COP28 Daily Digest: Everything You Need To Know in Food and Climate News – Rest Day
6 Mins Read
Welcome to the official rest day 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’.
Headlines You Need To Know
The COP-related news you cannot miss.
US TO WORK WITH OTHER COUNTRIES TO ACCELERATE NUCLEAR ENERGY: US climate envoy John Kerry has announced that the country will work with other nations to step up and accelerate efforts to develop nuclear fusion as a source of carbon-free energy. This came just a day after it emerged that Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican House energy chair, would be skipping COP28. due to a “scheduling conflict”.
UN FINANCE BODY SAYS CARBON TAXES COULD RAISE TRILLIONS FOR CLIMATE FIGHT: The International Monetary Fund has said that diverting the trillions of dollars currently used as fossil fuel subsidies, and introducing a pricing structure on carbon emissions can unlock a huge amount of capital, which can be used to tackle the climate crisis. Its managing director Kristalina Georgieva says carbon taxes could be achieved with regulatory approval.
UNCERTAINTY OVER COP29 HOST: We might know that Brazil is hosting COP29 in 2025, but there’s uncertainty over who’s hosting COP29 next year. The problem stems from Russia’s war on Ukraine: rules dictate that the next COP needs to be held in Eastern Europe, but the Russian government has opposed hosting it in an EU member state, and has blocked Bulgaria’s bid. The other potential countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan, are rivals and won’t back each other – so uncertainty looms.
63 COUNTRIES JOIN PLEDGE TO CUT COOLING EMISSIONS: In a landmark agreement, 63 nations have enacted the Global Cooling Pledge to curb global warming emissions from cooling, which includes refrigeration of food and medicine, and air conditioning. A first-of-its-kind deal, this will see countries aim to reduce these emissions by 68% from a 2022 baseline.
PROTESTORS CALL FOR VEGAN TREATY AKIN TO PARIS AGREEMENT: Days after publishing its vegan doughnut economics report, the Plant Based Treaty has been protesting outside the Blue Zone at COP28 to call for the negotiation of a global Plant Based Treaty to complement the Paris Agreement and address breaches to five planetary boundaries.
BREAKTHROUGH INITIATIVE PROMISES CLIMATE-RESILIENT BUILDINGS AND NEAR-ZERO EMISSIONS: France and Morocco, along with the UNEP, have launched the Buildings Breakthrough initiative at the summit, which brings nations together to transform the construction sector. The aim is to reach near-zero emissions and make climate-resilient buildings the ‘new normal’ by 2030, with 27 countries having signed on,
LOCAL SUMMIT SPOTLIGHTS THE ROLE OF CITIES: The first-of-its-kind Local Climate Action Summit convened over 250 mayors and governors from cities across the world to recognise their role in reducing emissions, addressing risks and supercharging national climate efforts. They mobilised $467M for urban climate action, which involves funding city-level and US national infrastructure and action.
WESTERN LEADERS SIGN GREEN PROCUREMENT PLEDGE: The US, Canada, the UK and Germany have signed the Green Public Procurement Pledge to decarbonise heavy industries by creating a market demand for low- and near-zero emissions from steel, cement and concrete via public procurement and using harmonised emissions accounting standards.
GLOBAL CONSORTIUM HEADS UP FUNDING STRATEGY FOR ZERO-EMISSION BUSES: Companies and countries part of the Collective for Clean Transport Finance will spearhead lighthouse projects to ramp up the global deployment of zero-emission buses, medium and heavy-duty freight, and two- and three-wheeler electrification.
GREEN SHIPPING CHALLENGE EVENTS MARKS PROGRESS MADE: One year after Norway and the US launched the Green Shipping Challenge, a lot of progress has been made. This includes the opening of a number of green shipping corridors, regulatory comments in Australia and Norway, and a $19M investment by the latter to support developing countries in transitioning to cleaner shipping.
