The global COP28 climate negotiations have ended, with a deal, as usual, reached at the very last moment. Overall, this COP will be remembered for being the first to agree on transitioning away from fossil fuels, and indeed for being the first time language around the role of ‘fossil fuels’ has been included in a UN climate change agreement.
Increasingly the COPs are splitting into dual conferences, one for the country negotiators and a side-conference with corporate and finance delegates promoting voluntary initiatives. This COP was unprecedented in its attendance, with a record number of observers and guests, including business executives from the energy industry, such as the CEO of ExxonMobil Darren Woods, Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub and the heads of European giants Eni and RWE.
‘Coalitions of the willing’ have also become increasingly important, where national and subnational governments make commitments going beyond the lowest common denominator of a global deal. Most significant this year was an expansion of the alliance of countries committed to setting a deadline for the phase-out of unabated coal use, which now counts the US as a signatory.