy away from fossil fuels.

A quote from Liz McDowell, Senior Campaigns Director at Stand.earth Group

The Canadian government made several announcements during this two-week summit. Ottawa thus unveiled its emissions cap for the oil and gas industry, and its proposed regulations aimed at significantly reducing methane emissions from this sector.

Wednesday's agreement went further than a draft agreement which caused an outcry at the start of the week at COP28. This proposal prepared by the presidency of this COP made no mention of a reduction or phase-out of fossil fuels, instead calling on countries to reduce the consumption and production of fossil fuels by fair, orderly and equitable manner.

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COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber surrounded by UN climate chief Simon Stiell and the chief negotiator for the Arab Emirates united, Hana Al-Hashimi, during the closing of the United Nations climate summit in Dubai.

Catherine Abreu, a leading voice in Canadian climate policy circles, said Wednesday's agreement marked an extraordinary turning point for negotiations that for 30 years had focused on emissions, not their cause. .

Two years ago, the draft agreement from the Glasgow summit was the first to mention the use of fossil fuels, but limited it to coal. The Dubai agreement therefore constitutes the first negotiated text covering all fossil fuels, after the failure of a similar attempt at last year's summit in Egypt.

But Abreu also highlighted what she called some of the deal's shortcomings, such as only calling for a phase-out of ineffective subsidies to fossil fuels.

We will ensure that the countries most responsible for the climate crisis, like Canada, which have benefited the most from the destruction of our atmosphere through the production of fossil fuels, pay for the energy transition, wrote in a press release Ms. Abreu, director of Destination Zero, a non-profit organization working for climate justice and transitions to renewable energy.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, one of only two Canadian provincial leaders to attend the negotiations, said Wednesday she was encouraged by Alberta's success and of Saskatchewan to push back against the voices of those obsessed with phasing out oil and natural gas.

She also claimed that the extreme position was rejected at the conference.

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Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta

The document agreed on Wednesday forms a central part of the 2015 Paris agreement, which requires countries to periodically assess their commitments to limit warming to the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, to avoid some of the impacts the most catastrophic of climate change.

The Dubai summit marked the end of the first global stocktaking process provided for by the Paris agreement.

So far, the planet has warmed about 1.2 degrees since the mid-1800s, and scientists expect this year to be the warmest on record.

The global report highlights that countries are far from being on track to reduce their emissions in line with the target. According to current national commitments, global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decrease by 2% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. In an attempt to reach the 1.5 degree target, the x27;agreement recognizes the need for deep, rapid and sustainable reductions in global emissions of 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035.

To accelerate this transition, the agreement plans to triple renewable energy capacity and double the annual energy efficiency rate by 2030.

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