COP28 goes into overtime

The UN COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai went into overtime as environment ministers made like us in university and pulled an all-nighter desperately trying to finish a project.

Driving the news: COP28’s president is expected to announce the conference’s final draft of commitments sometime this morning despite the conference technically ending yesterday. Negotiations went deep into the night over how strict fossil fuel reduction goals should be.

  • An initial draft infuriated many nations as it stopped short of calling for a full phaseout of fossil fuels, instead calling for voluntary reductions in production and consumption.

  • The final draft will reportedly be much tougher on fossil fuels… if it gets approved. You see, the draft needs unanimous support from all 193 participating nations.

Why it matters: The legitimacy of COP is in peril depending on the outcome of the draft. What’s supposed to be the most important event to fight climate change was slammed this year for the participation of Big Oil and oil-producing Gulf states suppressing the agenda.

Bottom line: While there’s optimism that the goal of limiting temps to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels can be met, there’s also lots of doubt. And with Azerbaijan—another major oil-producing nation—set to host next year, criticism is sure to continue.—QH