COP28 talks enter critical stage: Over 800 global leaders demand ‘strongest possible outcome’

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Kamruzzaman Bablu from Dubai, UAE :
The global leaders, top business personalities, investors, scientists, and activists on Friday reaffirmed pledges to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement.

They came up with the pledges at the COP28 Climate Summit as the UN talks in Dubai, UAE, entered critical stage yesterday, focusing on to limit global warming by phasing out fossil fuels.

Earlier, in an open letter sent to COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, over 800 global influential leaders urged to take all decisions at this year’s Summit to be aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5C.

British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest, were among the hundreds of high profile figures to sign the letter.

They were joined by more than 300 CEOs, over 30 financiers, more than 70 scientists, and over 240 figures from civil society who endorsed the letter.

Others signatories include leading climate scientist Johan Rockström, former Ireland President Mary Robinson, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, former head of the UN Sustainable Energy for All programme Professor Rachel Kyte, conservationist Jane Goodall, and Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate.

But COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber refused to draw on calls for a fossil fuel phase out, saying that there is ‘a sense that something unprecedented is possible’ from Dubai Summit.

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“As we enter the final days of COP28, we are at a tipping point. The world and its people need the strongest possible outcome to keep 1.5C degrees within reach. But delivering on this historic task requires us to act like a team,” according to the letter.

The letter urged all the COP28 parties to “seize this opportunity”, arguing that “what is achieved here in Dubai must mark a legacy moment which determines the fate of our future generations”.

It also makes several key demands for the final Global Stocktake – regarded as the key text at this year’s Summit – calling on governments to ensure it includes language that would require “an orderly phase out of all fossil fuels in a just and equitable way, in line with a 1.5C trajectory”.

And the letter backed proposals for the inclusion of global goals to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 from 2022 levels and double the rate of energy efficiency improvement worldwide by the same date – ambitions that have secured backing from over 100 countries in Dubai.

Moreover, the letter called for the Global Stocktake to reiterate the Global Biodiversity Framework goals to halt and reverse nature loss, deforestation, and land degradation by 2030, and deliver a “strong Global Goal on Adaptation” and ensure more resilient food systems.

It stresses that all these goals should be backed by enabling policy and financial signals to help shift public and private investment in support of the clean energy transition, with industrialised nations taking a lead through the wider use of carbon pricing and a commitment to triple investments in renewable energy.

The letter also stated that such efforts must also be supported by the implementation of strong national climate plans – or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the UN Jargon – and national adaptation plans “well before” COP30 in 2025.