COP28 Daily Digest: Everything You Need To Know in Food and Climate News – Days 3 & 4

7 Mins Read

Welcome to Days 3 and 4 of #COP28. In the weekend edition of the Green Queen COP28 Daily Digest, our editorial team curates the must-reads, the must-bookmarks and the must-knows from around the interwebs to help you ‘skim the overwhelm’.

Catch up: DAY 1DAY 2

Headlines You Need To Know

The COP-related news you cannot miss.

COP28 PRESIDENT CLAIMS FOSSIL FUEL PHASE-OUT NOT SCIENTIFIC, EXXON CHIEF CONCURS: In a just-published exclusive, the Guardian reports that in an online discussion at a She Changes Climate event, the UAE’s Sultan Al Jaber said there “is no science…the says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.” Separately, Exxon chief Darren Woods told the FT during an interview at COP28 on Saturday that climate talks “put way too much emphasis on getting rid of fossil fuels”.

123 COUNTRIES BACK CLIMATE AND HEALTH DECLARATION: The COP28 presidency has teamed up with the WHO to announce the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health, which was signed by 123 countries ahead of the Health Day (December 1). It acknowledges the need for governments to protect communities and prepare healthcare systems to deal with climate events.

COUNTRIES PLEDGE TO TRIPLE NUCLEAR ENERGY CAPACITY BY 2050: 22 countries, including the UK, US, UAE, France, South Korea, Canada and Ghana, have pledged to triple their capacity of nuclear energy by 2050. This would need significant investment, with many construction projects stalled or facing delays due to higher costs and slow building processes.

PHILANTHROPIC ORGANISATIONS CALL FOR INCREASED FUNDING FOR SUSTAINABLE FARMING: 25 philanthropic organisations have joined forces to call for a tenfold increase in investment in regenerative and agroecological transitions to align with the 1.5°C goal and ensure climate resilience, stable yields, better nutrition and food security.

PROTEIN DIVERSIFICATION ON THE AGENDA AT FOOD PAVILIONS: Continuing the food focus, the Food Systems Pavilion at COP28 (December 9-11) will see the Global Cellular Agriculture Alliance – a collaborative effort between the meat and seafood industry and cellular agriculture groups – host discussions on alternative proteins – get the full programme and follow their live stream here. Also see the food tech innovation day co-hosted by The Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet (GASP) and Change Foods.

MUSIC INDUSTRY LAUNCHES CLIMATE COLLECTIVE TO MEASURE SCOPE-3 EMISSIONS: The Big Three record labels –  Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group and Warner Music Group – have launched the Music Industry Climate Collective to measure scope 3 emissions (including manufacturing, distribution, and licensing) and tackle the environmental impact of the music industry.

CREATIVES CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE FOSSIL FUEL GREENWASHING AT COP28: Creatives for Climate has partnered with the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty on a social campaign to raise awareness about greenwashing and back calls for an urgent transition away from fossil fuels. The initiative invites people to use their creativity to voice their opinions via a social toolkit.

BEZOS EARTH FUND COMMITS $57M FOR FUTURE FOOD AS PART OF $1B CLIMATE FUND: The Bezos Earth Fund is investing $57M in grant funding for initiatives safeguarding the future of food and tackling climate change, as part of a larger $1B climate fund that will be deployed by 2030. Among the focal points are Amazon deforestation, livestock methane emissions, and food loss and waste.

11 CLIMATE STARTUPS & ORGANISATIONS WIN PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS: UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has announced the winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize for sustainability and humanitarianism at COP28, across categories like food (Gaza Urban & Peri-urban Agricultural Platform, Palestine), climate action (Kelp Blue, Namibia), energy (Ignite Power, Rwanda), and health (DoctorSHARE, Indonesia), among others.

NEW PARTNERSHIP LOOKS TO ACCELERATE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY TRANSITION IN AFRICA: The UN Office for Project Services and Sustainable Energy for All have signed the Africa Energy Transition Partnership to help countries in the region promote climate action and universal access to clean energy, which was announced “on the sidelines” of COP28.

Key #COP28 Reports

The food and climate reports you need to know about today.

  • Energy transition risks higher for petrostates: Carbon Tracker’s new PetroStates of Decline report has revealed that the fiscal risks for transitioning away from oil and gas power are much greater for petrostates, which are set to lose $8T. The UAE is one of these 28 countries, a group expected to lose over half their expected income from fossil fuels by 2040.
  • GHG emissions rise as countries fail to provide accurate figures: New data by the Climate Trust project has revealed that electricity generation in India and China and oil and gas production in the US have led to the biggest increase in GHG emissions since 2015. Plus, countries and corporations are also failing to report emissions accurately, despite being obliged to do so by the Paris Agreement.
  • UAE’s climate plan downgraded to lowest category: The UAE’s climate plan – its nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement – is now rated ‘critically insufficient’ by Climate Action Tracker. This is despite the country ramping up its targets recently, but it means that the COP28 host’s national action plan is now in the lowest of five categories, having been downgraded from ‘insufficient’.

