As 40 top climate officials from around the world gathered in Berlin this week, we got to see how the battle lines are going to be drawn in the run-up to Cop28.
What role should carbon capture play in the energy transition? Is it just for the hard to clean up stuff, like making cement? Or is it for cleaning up the emissions of fossil fuels in electricity too?
A source in the room in Berlin said that the Europeans, vulnerable countries and a few others were in the former camp while the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the US were in the latter.
The UAE’s Sultan Al-Jaber said repeatedly this week that it is “fossil fuel emissions” that should be phased out not fossil fuels, a carbon capture caveat.
Expect endless arguments about that and the word “unabated” from now until November.
But its all a step up from a few years ago when even phasing down coal was thought to be a tall order for Cop26.
Governments are much happier talking about building renewables than shutting down fossils, as shown by the UAE throwing its weight behind the EU’s call for a global renewables target.
This week’s news:
- Europe’s push for global renewables target gains support
- India mulls end to coal plant construction
- Verra’s revamped forest offset programme comes under fire
- Germany promises €2bn to global Green Climate Fund
- Pressure builds on Council of Europe to put right to healthy environment in law
- India and China push “multiple energy pathways” not fossil end date in G20 talks
- Cop28 boss slams rich nations “dismal” $100bn finance failure
- Cop28 head backs fossil phase-out with carbon capture caveat
If that target is going to be met, rich countries need to cough up the cash to help get them built in developing countries.
Germany set the bar for the fundraising round for the Green Climate Fund this week, offering two billion euros, a third up on its last pledge.
If other big donors follow suit, the fund will get around 13 billion dollars to play with between 2024 and 2027, an amount it classifies a “mid” level of ambition.
That could turn to “high” ambition if the US makes a pledge this time and convinces Congress to actually honour it.
But that’s all down to how the US votes in 2024 and 2026. No pressure folks!