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Post COP28 Roundup

Margaret Kim Gold Standard CEO, shares her thoughts on COP28.


After two weeks brimming with meetings, events, announcements, and negotiations, I'd like to offer some reflections from Gold Standard on COP28's outcomes.

The future of fossil fuels

ImageA pivotal decision at COP28 was the call to "transition away" from fossil fuels. This inclusion, after 30 years of negotiations that skirted the core issue of the climate crisis, marks a significant and long-overdue step. However, Dubai fell short of delivering the ambitious, fair, full, and funded phase-out of all fossil fuels we need in a defined timeframe.

The outcome doesn't match the level of ambition demanded by the climate-vulnerable countries or by science. Currently, over 60% of global electricity generated is produced using fossil fuels.

We cannot simply switch this power off. To meet rising global energy demands, fossil fuel energy must be replaced by at least an equal amount of clean and renewable energy. At Gold Standard we are consulting on a new methodology outlining a pathway for the world to reduce its reliance on coal and facilitate an equitable clean energy transition.
 

Climate finance pledges

ImageWrecognise the progress towards the new collective quantified goal (NCQG), beginning from the as-yet-unmet $100 billion pledged by developed nations in Copenhagen. COP 28 agreed to formulate a post-2025 finance target, and significant financial commitments were made:
  • The Green Climate Fund received USD 12.8 billion in pledges.
  • Over USD 174 million was pledged to the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund.
  • The Adaptation Fund welcomed nearly USD 188 million in new pledges.
  • A groundbreaking Loss and Damage fund was established, with initial pledges exceeding $700 million.
While these commitments are notable, they fall far short of the trillions needed to support developing countries with clean energy transitions, national climate plans, and adaptation efforts. Meeting these needs will require reforming the multilateral financial architecture and accelerating the ongoing establishment of new and innovative sources of finance.

At Gold Standard, we remain committed to catalysing public and private finance for high-impact, equitable climate action, in line with our vision of climate security and sustainable development for all.

  
 

Adaptation

The adoption of a framework for the global goal on adaptation is a remarkable achievement. It aims to guide investment and shape adaptation measures for the coming decade, calling for doubling adaptation finance and the development of comprehensive plans. Frameworks can create incentives for action. However, before we can judge this a success, we must wait for the detail on the money and the metrics for targets to be agreed.
ImageAdaptation metrics can be difficult to grasp - they are not straightforward like reductions in carbon emissions. Using standardised approaches, like those in Gold Standard and RCC’s Adaptation Requirements, to provide a basis for credible calculation of avoided loss for projects can overcome some of these difficulties for funders and investors.
 

Article 6

The lack of agreement on Article 6 decisions, and the failure to make the Article 6.4 mechanism operational, is a disappointment. Over 100 countries have signalled their intention to use Article 6, and many projects, including several labelled by Gold Standard, are seeking to transition to the new Article 6.4 crediting mechanism. The repeated failure to reach conclusions creates uncertainty and raises doubts about the ability of this political process to guide a market poised for growth and contribution to net-zero goals.


ImageWhile negotiations may have fallen short, tangible action by governments, the private sector, and enablers like Gold Standard continues to gather pace.

Multiple MoUs and bilateral agreements between countries seeking to cooperate under Article 6.2 were signed. A significant fund was launched to manage payments for ITMOs by buying countries, under GGGI. Gold Standard, along with other CORSIA-eligible standards, announced a collaboration to support countries in achieving and going beyond their NDCs.

We look forward to continuing to work with our stakeholders to accelerate progress under both 6.2 as well as through voluntary action.
 

A call to action

We already have sufficient technology, know-how and fundamental frameworks to move forward. As Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF's global leader of Climate & Energy, former COP20 President, and Gold Standard board member, said after the final agreement: "The Earth is down but not out."

Let's enjoy a well-deserved break and return reinvigorated to make a meaningful difference in the new year.
Media Category: Comment
Event Dates: Tuesday, December 19, 2023