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COP28 Pledges to Tackle Methane and Establishes Monetary Funds

Global leaders have assembled in Dubai for COP28, the 28th annual United Nations climate meeting. Since the meeting kicked off on November 30, the scale of new climate commitments, both monetary and emissions targeted, has been significant. Many in the sector believe there will be a significant number of opportunities for companies to leverage emissions-reducing technologies, spur innovations and increase industry partnerships.

COP28 is one of the world’s largest international meetings and the world’s highest decision-making body on climate issues. Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, CEO of ADNOC, the UAE national oil company, kicked off the conference, which will run through December 12.

Announcements of note include:

  • Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter
    • Fifty oil companies representing nearly half of global production have pledged to reach near-zero methane emissions and end routine flaring in their operations by 2030 and committed to net-zero operations by 2050 at the latest.
    • Charter signatories represent more than 40% of global oil with National Oil Companies representing over 60% of signatories – the largest-ever number of NOCs to commit to a decarbonization initiative.
  • Loss and Damage Fund
    • On the first day of the conference, more than 200 countries agreed to fund poorer countries to strengthen their resiliency to prepare for adverse climate events. The fund will be housed by the World Bank, and the final blueprint will be announced at the close of the conference. 
    • The United Arab Emirates and Germany pledged $100 million; the UK announced £60million, part of which will be used for “other arrangements,” while the U.S. committed $17.5 million to the fund and Japan contributed $10 million.
  • Tripling Nuclear Energy Capacity by 2050
    • The declaration outlines commitments to work together to triple global nuclear energy capacity by 2050, promote responsible operation of nuclear power plants, mobilize investments and encourage international financial institutions to include nuclear energy in energy lending policies. Participating countries include the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and others. 

In the upcoming week, participants will engage in more challenging negotiations on the details of the loss and damage fund, and the draft text of the “Global Stocktake,” assessing the world’s performance against Paris climate goals, will circulate. Formal diplomatic talks are expected as leaders seek compromise on language related to phasing “down” or “out” fossil fuels.

For energy service companies, time will tell how the pledges and commitments from COP28 will impact larger commercial decisions and international policies. In the U.S. there are likely to be more regulatory changes both at the federal and in some states. The recently released final EPA Methane rule and a potential SEC ESG rule are two major federal policies of note.

Maria Suarez-Simmons, Senior Director Energy Policy, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


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