UN HEALTH BODY PROMOTES PLANT-BASED DIETS: The World Health Organization has directly promoted a vegan diet on its social media channels, with a post saying 30% of emissions come from food systems and noting how meat production is especially responsible for that. Plant-based foods, it says, require fewer resources and produce fewer emissions.
UAE LAUNCHES FOOD FUND FOR THE GLOBAL SOUTH: The UAE’s climate ministry has launched the Financing the Future of Food initiative, which explores bond structures supported by the World Bank Treasury to help de-risk private sector finances and transform the food and agricultural system in the Global South.
Key #COP28 Reports
The food and climate reports you need to know about today.
- Carbon capture and storage dependence ‘highly economically damaging’: A new report by Oxford University suggests that a high Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) pathway to net zero in 2050 would cost at least $30T more than a low CCS one, averaging $1T annually. This is because the cost of CCs hasn’t declined in 40 years, in contrast to renewable energy, which has seen prices drop drastically.
- Climate transition benefits outweigh the costs: A blog post by the International Monetary Fund shows that avoiding physical damage from climate change can have sizeable benefits, and ensuring a low-carbon future can also be good for the economy. The amount of money it will take to fund mitigation policies is far lower than the net GDP growth it will present.
- A roadmap to cut food loss and waste and GHG emissions: Nearly 50 organisations have delivered a roadmap to help countries’ public and private sectors reduce food loss and waste, as well as GHG emissions from food. It focuses on seven countries: Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, and the US.
- How climate change impacts food imports in the UK: The UK imports half of its food, a further half of which comes from climate hotspots, but climate change effects like extreme weather, flooding and droughts threaten this supply, says a report by the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit.
Awesome Resources From Media Friends
A curation of our favourite reads of the day – excellent guides, explainers and op-eds from around the web.
How delegates are spending their day off: It’s the only official day off for delegates at COP28. How are they spending it? The Guardian has the scoop (there are waterparks, skiing, shopping, deserts, and – perhaps most excitingly – sleep).
Taking stock of the Stocktake: Confused about what the fuss with the Global Stocktake is all about? Politico has a fantastic explainer outlining just that – covering what’s happened, what’s happening, and what could happen next.
India brings up climate inequality, but what about its fossil fuels?: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fired some shots at the West saying the actions of a few disproportionately affect the vulnerable. While this is true, what about India – the world’s most populous country and third-largest carbon producer – and its fossil fuel industry? That’s the question Gayathri Vaidyanathan explores in her essay for Nature.
India’s climate-rich: In her analysis for CNN, Diksha Madhok explores the balance of fighting climate change and wealth – and how India’s richest are investing in clean energy with money they earned on the back of the fossil fuel industry.
Tories echo right-wing climate inaction: In an opinion piece for the Guardian, Diyora Shadijanova has made a compelling case for the anti-climate rhetoric led by the political right, which has only been amplified by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s blink-and-you-miss-it COP28 appearance and recent U-turns on climate policy.
Climate economics: There have been loads of climate funding announcements over the last week – to keep track of the major ones, Reuters has listed out who is shelling out what.
Is this COP too big, literally?: Already over 100,000 people have attended this year’s summit at Dubai’s Expo City, which is as huge as New York City’s Central Park. But is it too big, wonders Bloomberg’s John Ainger, who notes that people haven’t been able to have impromptu corridor meetings – where key deals are struck – because of the sheer size of the venue.
The meat debate: Want to know more about why meat and farming reforms are key to solving the climate crisis? Andrew Green has a wonderful explainer in Devex waiting for you.
Lighter Green Fun
Funny stuff, weird stuff, random stuff related to COP you may enjoy.
Carbon budget pie: Climate scientist Ed Hawkins has posted a striking graphic on LinkedIn showing how close were are to the brink of our carbon budget, and how quickly we’ve got there.
Less is more: Swedish energy company Göteborg Energi has teamed up with comms agency Welcom for a Do Less for the Climate campaign – as in, less driving, less meat consumption, less plastic, less energy use. Yep, they had us there.
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*Today is the eighth day since COP28 began, but it was officially a rest day, so doesn’t form part of the event programming.