COP28 Daily Digest: Everything You Need To Know in Food and Climate News – Day 6

5 Mins Read

Welcome to Day 6 of #COP28. In Green Queen’s 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 2DAYS 3 & 4DAY 5

Headlines You Need To Know

The COP-related news you cannot miss.

COP28 PRESIDENT SAYS HE IS MISUNDERSTOOD, FOSSIL FUEL SCIENCE COMMENTS WERE MISINTERPRETED: In response to claims he made during a November online webinar that caused uproar across the climate community, Sultan Al Jaber said in a surprise news conference held yesterday that: “I have always been very clear on the fact that we are making sure that everything we do is centred around the science.”

$57B OF CLIMATE FINANCE COMMITTED OVER THE FIRST FOUR DAYS OF COP28: Over $57B in climate funding has been mobilised in the first four days of the UN climate summit, with the UAE’s $30B catalytic fund Altérra making up over half of the lot. There have also been eight pledges or declarations that have received support, with three more to be announced soon.

FOOD COMPANIES UNITE TO TACKLE DAIRY METHANE EMISSIONS: Six food giants – Bel Group, Danone, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Lactalis USA, and Nestlé – have formed the Dairy Methane Action Alliance with the Environmental Defense Fund to help dairy farmers reduce methane emissions and make farming more sustainable. It’s “a step in the right direction”, but needs to be followed by clear targets,” says Changing Markets Foundation CEO Nusa Urbancic, calling the absence of dairy giants like Arla, Fonterra and Dairy Farmers of America a “big disappointment” as they’re “opting out of action on their main source of emissions”.

US ANNOUNCES PLAN TO SLASH METHANE POLLUTION BY 80%: The Biden administration has laid out a plan to cut methane pollution from the oil and natural gas sector, which would reduce methane levels by 80% compared to a future without the new regulations- this includes a $10 million in grants for enteric methane reductions (mostly aimed at food additives for livestock). Announced at COP28, this involves the US EPA promoting the use of cutting-edge methane detection tech and delivering “significant economic and public health benefits”.

BIDEN LAUNCHES POWERFUL REGULATORY TOOL FOR CLIMATE POLICIES: This methane crackdown is part of a powerful policy tool that will strengthen the Biden government’s authority to decrease GHG emissions across all sectors. It will use the social cost of carbon – a calculation giving policymakers the legal authority to aggressively tackle climate change – which has gone up from $5 per ton during the Trump presidency to $190 a ton now.

GLOBAL EXECUTIVES CALL FOR CARBON PRICING: Leaders from the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and World Trade Organization have penned a joint letter calling for carbon pricing to “achieve climate objectives while raising new revenues”. This means polluters paying for what they emit, nudging them to reduce their emissions in the first place, and it can occur in the form of a tax or an emissions trading scheme.

BRAZIL PROPOSES $250B TROPICAL FOREST PRESERVATION FUND: Brazil – home to about 60% of the Amazon – has proposed a $250B fund to conserve Tropical Forests Forever. Sourced from private and public financing, it would provide money to tropical countries that achieve thresholds for limiting deforestation. Contrarily, nations would see a reduction in funding if deforestation rates are increased.

Key #COP28 Reports

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

  • Fossil fuel lobbyists appear in record numbers at COP28: Analysis from the Kick Big Polluters Out coalition has revealed that there are over 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists at this year’s summit – four times higher than any other COP. This is also more than the entire delegations of all countries except COP30 host Brazil (3,081) and current host the UAE (4,409).
  • Fossil fuel emissions reach all-time high: Amid all the lies about the science linking fossil fuels to climate change – and this high industry representation – global carbon emissions from fossil fuels have reached record highs again this year, with projected warming rates not improving over the last two years. These figures will rise by 1.1% by the end of the year, reaching 36.8 billion tonnes.
  • A vegan doughnut economics approach to the food system: The Plant-Based Treaty has released a report advocating for a vegan doughnut economics framework for food system transformation, touching upon biosphere integrity, ozone depletion, freshwater change and the climate crisis (among other phenomena).
  • Net-zero plans at risk due to lack of fossil fuel phaseout plans: A global benchmark of fossil fuel phaseout plans conducted by the Net Zero Tracker has revealed that most national net-zero targets (covering 88% of total emissions) don’t align with scientific evidence and policy directives since they fail to include fossil fuel phaseout goals. This is in contrast to the International Energy Agency’s pathway that recommends the use of coal, oil and gas to fall by 95%, 60% and 45% by 2050.
  • How to meet cooling demands while cutting emissions: The UNEP’s new report outlines the potential and pathways to achieving near-zero emissions from cooling, calling on governments to implement policies and strategies that effect the greatest reduction in cooling emissions. It highlights sustainable cooling measures in three areas: passive cooling, higher energy efficiency standards, and a faster phase-down of climate-warming refrigerants.

Awesome Resources From Media Friends

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

A PR fig leaf: Writing for the Scientific American, Jonathan Foley says you shouldn’t fall for Big Oil’s deceptive tactics and greenwashing about carbon capture tech, which is still in its infancy and far too expensive.

Our best hope: Guardian writer Alexander Hurst is tired of the inadequate solutions – he outlines why an EU-led ‘climate club’ – with its emissions trading scheme and carbon border tax – is our best hope.

A shocking lie: The fallout from COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber’s comments about fossil fuel emissions continues, with climate journalist Geoffrey Lean labelling it “a shocking lie” and calling Al Jaber’s claim that green policies hinder economic growth “wrong and highly damaging”.

Tackling consumption-based emissions is hard: TIME correspondent Justin Worland moderated a TIME100 panel discussion at COP28 around how to tackle communication around household emissions, which are responsible for over 60% of total emissions, arguing that putting the onus on consumers to address climate change via their choices is a fraught but necessary path.

Lighter Green Fun

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

Screw flying: Kenyan motorbike company Mazi Mobility has organised the Ride to COP28 initiative, where people are riding bikes from Nairobi all the way to Dubai. The 7,542 km journey is 60 days long, and participants will arrive on December 9, with the aim of highlighting the transportation sector’s emissions.

You said it: This social media post about Sultan Al Jaber says it all, really.

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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.

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