Closing statement from UNEP Exec. Dir. on climate action at conclusion of COP28

COP28 has delivered, for the first time at climate talks, a clear call on countries to transition away from fossil fuels. The deal is not perfect, but one thing is clear: the world is no longer denying our harmful addiction to fossil fuels. Now we move beyond bargaining to action. As the Secretary-General has said, the phase-out of fossil fuels is inevitable.

“This means real action on a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, especially for the G20, and real action on the many other positives agreed at COP28: the framework on the Global Goal on Adaptation, operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund, and new commitments on sustainable cooling, methane reduction, tripling renewable energy targets and nature breakthroughs.

“The reality, as outlined in UNEP’s Emissions Gap report released ahead of the COP, is that we are not on track to deliver a resilient, low-carbon and just world. This reality has not changed yet. Now the hard work of decarbonization must begin.

“To have any hope of doing this in line with what the science demands of us, we must unleash far greater finance to support countries in a just, equitable and clean transition, which is especially important for developing nations that must leapfrog to low-carbon development. Financing and means of implementation are therefore critical, as every developing country must have the capacity to urgently end energy poverty, realise its sustainable development potential and deliver on the SDGs.

“We have the solutions; we know what needs to be done. And action can no longer wait.”

Source: “UNEP Executive Director statement on the closing of COP28,” Dec. 13, 2023 United Nations Environment Programme press release.

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