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Climate action

New path to transition away from fossil fuels is neither fast, fair nor funded

In the aftermath of COP28, the world reflects on a historic moment in climate negotiations. With 198 countries collectively acknowledging the need to address the root cause of the climate crisis - the end of the fossil fuel era - COP28 signifies a much needed step forward. However, beneath the surface of this latest agreement lie challenges and critical considerations that demands attention.

Protestors at COP 28 in Dubai. Photo: Konrad Skotnicki Protestors at COP 28 in Dubai. Photo: Konrad Skotnicki

This road to transition away from fossil fuels will be at risk from the start because there is no agreement on how this energy transition will be funded and how historical polluters will take responsibility for ensuring that justice and equity is delivered for the vulnerable communities and countries in the global South.

Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trócaire said; “The deal is welcome in so far as 198 countries reached collective agreement, for the very first time in 30 years, that fossil fuels need to become a part of history. However, they agreed a transition away from, not a phase out of fossil fuels. This transition is neither fast, fair nor funded. These were the litmus tests of success. This does not mean the COP is not worthwhile; we need more multilateralism, not less. But it is imperative that more countries join the high ambition ‘group’, alongside Ireland and highly vulnerable countries, and to make every day count from now until the next COP.

“The rocks this COP could have foundered on, and still a real threat, are the enormous power and influence of the fossil fuel industry and the lack of willingness of developed countries to pay their fair share in climate finance. The responsibility to do the heavy lifting to protect this planet is on those that have historically emitted most, and who have the most resources, rather than the world’s most vulnerable, who have contributed little to this problem.

“This is not charity, this is justice.”

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