Solomon Islands: COP28 fall short of keeping 1.5 °c within reach
The COP28 climate summit concluded in Dubai with a landmark climate agreement to transition away from fossil fuels on Wednesday.
This comes after an overnight revision of the draft decision released on Monday which only suggested reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and its production than a total ‘phase out’
However, the new text agreed upon under the Global Stocktake (GST) has been refined which recognises the need to “transitioning away from fossil fuels… in a just, orderly and equitable manner…so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science”
It also recognises “the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5 °C pathways”
While the decision is seen as a way forward to phasing out of fossil fuels, Solomon Islands expressed disappointment over the outcome.
Acting Director for Climate Change Henry Tufah told SIBC News that the main issues that should be reflected in the outcome is to point out gaps, provide guidance on finance and reduce emissions.
“ While having a text on GST widely accepted by parties, there are language and paragraphs that Solomon Islands saw as weak and does not address emission reduction by developing and developed country parties and keeping the 1.5 °C within reach”.
“Specifically, the vague language on tackling the root cause of climate change which is Greenhouse Gas emission”
“Redefining ‘Phasing Out’ to ‘Transitioning away’ is unacceptable,” Tufah said.
He added Solomon Islands will continue to push for increased climate finance, the tripling of Renewable Energy and for parties to deliver their pledges to the Loss and Damage Fund comes the COP29 in Azerbaijan next year.
This also includes the fight for emission reduction in keeping the 1.5 °C within reach and the phasing out of fossil fuels subsidies including the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Anne Rasmussen told the plenary that one of the main objectives of AOSIS at the summit is to ensure that the 1.5 °C target is safeguarded in a meaningful way.
She said “the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 1.5 °C pathways” is not what the AOSIS needed.
Australia’s Minister for Climate Change Chris Bowen said Pacific countries are calling for high climate change ambitions for a long time to keep the 1.5 degrees celsius alive.
He said while the outcome does not fully meet their calls, their voices are heard.
He called on parties to implement the outcome despite there are ups and downs.
Among other outcomes of the summit is the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund with a commitment of more than $USD 83 million to it, delivering a global goal to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency, declarations on agriculture, food and health.
COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber told the plenary that “an agreement is only as good as its implementations.
He urges parties to unite in action for the future of the planet.
By Fredrick Kusu
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This story was produced as part of the 2023 Climate Change Media Partnership fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security