We are halfway through the UNFCCC COP28 in Dubai with 50,000 delegates present, including 15,000 NGOs and almost 1,300 media organizations.
On Day 5, two new gap reports were released. The Adaptation Gap Report finds that progress on climate adaptation is slowing when it should be accelerating to catch up with rising climate change impacts.
The Emissions Gap Report finds that the world is heading for a temperature rise far above the Paris Agreement goals unless countries deliver more than they have promised.
South Africa’s Just Transition financing mechanism
Members of the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) have also been present at COP28 UAE. The objective of the Commission is to advise on South Africa’s climate change response to ensure realization of the vision for effective climate change response and the long-term just transition to a climate resilient and low carbon economy and society.
The Presidential Climate Commission has invited stakeholders to share written feedback on its Draft Report for South Africa's Just Transition Financing Mechanism. The financing mechanism is designed to create a flexible ecosystem which crowds in financing, matches tagged projects with resources, and supports pipeline development.
South Africa debates how to ensure a Just Energy Transition
At a session of the South Africa Pavilion, Rainer Baake, Germany's special envoy for the Just Energy Transition Partnership, was sharing some lessons Germany had learned as a member of the International Partners Group (IPG). Apart from Germany, the IPG consists of the UK, US, France and EU – nations which have pledged $8.5 billion in climate finance to South Africa for the country’s Just Energy Transition.
Delaying the decommissioning of coal-fired power stations won't help South Africa's plans to ensure energy security, but instead the country should rapidly deploy renewables at scale, Baake said, encouraging South Africa to prioritize investment into the renewable energy sector.
Baake shared the views of the World Bank, which believes that South Africa could be at the center of a green industrialization project that could boost economic performance, create jobs, and propel decarbonization.
The South Africa delegation emphasized that there cannot be a trade-off between the just transition and climate ambitions. South Africa's recently launched Just Energy Transition (JET) Implementation Plan (IP) emphasises that the JET must be undertaken at a pace, scale and cost that society and the economy can afford.
Climate finance for the developing world
Climate finance is critical for developing countries, as they are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. A report released Monday estimated that emerging markets and developing countries will need $2.4 trillion a year in investment to cap emissions and adapt to climate change.
In a sign of positive momentum for climate change financing, eight donor governments announced new commitments to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and signaled their political support for the unique roles these funds play in addressing climate resilience needs.
Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom announced new pledges totalling $174.2 million for the LDCF and SCCF, which are hosted by the Global Environment Facility. The commitments made at COP28 in Dubai are significantly higher than the amount pledged to the LDCF and SCCF during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh last year.
World’s first global stocktake
A series of high-level events at COP28 have helped move the world’s first global stocktake closer to a conclusion. The stocktake aims to increase ambition and accelerate action on climate change by informing the next round of climate action plans due in 2025.
During COP28’s first week, world leaders have shared their views and expectations for the global stocktake’s outcome during a series of roundtables. A total of 29 Heads of State and Government, 21 ministers, 10 high-level officials, three United Nations organizations, and eight non-governmental organizations have spoken at the events.
The global stocktake Is a process”for ’ountries and stakeholders to see where they are collectively making progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement – and where they are not.
The science from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43 percent by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change impacts, the IPCC warns.
The findings from the global stocktake’s technical report (released in September) are a clarion call for the urgency of the global climate situation and the need for collective action.
Three high-level global stocktake events (on mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation) at COP28 have underscored the urgency for increased ambition and climate action on all fronts. The first Global Stocktake High-Level Committee published a summary of events.
Launch of Altérra Fund for Global-South Climate Investments
According to a statement made by the COP28 presidency, UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has established a $30 billion (R560 billion) climate fund for global climate solutions that aims to attract $250 billion of investment by the end of the decade.
Named Altérra, the fund will allocate $25 billion towards climate strategies and $5 billion specifically to incentivize investment flows into the Global South. The vehicle “aims to steer private markets towards climate investments and focus on transforming emerging markets and developing economies, where traditional investment has been lacking due to the higher perceived risks across those geographies.”