Outside the highlights of the Dubai periods, Osservatorio Parigi offers an analysis and a comparison of the different versions of the GST circulated during the negotiations days. The work also collects and reports opinions from constituencies and relevant analysts and stakeholders .
The objective is to render the main outcome of the GST over a comprehensive vision that also considers the history of process that lead to it. Negotiation challenges included.

1. Introduction 

This COP was important this year from some key elements. One of that was the global stocktake.
Art. 14 of the Paris Agreement provides a  process for countries and stakeholders to see where they’re collectively making progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement – and where they’re not. We know we are not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius

In particular standing to the text GST needs to : 

a. Recognize adaptation efforts of developing country Parties;
b. Enhance the implementation of adaptation action by taking into account the adaptation communication referred to in paragraph 10 of this Article;
c. Review the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation and support provided for adaptation; and
d. Review the overall progress made in achieving the global goal on adaptation referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article 

GST is a mechanism inside the convention to monitor and steer regarding the multilateral global effort to meet the goals of 1.5 degrees.
By the collection and discussion of the whole   

The GST is a mechanism provided for in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement, which provides for the review every 5 years of the commitments made by the nations adhering to the agreement to reduce the emissions for which they are responsible. The objective of the review is to measure the level of ambition of the initiatives implemented by each nation to limit its emissions, to verify whether the global sum of all commitments can lead to a reduction in global emissions sufficient to be able to respect the containment limit of the global average temperature as close as possible to 1.5°C

The one in Dubai is the first GST ever, and delivering it properly is not only a matter of respect of the Convention but also it’s essential to give trust and accountability to the process keeping Paris Agreement not only procedurally implemented  but also alive.
Moreover it’s not news that this president was waited on the spot to disclaim the rumors and attacks regarding the connection with fossil fuel industries . 

The tension and attention to an ambitious text of GST has crossed the rooms of Expo  Dubai 

In this article we are reporting the chronology of the versions release in the two weeks of negotiations ,analyzed and commented , 

We also report the positions of the main constituencies and observers 

2.Versions text analysis

Even though we come out with delivering the GST final document with big claims, the negotiation path towards it has been not easy.
During the negotiations has been release 5 versions of the GST text 

The comparison between the different versions can highlight the main discussion point, negotiation nodes and contraposition between negotiation blocks.
Surely what is evident and also registered during the negotiation days, has been a quite contract among the “global north” countries and the “global south”,
Such contrasts have been reflected also across the adjustments has been done on the different versions of  text.
 

Version 5/12/2023 5:00 [I] – Version 8/12/2023 15:30  [II] comparison

The first version of GST has been quite canonical.
It reported substantive references to IPCC and 1.5°C goal with numbers related to the amount of emission overall registered in the first paragraphs (Figure 1) .
An overall comment is that this first version [I] very recalls the expectation of Annex I countries.

Figure 1  – Comparison between version (I) and (II) 

Version [II] indeed represents a strong steer on the side of BRICS demands to do not insert many numbers and stringent point, and with a strong reinforcement of the part that referenced the “common but differentiated responsibilities” (Figure 2) 


Figure 2  – Reference on “common but differentiated responsibilities

Figure 3  – Comparison between version (I) and (II) 

The Version (II) introduced the energetic targets referring for the first time to Triple the Renewable Energy capacity and contains the reference to phase-out from fossil fuels.

The version also set the agenda till COP30 with regards the cooperation among states and stimulation of ambition on NDCs 


Figure 4  – Version (II) Reference to roadmap to COP30

Version 8/12/2023 15:30  [II] – Version 11/12/2023 16:30 [III] comparison

After the overcut draft version (II) of 8/12/2023 15:30 another version came out on 11/12/2023 16:30 


                              Figure 5  – Version (III) Return of 1.5°C and clear references to IPCC AR6

Version (III) anyway provide less details or moved sections when it’s about talking about tripling renewables (FIgure 6)

 
Figure 6  – Version (III) more weak references to energy transition targets 

In the part related to Finance more lasque language and no reference to the Steering committee on Finance (Fig.7.1) .
Anyway a strong wording is used to highlight the lack of the achievement of the Loss and Damage fund coverage , and in general in the hard lack of funding still. (2.2, 2.3).


1.
2.


3.

Figure 7 – Version (III) weak finance wording


Figure 8  – Version (III) more weak references to energy transition targets 

Version (III) also  introduce in a strong way the role to the private sector (Figure 8), but introduce more strongly the ecosystem approaches (Figure 9),


Figure 8 – Version (III) Role of Private sector

                                                 Figure 9 – Version (III) Ecosystem approaches 

 The reference to GHG data only come at the end of the document on paragraph 124 and further.

