Nearly 200 countries have agreed to a deal that calls for transitioning “away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science”. This sounds okay and at least fossil fuels was mentioned for only the second time in any of the COPs but as is always the case with COPs all countries have to agree on the statement and when some of the countries are large fossil fuel producers the statement is always vague and non binding. It does not include a commitment to phase out or phase down fossil fuels, as many countries, civil society groups and scientists have urged.

For some scientists the key omission concerns “abatement”. That is, the use of carbon capture and storage technology to remove CO₂ emissions before they leave furnaces and engines for the atmosphere. “Will capturing 30% or 60% of CO₂ emissions from burning a quantity of coal, oil or gas be sufficient? Or will fossil fuel use only be considered ‘abated’ if 90% or more of these emissions are captured and stored permanently?


To finish on a slightly more positive news on the first day of the summit, delegates agreed to formally establish a loss and damage fund but Don’t applaud the COP28 climate summit’s loss and damage fund deal just yet – here’s what’s missing. Also Brazil launched a fund in the first week of COP28 that would pay countries with large remaining forests to conserve and expand them but Billions have been raised to restore forests, with little success. Here’s the missing ingredient. Also countries have pledged to cut emissions from cooling – here’s how to make it happen.

If you want a detailed account of COP28  I recommend the ‘Carbon Brief’ account of the key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks but if you want a summary see Five major outcomes from the latest UN climate summit.

Good News


Not so Good News

Bad News

Other Media News

This week’s ‘Just Have a Think’ 14 minute episode is entitled If BIG OIL fails, do we all go down with it?? It discusses the International Energy Agency new paper analysing how oil and gas will dwindle in the next three decades to a small fraction of their current size, basically making non-combustible products.

This week’s BBC Sounds  ‘Inside Science’ entitled Biggest COP in History evaluates some of the big themes of the summit i.e. the way we look after our oceans, measures needed to ensure food security and an agreement to transition away from fossil fuel dependence.