“The final COP28 text ‘calls on’ governments ‘to transition away from fossil fuels’… This is the weakest possible formulation according to UNFCCC’s own style guide (see image below). The list below is in order of strength (from strongest ‘instruct’ to weakest ‘calls’). We should not celebrate the COP28 final text as a ‘landmark deal’ ….”
– Andreas Rasche, Copenhagen Business School (below)
The “breakthrough” hyperbole of the mainstream media (in search of momentum with an issue that the public has rightfully demoted) is not going over very well with the climate religionists on the ground.
Al Gore Hype
Al Gore himself, unable to wave the white flag, spins failure into hope:
The decision at COP28 to finally recognize that the climate crisis is, at its heart, a fossil fuel crisis is an important milestone. But it is also the bare minimum we need and is long overdue. The influence of petrostates is still evident in the half measures and loopholes included in the final agreement…. We must ask ourselves how much longer will the world have wait before all nations summon the political will to overcome these narrow special interests and act on behalf of the future of humanity.”
Progress but …. This is what Gore has been saying for decades. No mid-course correction with this wooden fellow.
Realists on the Ground
The final COP28 text “calls on” governments “to transition away from fossil fuels”… This is the weakest possible formulation according to UNFCCC’s own style guide (see image below). The list below is in order of strength (from strongest “instruct” to weakest “calls”).
We should not celebrate the COP28 final text as a “landmark deal” — It is the absolute minimum and not a bold historic achievement. With this language it is easier for governments to ignore the formulation around “transitioning away from fossil fuels” (as some states have ignored their reporting on nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement in the past).
In the end, it will matter how governments interpret (and *want to* interpret) this passage of the COP28 agreement. Words matter – but actions speak louder…
So the market share of fossil fuels will be little changed and the world has a lot more industrial wind, solar planks, and batteries… And rent-seeking by corporate cronies and politicians jetting around the world. And attacks on civil liberties as the CO2 police get desperate. Climate’s road to serfdom … Is it worth it?
Last Word: Al Jaber
The major takeaway from COP28 besides more-of-the-same failure was said by Al Jaber:
I accepted to come to this meeting to have a sober and mature conversation. I’m not in any way signing up to any discussion that is alarmist. There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.