COP28 Updates

Gender Equality, Accountability, and Carbon Pricing

04/12/2023

On day 5 of COP28, gender equality took center stage as the threat of global warming jeopardizes approximately 1.2 billion jobs, predominantly held by women. A COP28 Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership was introduced and garnered support from 60 parties. Those committing to the partnership are obligated to implement it by the next COP31.

Sultan Al Jaber, the COP28 President, addressed concerns in a news conference regarding his earlier comments about the lack of scientific justification for phasing out fossil fuels. His remarks sparked controversy, prompting him to reassure the public that he does indeed “believe and respect the science.”

Prominent figures highlighted the issue of carbon pricing. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), emphasized the impracticality of carbon taxation despite its convenience. Instead, she urged countries to explore alternative models or approaches, such as the EU ETS. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, former EU Commissioner Georgieva, and Director-General of the WTO Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also recognized the potency of carbon pricing and advocated for expanding parameters to encompass all CO2 emissions, along with raising carbon prices.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz revealed that the Climate Club aims to target the decarbonization of the cement and steel industry sectors, which are the primary contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Anticipating future endeavors, there is an expectation of a feature release that matches entities from the public and private sectors based on their financial and technical capabilities. The Climate Club, initiated by countries such as Japan, Italy, the UK, Germany, France, the US, and Canada, aims to break down barriers between nations, facilitating agreement on standardized criteria to determine carbon pricing.