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  • Writer's pictureCCAP

Blog | COP28 – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Updated: Apr 26

After heading into overtime through continued UN climate negotiations last Wednesday, the outcomes coming out of COP28 in Dubai have put the end of the fossil fuel era in motion, making historic progress on the Paris Agreement and keeping the 1.5°C goal alive.

In the aftermath of COP28, the world is no longer denying the harmful effects of fossil fuels. The next round of national targets will set the pace for countries to move away from oil, gas and coal. Now is the critical time to mobilize climate finance for developing countries to help make the energy transition possible, a key factor contributing to whether the world limits global warming to 1.5°C or not.


The Good:

  • COP28 kicked off with a historic bang in the opening days when around $700 million in early pledges to the Loss and Damage Fund were quickly announced—a landmark piece of climate action, considering parties have been conflicted on this topic for decades. The Fund supports the poorest and most vulnerable countries to help them deal with the irreversible impacts of climate change.

  • Nearly every country in the world has agreed to “transition away from fossil fuels” – the main driver of climate change. This marked the first time in nearly 30 years that moving away from fossil fuels was explicitly written in the COP text.

  • The Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) second replenishment (GCF-2) got a boost with six new pledges from Australia, Estonia, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States, amounting to $12.8 billion USD from 31 countries in total. Read our recent blog on The GCF and Carbon Markets.

  • During the Global Methane Pledge Ministerial, partners announced over $1 billion in new grant funding for the Methane Finance Sprint mobilized since COP27—more than triple current levels, which will mobilize billions in investments to reduce methane. These funds will support cutting methane emissions across all sectors with a focus in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Angola, Romania, Kenya, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan all joined the Global Methane Pledge, bringing the total number of countries to commit to reducing methane emissions 30% by the end of this decade to 155. Read about how CCAP is helping over 20 developing countries around the world reduce methane emissions from the waste sector.

  • Parties agreed on targets for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and its framework, which identify where the world needs to get to in order to be resilient to the impacts of a changing climate and to assess countries’ efforts.

  • In the Global Stocktake, countries were called upon to take actions towards achieving, at a global scale, a tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

The Bad:

  • The Loss and Damage Fund pledges have commonly been cited as a “drop in the bucket” from climate policy experts and country leaders, compared to the $580 billion in climate-related damages that vulnerable countries may face in 2030. Significant increases in climate finance needs to be mobilized for this fund in this decade to make a meaningful impact.

  • Although the landmark deal to transition away from fossil fuels marked the first time it was explicitly stated in a COP outcome (this took about 30 years), many party leaders and activists from developing countries were left disheartened, hoping to see a total phase out from fossil fuels in the text. There is no clear obligation or hard timetable to achieve the move away from fossil fuels and numerous loopholes in the form of “transition fuels” and allusions to carbon capture technologies and carbon credits.

  • The Global Stocktake recognizes the science that indicates global greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. But it notes Parties are off track when it comes to meeting their Paris Agreement goals. It will be used by countries to develop stronger climate action plans due by 2025.

The Ugly:

  • The world still needs approximately $4.3 trillion USD annually until 2030 to fund the measures required in the fight against climate change. Despite the financial pledges announced at COP, climate finance is coming up far short of the trillions eventually needed to support developing countries with clean energy transitions, implementing their national climate plans and adaptation efforts. Learn how CCAP is providing public policy tools and mechanisms to mobilize climate finance at the national and sub-national levels to help close this funding gap.

  • Through its open-access map, Kayrros recently released data showing there has been no overall reduction in methane emitted by many of the signatories to the Global Methane Pledge. Australia was one of the few countries to have cut methane recently, while in the US emissions are actually increasing.

  • Although around 50 National Oil and International Oil Companies committed to the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter that aims to increase ambition on important measures like methane mitigation and carbon capture deployment, the sector is investing just 2.5% of its capital into renewable energy.

  • Two of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters had low ambition at COP28, as the US pledged only $20 million in new finance for poor countries and remains the biggest oil producer, while China continues to build coal-power plants.

  • Oil and gas industry representatives were present in record numbers in Dubai – 2,456 delegates.


CCAP at COP28:

CCAP was part of the COP28 climate action, co-hosting a quartet of Side Events in Dubai to showcase the recent work surrounding our three program areas: climate finance, methane mitigation and carbon markets. Visit our COP28 Resource Hub to learn more about how our work aligns with the UN climate discussions each year, with a particular focus on the progress regarding the Global Methane Pledge and Article 6, Article 2.1c and Article 13 of the Paris Agreement. 


Stay Connected:

There are numerous ways to stay connected with CCAP. Follow us on Twitter @CCAPolicy and on Facebook & LinkedIn.


CCAP’s mission is to support every step of climate action, from ambition to implementation. A recognized world leader in climate policy and action, CCAP creates innovative, replicable climate solutions, strengthens capacities, and promotes best practices across the local, national, and international levels to accelerate the transition to a net-zero, climate resilient future. CCAP was founded in 1985 and is based in Washington, DC.


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