                                                 Figure 9 – Version (III) Ecosystem approaches 

Version 11/12/2023 16:30 [III] – Version  12/12/2023 18.00 [IV] comparison

The first element come into evidence on this version is that there is anymore reference to 1,5 on par 7 , 8.

Figure 10 – Version (III) – Version (IV) 

Is possible to summarize the comparison between the two versions in the following points (Source Ringo):

Red flags

  • After all the talk of 1.5C guiding the GST as the “North Star”, reference to the target in the preamble has been axed
  • 3x RENS “strategically replaces fossil fuel capacity”. Questions will be raised by developing countries who have used mere fractions of their fair share of the carbon budget if this doesn’t come with cash and rich countries going first 
  • New language on the recognition of “transitional fuels”. Gas? 
  • Weak language on the role of indigenous communities and any gender-related reference (e.g., woman)

Amber flags

  • Finance section places burden of attracting cash on countries, stepping away from the Paris deal for finance from developed countries to developing countries 
  • Concern over unilateral trade measures (read CBAM/IRA) gets some recognition
  • The proposal for a new fund for capacity building now comes with an added option for funding arrangements through the Green Climate Fund – so pay for it with what you’ve already got.
- The role of public sector finance in leading private investments and providing policy signals is slashed. Echoes of Amb Kerry’s howler: “If there isn’t money to be made, there is none on the table”. 
  • Aims to create a technology implementation programme within the Financial Mechanism directed for developing countries. However, caution is invited to avoid any technology shortcoming that causes more burden on the climate goals than support. 

Green flags

  • Language on L&D has now been supplemented with a recognition of slow onset events, displacement, relocation and migration
  • GHG emission reductions now include timelines for other non-carbon-based potent planet warmers, namely N2O and Fluorinated gasses”
  • Acknowledges the importance of NDAs and their utility underlying the urgency to achieve successful future expectations

Final version

We can summarize the main points come out from the final text from the GST in the following ones:

Overall

  • triple renewable energy capacity globally and double the average annual rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030 (see ALTERRA) to additionally ensure energy security ;
  • accelerate efforts to phase out undisposed coal energy;
  • accelerate global efforts towards net-zero emissions energy systems, using zero- and low-carbon fuels well before or around mid-century;
  • abandon fossil fuels in energy systems, in a fair, orderly and equitable way, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to reach net zero by 2050, in line with scientific research;
  • accelerate zero- and low-emission technologies, including, but not limited to, renewable energy, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies such as carbon capture and utilization and storage, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors, and low-emission hydrogen production;
  • accelerate and substantially reduce non-carbon dioxide emissions globally, including in particular methane emissions by 2030;
  • accelerate the reduction of road transport emissions through a range of pathways, including through infrastructure development and the rapid deployment of zero- and low-emission vehicles;
  • how much to first eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or just transitions

From a more detailed analysis of the text we can add the following considerations:

Mitigation

  • Key sentence is 39 (e) and the reference to net-zero and 2050 timeframe make it sound like BAU for fossil fuel industry with abatement technologies coming in at one point: “Reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by, before, or around 2050 in keeping with the science;” 
  • Talks about “rapidly” phasing down unabated coal and limit the permitting of new and unabated coal, this is stronger than Glasgow language but has no clear time indication
    • Emissions, not sources, framing also included
    • Focus on abatement technologies- CCS
    • Tripling renewables and doubling efficiency in with a 2030 timing
    • Special focus for non-co2 emissions-methane
  • Whole paragraph 39 starts with “calls upon Parties to take actions that could include, inter alia” which makes it an optional menu
  • 1.5C – reference to PA goals 1.5C and 2C reaffirmed but still dropped from preamble
  • Strong reference back, highlighting the peaking before 2025, reduction 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035, clearly 
  • Strong language “resolves” and “underscores” on equity and CBDR
  • Notes historic responsibility
  • Language on pre-2020 gaps on emission reductions through KP1 and KP2 periods
  • Recalls PA 4.4 which provides developed countries will have to take the lead with economy-wide reductions and encourages developing to continue with mitigation efforts with view to move toward economy-wide emission reductions

Timelines 

  • Nice idea: COP28, COP29 and COP30 to have activities in 2024-2025 to discuss cooperation to strengthen NDCs
  • -shall submit next NDCs 9-12 months before COP30 in 2025 (so Q1 2025), encouragement to have 2035 end date in NDCs 

