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Negotiations at COP28 climate summit in Dubai enter final hours

Negotiations at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai are entering their final hours, with Ministers and officials now working around the clock to settle the final text of this year’s agreement before the conference is due to close on Tuesday.

The final text is expected to reflect the commitment, now signed onto by more than 130 countries, for the tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling of energy efficiency.

Since arriving at COP last Thursday, Australia’s Climate Change and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, has also strengthened his language on the need to directly address the phasing out of fossil fuels:

“We must face this fact head on – if we are to keep 1.5 degrees alive, fossil fuels have no ongoing role to play in our energy systems,” he said. The Minister also said that abatement of fossil fuels (through carbon capture and storage) would be “a backstop and goalkeeper, not an excuse for delay or inaction”.

Australia has played a leading role in the negotiations again this year, representing a negotiating bloc which includes the US, the UK, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Ukraine and Norway, which has backed the goal for global emissions to peak by 2025, be slashed by 43 per cent by 2030 (consistent with Australia’s current 2030 target), and by 60 per cent by 2035.

Assistant Minister, Jenny McAllister, has also been co-leading the negotiations on climate adaptation, in partnership with Chile’s Environment Minister.

Continuing with the Albanese Government’s efforts to strengthen its engagement and standing with Pacific Island nations, the Government also announced late last week that it would provide a foundational $100 million to the Pacific Resilience Facility to support small scale climate adaptation, disaster preparedness and loss and damage projects across the region.

The Government also announced that it would rejoin the Green Climate Fund with a $50 million contribution after the former Morrison Government withdrew Australia from the Fund in 2018.

There has been a strong delegation of Australians at this year’s COP, which has drawn a record attendance of around 100,000 delegates and visitors, more than double the attendance at COP27 in Egypt.

The Clean Energy Council’s Kane Thornton and Anna Freeman co-hosted the Ministerial Stakeholder Reception for Australian delegates on Saturday night in Dubai – a brief moment of respite for officials in the now-intense closing hours of negotiations.

The CEC will host a post-COP webinar on Thursday 14 December at 4pm with Australian Industry Group’s Tennant Reed, and Fortescue’s Chief Climate Scientist, Shanta Barley, to share analysis and reflections on the implications of this year’s summit. Clean Energy Council members can email the Events team to access the webinar link:

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