As COP28 draws to a close after hours of intense debate – an agreement has finally been reached to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels. Not to phase down, or to phase out as was requested by the countries most impacted by climate change.
“We have built a canoe with a weak and leaky hull” said a representative from the Marshall Island: “ Yet we have to put it into the water because we have no other option. “We need to phase out fossil fuels. Our job was clear, to keep 1.5C alive.. In the context of the real world, it is not enough. “As we sail this leaky canoe together, let’s agree to plug the leaks for the sake of all of us, especially the most vulnerable”
The canoe is very weak and very leaky – but it is at least still afloat
There were many concerns about the process this year as it was very dominated by the oil industry with 2400 delegates linked to fossil fuel companies (more than the delegates of ten of the countries most impacted by Climate Change).
The leader of COP28(head of the national Abu Dhabi oil company) said that moving from fossil fuels will ‘return us to the caves”
and was planning to make side deals to increase oil sales.
My advent hope for Climate change does not come from the COP process but from the many thousands of souls who came to COP28, people of faith, indigenous leaders, climate activists, leaders of vulnerable nations, fellow citizens who care about our one common home
Amidst the frustration and anger – there signs of hope –
The issues of health have been brought to the fore for the first time with a climate and health declaration.:
Loss and damage
The fund is now set up – the challenge being that the promised funds are still very small – and will promises remain unfulfilled like with other climate funds? Will funds go into corrupt politicians pockets or reach the vulnerable?
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
This gives great hope – as even oil countries like Colombia are now joining the frontline countries
A Dutch led coalition was set up to phase out fossil fuel subsidies
Outside of COP Young climate activists are suing fossil fuel companies – and beginning to win!
Exponential growth in Electric vehicles and solar energy
Renewable energy is now in the exponential curve and growth has been incredibly high in China with its massive population
And we are people of faith – confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not yet see.
And faith was very visible for the first time at COP28 – the Faith Pavilion was right in the blue zone with wonderful side events. Faith leaders were very visible. Our Anglican/Episcopal delegates were incredible! Give thanks for our wonderful Anglicans who were working their hearts out, speaking at events, speaking out to politicians, networking with other climate leaders –
Do watch some of the seminars with Anglicans speakers here:
And in the words of Archbishop Hosam of Jerusalem:
“ I think being here at COP28 will add to the conversation that conflict and violence are not an end in themselves. We need to bring all the positive, hope-filled factors to the conversation, so that we can bring transformation to our troubled world and region.”
Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it