Adaptation 

  • Recognition of finance access issues of developing countries toward adaptation
  • Strong emphasis on adaptation finance gap
  • Calls for urgent, incremental, transformational, country-driven adaptation action based on different national circumstances
  • Recognises link between sustainable development and adaptation; highlights lower risk of maladaptation and potential co-benefits
  • Recognises adaptation as an iterative process and the importance of the means of implementation
  • Stresses the role of global unity in long-term transformational and incremental adaptation effort
  • Recognises need to significantly scale up adaptation finance; considers the need for public and grant-based resources

Finance

  • Recalls PA4.5 which provides for support from developed countries to developing countries
  • Deep regret” 100bn haven’t been met in 2021
  • Notes the lack of definitional clarity on climate finance
  • Notes the need to scale up grant-based and concessional finance
  • Highlights finance gap and the compounding effect of macroeconomic conditions on developing countries
  • Recognises the need to align finance flows with low-emission pathways (PA Art. 2.1(c)) but notes with concern that progress has been uneven across sectors, regions, and actors
  • Urges the delivery of 100bn by 2025 and calls for better coordination between developed parties in doing so
  • Underscores the importance of reforming the financial architecture- multilateral development banks and rating agencies

 Nature 

  • The historic COP15 deal for nature is referenced, marrying nature and climate action
  • In the mitigation section, language remains around ‘efforts to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030’ remain putting Glasgow pledges into legal text
  • The importance of forests in reaching the Paris goals is reflected, and a specific mention of Article 5 (REDD+) 
  • Reflects the need to ‘mobilise resources’ 

Food

  • A first time reference to ‘resilient food systems’ has made it into the adaptation section 
  • Food missing from the mitigation section – no reference to food systems transformation or agriculture emissions – food is 1/3 of global GHG emissions and needs to be in new NDC.

4. Opinions and reactions from the constituencies and non-state actors

John Kerry


“While no one here will have their views fully reflected, the fact is that this document sends a very strong signal to the world. We must adhere to maintain 1.5°C [of warming above pre-industrial levels]. In particular, it says that our next [nationally determined commitments] will be aligned to 1.5C.”
Kerry announced that the United States and China – the world’s two largest emitters – agreed “that we both intend to update our long-term strategies and invite other parties to join us.”
The agreement states that countries recognize “the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5°C pathways”. And it calls for tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030. The agreement reiterates the language adopted at previous summits, which asked nations to accelerate efforts “towards the gradual reduction of coal energy.”

E3G reacts

👩‍💼 Alex Scott, E3G Programme Lead, said: 

Countries have agreed a path to address the gaps in global climate action: transition away from fossil fuels, deliver on global targets on adaptation, and take new steps to scale up finance for climate action, critically setting up a new loss and damage fund. There are gaps – especially on finance for adaptation – and loopholes – but the ultimate direction of travel is clear: the fossil fuel era is ending.

The proof will be in the delivery – in countries’ next climate plans due by 2025, and in the transformation of the wider finance system to deliver the economic shifts needed. These are the central tasks from now on the road to Belem at COP30 in Brazil in 2025.

🧑‍💼 Tom Evans, E3G Policy Advisor, said: 

Champions for a rapid phase out of fossil fuels – both small island states and major economies – have pushed the rest of the world to realise this transition cannot be stopped. But this is only a small first step. It is clear that not everyone is ready to admit the truth of what’s needed to avert climate disaster. The COP text shows the hard work that lies ahead: rewiring the financial system, driving action to vastly scale up renewables and energy efficiency, and crucially paying much more attention to adaptation which has been neglected, putting all of us at risk.

👩‍💼 On energy/mitigation, Anusha Mata, E3G Senior Policy Advisor, said: 

This COP signals the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era, backed by science and boosted by agreements on tripling renewables and doubling energy efficiency by 2030. Its a clear call for governments, business and investors to commit to a cleaner future – all eyes are now on Parties to turn this into faster, real world action. Glasgow language on coal phase-down is locked in, but we still need a swift response to global calls for no new coal now. Finance to support a faster transition must match the scale of the economic transformation. Finally, regulation is required to ensure murky concepts like “abatement technologies” deliver real climate progress. The text does not fully live up to ardent calls for higher ambition, especially from climate vulnerable countries and communities who stand to lose so much. It is the responsibility of Parties to go faster and further from here.

👩‍💼 On finance, Laura Sabogal Reyes, E3G Senior Policy Advisor, said: 

Finance was the constant drumbeat behind this COP, from the establishment of the Loss & Damage fund to the Global Stocktake’s final calls for scaled-up MDB finance, debt and tax reform. Although we are far from bridging the financial gap that will enable the transition to a climate safe world, the inclusion of these provisions was unimaginable just a few years ago. The GST paves the way for broader resource mobilization beyond the UNFCCC into next year’s World Bank’s Spring Meetings and the upcoming G20 Brazilian Presidency, as well as to ongoing initiatives like the UN Tax Convention and the recently-launched Global Expert Review on Debt, Nature and Climate championed by Colombia, Kenya and France.

