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The Dubai climate summit, COP28, has ended after an extension. An agreement was reached among the 198 countries on moving away from fossil fuels. And more important decisions took place. We list the most important ones.

  • The final agreement clearly referred for the first time to “a transition away from fossil fuels”.
  • And more decisions were made, such as setting up a fund to support poor countries to deal with the effects of climate change.

Heated discussions on the future of fossil fuels dominated the climate summit. The EU called for “an official start on fossil phase-out”, but oil countries in particular thought this was going too far. Saudi Arabia and the EU in particular found it difficult to agree. Nevertheless, the final text published at the end of the night, which did include fossil fuel phase-out, was quickly approved. President Sultan al-Jaber hammered out the deal of the 28th climate summit just minutes after the start of the plenary session.

Climate adaptation

Member states took further important steps. The COP began almost immediately with an important agreement: a Loss and Damage fund to support poor countries in the impacts of climate change. All countries agreed to the creation of this fund. The United Arab Emirates, host of COP28, donated $100 million (over €92 million) and encouraged other countries to do the same.

Tripling renewable energy

The European Union raised another important point at the Dubai meeting: they want to triple renewable energy by 2030. This idea gained support surprisingly quickly, with 118 countries having already joined the initiative by the middle of the meeting. Now the renewable energy target has also been included in the final text, along with agreements to curb energy waste.

Sustainable food supply

134 member states also reached agreement on agriculture and food: they will henceforth integrate their food production and related emissions into their climate policies. Previously, large-scale agreements in this area were lacking.

Green shipping

Progress has also been made on mobility. For instance, a new course is being set for shipping. The proposed new speed limits for ships at COP28 are a crucial step in the fight against climate change and environmental pollution. The concept is clear: making ships go slower will reduce harmful gas emissions. This is significant as shipping is responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing methane emissions

50 companies, including big names like Shell, ExxonMobil and BP, have additionally agreed to significantly reduce their methane emissions, almost to zero by 2030. They will also stop routine flaring of natural gas. However, the oil and gas companies have made no promise to reduce fossil fuel production.

Crucial moment

The world is currently not on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C. According to several experts, that goal is no longer realistic anyway. As COP28 comes to an end, this year will go down in history as the warmest on record. So the summit came at a crucial time.

The next climate summit (COP29) will most likely take place in oil- and gas-producing Azerbaijan.