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From Talks to Action: COP28's Effects on 2024 and Beyond

This article was written by Fizza Khanbahadur, a student at the Symbiosis School For Liberal Arts from Pune, India.

Over the past decade, scientists' discussions have encompassed many environmental challenges, ranging from escalating temperatures and plastic pollution to the pervasive issue of high carbon emissions. The urgency to address these issues has intensified further due to last year’s edition of the annual global climate change summit, COP28, which took place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 2023.

COP28 garnered attention and feedback, both critical and appreciative, for its actions in three specific areas :

1. Navigating the Global Stocktake and the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C Challenge

The global stocktake was an in-depth assessment which evaluated nations' progress toward the 2015 Paris Agreement target of restricting the increase in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and Breakthrough Energy, believes that combating climate change requires investments from businesses, the wealthy, and individual countries so as to make green technology accessible to all. He highlights the need for investments in solutions with high potential but that are still currently underfunded, including green hydrogen and carbon management.  

Wealthy countries, the primary greenhouse gas emitters, must implement policies to cut fossil fuel demand while also promoting alternative sources of energy. Simultaneously, they should enhance capital flow to aid middle- and low-income countries in adopting sustainable practices and extending modern energy services to underserved populations.

2. Climate Funding Abyss

Amid COP28 negotiations, a complex global dispute over finances had emerged on points such as green start-up costs covering new nuclear plants, offshore wind farms, and initiatives to upgrade electric grids. The debate also addressed the availability of capital for developing regions, currency devaluation, potential sources of investment, and the crucial matter of interest rates. The sharp hike in interest rates imposed by central banks worldwide over 2023 disproportionately impacted renewable energy projects, making them less economically viable than fossil fuel alternatives due to increased borrowing costs. The good news is that global climate finance has doubled from $653 billion in 2019-2020 to $1­.3 trillion annually in 2021-2022. Still, the percentage of climate finance used for adaptation is decreasing, from 7% in 2019-2020 to 5% of total climate finance in 2021-2022. This financial squeeze exacerbates the challenge of building a more resilient global energy matrix, making it easier for developing economies to invest in fossil fuels rather than sustainable alternatives. 

3. Green Promises and Gas Dilemmas

A swift transition from fossil fuels is imperative to prevent the destruction of coastal cities, agricultural devastation, and endangerment of millions of lives. A political agreement arose from the summit, emphasising a shift from polluting fossil fuels to greener energy sources such as wind and solar power by 2030.The critical inquiry centers on whether nations will wholeheartedly commit to gradually eliminating fossil fuels. For example, despite the United Kingdom’s  global leadership in the fight against climate change, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has raised concerns by unveiling plans to lower targets for replacing gas boilers and delaying the ban on the sale of gas and diesel cars from 2024 to 2028. 

On a more hopeful note, amidst the chaos among global leaders regarding the financing of renewable projects, there remains a prevailing expectation among forecasters that renewable energy will surpass coal, becoming the world's primary source of electricity by the decade's end. Notably, regions such as Europe maintain a keen interest in transitioning away from Russian gas and other fossil fuels, driven not only by environmental concerns but also to mitigate vulnerability to abrupt price fluctuations. Meanwhile, AFP reported concerns expressed by several observers and specialists that the call to abandon fossil fuels was limited to the energy sector and ignored the use of fertilizers and plastics that pollute the environment.

In conclusion, as we stand at the beginning of 2024, the decisions forged at COP28 cast a shadow and pose a pivotal juncture for our planet's fate. The world is facing a critical moment as millions in developing countries quickly increase their consumption, which is contributing to a predicted surge in future greenhouse gas emissions. Given the challenging debt situation in developing countries, mobilising more grants for adaptation is more urgent than ever. However, the political accord for a greener future confronts its first test as recent policy adjustments, such as the one in the United Kingdom, raise doubts about steadfast commitment. Nevertheless, the prevailing anticipation is that renewable energy will gradually become the primary global power source, reshaping the world’s energy landscape in 2024 and beyond. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Warwick Economics Summit.



  1. Climate Summit Leader Tries to Calm Uproar Over a Remark on Fossil Fuels

  2. Renewable Energy Could Be a Casualty in the War on Inflation. Here’s Why.

  3.  What Is COP28? And Other Questions About the Big U.N. Climate Summit

  4. Where the World Is (and Isn’t) Making Progress on Climate Change

  5. Bill Gates: How I Invest My Money in a Warming World

  6. Rishi Sunak promises to honor Britain’s climate commitments in a ‘more pragmatic way.’

  7. The Financial Paradox Blocking Efforts to Fight Climate Change

  8. COP 28 deal: How impactful it is likely to be and what to expect from COP 28

  9. The successes and failures of COP28,climate%20finance%20in%202021%2D2022.


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