COP28: World leaders arrive as stakes increase for the real work to begin on a plan to exit fossil fuels

1 December 2023

Civil society representatives say announcement of new pledges to the Loss and Damage Fund a ‘message of hope’ but clear focus on fossil fuel phase out is now a priority


1 December, Dubai: As world leaders descend upon Dubai for day two of COP28, speakers at the Climate Action Network (CAN) told the press briefing that the climate conference needs to commit to fossil fuel phase out or loss and damage will only increase. 

Whilst yesterday’s Loss and Damage announcement was unprecedented, pledges by countries such as the US were described as ‘a pittance’ by speakers. 

Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy, Climate Action Network International said the announcement would send a message of hope to people after years of inaction but questions now need to be asked about the future process.

He said: “The Loss and Damage announcement was historic and unprecedented and much needed at a time when trust in the multilateral system was at rock bottom and we hadn’t delivered on ambition. However, this is not enough and it will not help people at the scale that is needed. Previous data showed that we will need $290 – $580bn annually in developing countries alone. We also have to ask whether this money is new or additional.

“UAE, which is technically a developing country, has put in $100 million and we welcome that but we need to know what the US, the biggest historical emitter, is going to do. They have put $17.5 million on the table which is a pittance. So there is a lot to be done and we are not going to rest, we need to ensure that this money is delivered at scale and are going to be demanding accountability at all levels. We now have to tackle the causes because more fossil fuels equals more loss and damage.”

Tzeporah Berman, Chair and Founder, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, said : 

“Following decades of climate negotiations fossil fuels have finally been dragged centre stage after decades of lobbying by the oil, gas and coal industry. It is absurd that after 30 years of climate negotiations we are fighting to have the language on a phase out of fossil fuels incorporated into the text. We need our governments to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and acknowledge the reality that we have to stop building more of the problem.

Support CAN

Help us build power in the climate movement by contributing a one-time or recurring donation that will go to supporting our global work as well as various activities and campaigns in communities in different regions.

Donate to CAN

Stay informed

Subscribe to receive monthly updates on the latest on the climate movement including the content from across the network, upcoming climate change events, news articles and opinion pieces on climate, straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter