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A new climate deal has been agreed at COP-28 – it calls on all countries to transition away from fossil fuels – but not to phase them out, as many countries wanted. Summit President Sultan Al Jaber called the accord “historic” but added that its true success would be in its implementation.

Several countries cheered the deal for accomplishing something elusive in decades of climate talks. 197 nations, including most rich countries, have adopted this deal – it recognises the need for deep, rapid & sustained reductions if humanity is to limit the temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

A tougher language on fossil fuels, calling for its phase-out could not be agreed upon and had to be changed to “transition away from fossil fuels.” OPEC wanted focus on slashing emissions, without shunning specific fuels. Island states, most at risk from the climate change, said that the agreement did not go far enough.

The parties agreed to contribute towards tripling global renewable energy capacity and doubling the current annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030, and accelerate the deployment of “zero & low emission technologies” like renewables, nuclear, carbon capture & storage. Countries operationalised a “loss and damage fund” to provide financial help to developing countries in recovering from climate disasters.

This is the first time in nearly 30 years of climate negotiations that fossil fuels have even been mentioned in any of the outcome documents. The agreement calls all countries to contribute to global efforts towards “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner” and also in “phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or just transitions.”

India’s concerns on coal phase-down have been addressed, says Indian Express. The document asks countries towards “accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power.”

The deal sends a powerful signal to investors and policy-makers that the world is united in its desire to break with fossil fuels, something scientists say is the last best hope to stave off climate catastrophe, reports Reuters.

MitKat helps organisations and communities pre-empt and manage operational risks and enable sustainable resilience.

Disclaimer: The article has reference to open sources including BBC, Reuters & Indian Express.

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