The missing element, however, was a clear financial package for countries embarking on their energy transition as well as clarity about how to fill the adaptation finance gap. To keep 1.5C within reach, leaving no one behind, developed countries must deliver the necessary essential concessional and grant-based resources to enable these pivotal transitions in developing countries.

Health Constituency


COP28 showcased a pivotal tug-of-war over fossil fuels during the Global Stocktake (GST), signaling a looming end to the fossil fuel era. While progress was made, challenges persisted, including weak fossil fuel language, the inclusion of Carbon Capture and Storage for “hard to abate sectors,” and limited advancement on coal phaseout and subsidy reduction. However, there were positive strides, such as the commitment to tripling renewable energy by 2030, doubling energy efficiency, and addressing methane reduction, transportation cleanup, and deforestation.

The adoption of the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28 provided a health-focused framework to combat climate impacts, emphasizing resilience and well-being across communities. Despite the operationalization of the Loss & Damage fund, divisions resurfaced, underlining the urgent need for amplified voices from the health and humanitarian sectors.

Youth engagement was formalized, and COP28 witnessed unprecedented attention to climate and health, marked by the inaugural health day, ministerial attendance, and significant financial commitments. Yet, challenges remain, notably the need for diversity and solidarity within the health community. Representation gaps persist, with leadership roles predominantly held by the Global North. There’s a call to align with other constituencies and causes, learning from established movements like the women and gender constituency and Indigenous Peoples Organizations.

The growth of the health community within the climate space signals a shift towards collaborative efforts beyond sectoral boundaries. However, there’s a recognition of the need to enhance solidarity and amplify marginalized voices, ensuring a more inclusive and effective response to climate challenges.

Professor Richard Betts MBE

We expect strong pushback from climate vulnerable countries and blocs committed to a strong fossil fuel phaseout commitment. There is no mention of phase down or phase out. In an 11.5k word text the term ‘fossil fuel’ is used 3 times. The ingredients are there but there’s no recipe of note.

3. Conclusions


The Global Stocktake (GST) at COP28 highlighted the ongoing struggle to address fossil fuel dependency within the Paris Agreement framework, showcasing a contentious debate between fossil fuel-producing nations and others. While the outcome remained mixed, the GST sent a clear political signal indicating the imminent end of the fossil fuel era.
Problematic aspects included marginal improvements in fossil fuel language, the inclusion of carbon capture and storage for “hard-to-abate sectors,” and the lack of urgency in phasing out coal. However, positive strides were made towards renewable energy and efficiency goals, methane reduction, and transport cleanliness.

Key takeaways:

1 – Fossil fuel phaseout/energy transition – reference on reducing fossil fuel consumption and production exists but no urgency to take any action in this critical decade, which is key for 1.5C
2 – There are no options in text on any point. What are parties meant to negotiate on? Is this a floor or a ceiling?
3 – ⁠The commitments on finance, on support mechanisms, on holding to the science, are scattered all over the text. How should we understand what the intention of this text is?
4 -⁠ The words “oil and gas” do not appear anywhere in the text and the phase out of coal is optional. Is this a weakening of previous commitments on coal at COP26 and 27?

Concerns have been raised regarding inaccuracies in the draft COP28 text, particularly regarding the definition of current global warming levels. The current wording refers to a 1.1°C increase in global surface temperature, attributing it to human activities based on IPCC AR6 findings. However, this interpretation fails to acknowledge that the 1.1°C warming was reached by 2020, not the present day. Recent studies, including one published in Nature and analysis by Forster et al. (2023), indicate that human-induced warming is closer to 1.3°C.
To rectify this discrepancy, it is suggested that the wording of the statement be modified to reflect the timeframe of the warming, such as stating that human activities caused a global surface temperature increase reaching 1.1°C of warming “as of the last decade.” This adjustment would align the text more accurately with current scientific understanding and provide a more suitable metric for future COPs. It’s imperative to ensure the accuracy of such statements to guide effective climate action moving forward.
Despite challenges, the GST’s realization signifies a significant advancement in upholding the Paris Agreement’s objectives, maintaining the spirit of multilateralism in the face of conflict.The expectation of course is that in COP29 and especially in COP20 , the bar could be raised.
NDC reports have demonstrated that we are not on track : to be on it , surely a substantive steer into climate ambition need to be demonstrated , not only by declarations, but by real commitment and policies at the national and subnational levels.

Loading

Di admin