Awesome Resources From Media Friends

A curation of our favourite reads of the day – excellent guides, explainers and op-eds from around the web.

Climate change in 10 charts: Over at the Guardian, there’s an illustration-filled explainer deep-diving into the climate crisis, with 10 charts reflecting rising carbon dioxide levels, their causes, consequences, and mitigation efforts.

The importance of nature-based solutions: Another Guardian classic, this explainer goes into nature-based solutions and why they’re vital (and an underused option) for mitigating climate change.

A moment of oily glory: The superb Marina Hyde has written an opinion piece highlighting the irony of the whole thing: a climate conference looking to ban fossil fuels, headed by the head of the host country’s national oil company. You couldn’t write it, and much as they’ll try, the oil lobby wouldn’t be able to Hyde their efforts either.

How to make COP better: There are loads of frustrations around COPs every year, and with good reason. So environmental journalism outlet Grist outlines why the annual summit is distracting and needs fixing, and how we can make it better.

What if we stopped eating meat tomorrow?: In another wonderful piece, Grist attempts to answer what would happen if the world stopped eating meat tomorrow, explaining how tricky that proposition is, with developing countries hit with economic difficulties despite the obvious upsides. It’s another story highlighting how eliminating meat altogether and overnight might not be viable (or advisable) – reduction holds the key.

How many people?!: In an opinion piece for Bloomberg, Mark Gongloff asks a very valid question: do 70,000 people really need to be at COP? He highlights how, when COPs began, the average attendance was 5,000. Now, it’s turned into “another celebrity-studded gathering of rich people”.

A who’s who of fossil fuel-ists: HEATED newsletter reporter Arielle Samuelson dives into the looming presence of fossil fuel representatives at COP28, listing out just a few of the lobbyists from this industry, more of whom will be there than ever before.

Big Meat = Big Oil/Tobacco?: Dutch non-profit Clim-Eat published a compelling opinion piece comparing Big Meat and Dairy (“Big Livestock”) with Big Oil and Big Tobacco when it comes to climate change and greenwashing.

Big Ag’s route to climate influence: Want to know how Big Ag is planning on exerting its influence at COP28? DeSmog has an excellent map showing the different ways this industry can impose itself, alongside explaining four routes to do so.

The Sheikh shaking up the carbon offset market: The Guardian has looked into Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook al-Maktoum, a member of the Dubai royal family in charge of carbon offsetting deals covering massive areas of African forests. He’s had a huge impact on that market, but there are questions about his past business dealings as well as a convicted fraudster advising his company Blue Carbon.

What the climate summit means for ESG: Dow Jones has a super-informative guide about what COP28 means for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, and whether ESG is on its way out.

Say goodbye to misinformation: Overwhelmed with climate misinformation? Watch this webinar by CCNow to pick out the real from the fake and inform with integrity.

The time is now for philanthropy: Alexis James from media outlet Philanthropy Age outlines why the sector needs to act on climate change and needs to do so now. It’s a wonderful long read, so make sure to grab a cup of coffee (or tea)!

What China wants from the climate summit: Eco-Business’s Li Shuo brilliantly encapsulates what China really wants out of COP28 by analysing its climate policies over the last three years, and tracing the trajectory of climate engagement between the Asian superpower and the US.

WIll COP stop being as important?: In her Talking Climate newsletter, Katharine Hayhoe suggests COPs may not be as central to climate progress in the future, as the details of the Paris Agreement article (the reason why COPs exist) are being re-fleshed out this year. More regional summits are becoming more important forums for democratic discourse on the climate.

Lighter Green Fun

Funny stuff, weird stuff, random stuff related to COP you may enjoy.

A fashion market, for the climate: Stella McCartney – whose son says COP28 is greenwashing – is putting the climate focus on the fashion industry, with a Sustainable Market at the conference showcasing 15 designers and breakthroughs in regenerative agriculture, plant- and bio-based alternatives to plastic, leather and fur (alongside a grape leather). Who says you can’t fix the climate with style?

COP 2.8°C: Danish green energy company Ørsted has published a front-page ad in the New York Times titled ‘COP 2.8°C’, promoting the aforementioned tripling of nuclear energy by 2050, as 22 countries have.

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  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

  • Sonalie Figueiras

    2021 Women of Power, 2019 GEN T Honoree, V Label Global Hero, 2 x TEDx Speaker: Serial social entrepreneur & trends forecaster Sonalie Figueiras is a sustainability expert, food futurist and eco-powerhouse who has been inspiring global audiences for over a decade with practical steps on how to fight climate change. Known as the Green Queen of Asia, she is the founder and Editor in Chief of the award-winning Green Queen - the region’s first impact media platform that educates millions of readers on the connection between health, sustainability and the environment and showcases future solutions. She is also the co-founder and CEO of organic sourcing platform Ekowarehouse and climate tech SaaS Source Green, which helps consumer brands quit plastic packaging thanks to proprietary plastic reduction software. In addition, Sonalie is a global keynote speaker and an advisor to multiple mission-driven startups and NGOs, and a venture partner to several VC funds.

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