New 'road map' for climate action on the cards at Cop28

Ideas include new renewable energy goal and levies on shipping and aviation

A Cop28 road map could help vulnerable countries such as Pakistan prepare for floods and other disasters. Reuters
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The Cop28 summit in the UAE could produce a new global battle plan to curb the worst effects of climate change, diplomats have said.

A new “road map” could set out a way forward on switching to clean energy and helping vulnerable countries prepare for disasters.

The idea was discussed at talks in Berlin this week jointly hosted by Germany and the UAE.

Specific proposals, such as setting a renewable energy target for the world, are to be negotiated in the coming months.

But a four-page summary published by Germany and the UAE said the idea of a “transformational road map” was welcomed by diplomats.

The Cop28 talks “should be used as an opportunity to assess gaps, course correct and set the direction”, the two countries said.

Scientists warn that time is running out to keep global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Any higher than that and parts of the world such as islands, rainforests and polar and mountain regions may no longer be able to adapt — but the 1.5°C target can still be met with drastic action this decade, scientists say.

Diplomats want to use global climate talks "including a potential road map at Cop28 ... to respond to these findings", the Berlin document said.

Possible solutions

In a list of “solutions that a road map could highlight”, diplomats said any clean energy target could be combined with an energy efficiency goal.

Diplomats “stressed the need for a goal to be underpinned by instruments to support developing countries”, it said.

There is interest in countries working together to expand their power grids, seen as a key step in using more renewables.

Another option under discussion is using carbon prices to shift money from fossil fuels to renewables.

Levies on polluting sectors such as shipping, oil and gas could be ploughed back into climate action.

Cop26 in Britain ended in acrimony when India pushed through a last-minute amendment watering down a pledge to phase out coal power.

But German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told negotiators that Cop28 should “usher in the end of the fossil fuel era”.

A Cop28 road map could also look at ways for countries to adapt to climate change that may no longer be stopped.

Ideas include a “comprehensive risk management” for climate-related hazards such as floods and drought.

Leaders have been urged to reform the international financial system to make it easier for developing countries to raise money.

A road map could call for strengthening the role of the private sector.

“There was a broad sense that public funds are critical but will not be enough,” said the summary of the talks.

There is also discussion of how to compensate countries already hit by climate disasters — known as “loss and damage” in UN jargon.

Ideas include raising money for a loss-and-damage fund with levies on international shipping or aviation.

Germany told the summit that a promise made in 2009 to arrange $100 billion of annual climate funds for developing countries could finally be within reach.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Cop28 president-designate welcomed Germany’s optimism.

“We need to fulfil the $100 billion pledge from donor countries and I was very happy, pleased and encouraged by the statement made yesterday by minister Baerbock that progress is indeed being made,” he said on Wednesday.

Talks on a road map are set to continue at G7 and G20 summits, the UN General Assembly and other meetings in the run-up to Cop28, which begins in Dubai on November 30.

Updated: May 05, 2023, 9:54 AM