Posted December 12, 2023
By Kevon Wilson
3 Minutes Read
Summary of COP28 – Day 9: Nature, Land Use, Oceans, and Nature-Based Solutions
Day 9 of COP28 centered on nature, land use, oceans, and nature-based solutions. Discussions included scaling solutions to protect and manage ecosystems, addressing nature loss, empowering Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and creating resilient livelihoods.
COP28 Day 9 underscored the critical need for balancing economic activities with nature conservation and highlighted the growing tensions and divergent approaches in global climate policy, particularly regarding fossil fuel use and nature-based solutions.
UNEP Report on Nature-Negative Finance: The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) launched a report revealing that nearly $7 trillion of public and private finance annually supports activities harming nature. This amount is thirty times higher than what is spent on nature-based solutions, which provide well-being, ecosystem resilience, and biodiversity benefits.
OPEC’s Response to Fossil Fuel Phase-Out: The head of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) sent a letter to its members and additional countries (OPEC plus), urging them to reject any text targeting fossil fuels rather than emissions. This reflects the pressure to reach an agreement on phasing out fossil fuels at COP28.
Statements from International Energy Leaders: Dr. Fatih Birol of the International Energy Agency emphasized the need for an agreement on reducing fossil fuel production. China’s climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, and COP26 President Alok Sharma also supported language on phasing out fossil fuels and implementing credible plans to maintain the 1.5C goal.
Coalition to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies: The Netherlands launched a coalition, including several countries, to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. The coalition aims to publish a list of their fossil fuel subsidies before COP29, address barriers to phasing out these subsidies, and foster international dialogue for joint action.
Implications for Businesses: The UNEP report highlights the increasing scrutiny on businesses’ roles in biodiversity loss and land degradation. With $5 trillion of the $7 trillion in nature-negative finance coming from the private sector, industries like construction, electric utilities, real estate, oil and gas, and food and tobacco are under the spotlight. Businesses must navigate the diverging approaches of national governments towards the fossil fuel industry, balancing protection of the industry with efforts to reduce subsidies and phase out fossil fuels.
Leve Global’s Comments on Day 9 of COP28
As Leve Global, deeply committed to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we view the outcomes of COP28 Day 9 with a mix of optimism and critical concern. The focus on nature, land use, oceans, and nature-based solutions is crucial, yet the discussions and actions may not fully address the unique challenges faced by SIDS, particularly in the Caribbean.
Nature-Negative Finance and SIDS: The UNEP report highlighting the vast disparity between nature-negative finance and investments in nature-based solutions is alarming. For SIDS, where natural ecosystems are both a critical resource and a vulnerable asset, the overwhelming scale of finance supporting harmful activities is a stark reminder of the global economic systems’ failure to prioritize environmental sustainability. The report underscores the need for a drastic shift in financing towards activities that support, rather than harm, nature, especially in regions like the Caribbean, where the economy and livelihoods are intricately linked to the health of natural ecosystems.
OPEC’s Stance on Fossil Fuel Phase-Out: OPEC’s response to the pressure for a fossil fuel phase-out agreement at COP28 is deeply concerning. For SIDS, the phase-out of fossil fuels is not a matter of economic interest but of survival. The continued emphasis on protecting the fossil fuel industry overlooks the urgent need for a global transition to renewable energy sources, which is critical for the survival and sustainability of SIDS. The stance taken by OPEC seems to prioritize the interests of oil-producing nations over the existential threats faced by vulnerable island states.
Coalition to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies: While the initiative led by the Netherlands to phase out fossil fuel subsidies is a positive step, it highlights the divide in global climate policy and the challenges SIDS face in navigating these divergent approaches. Reducing subsidies for fossil fuels is essential, but it must be accompanied by substantial support for SIDS in transitioning to sustainable energy sources and adapting to climate impacts.
We urge the global community to ensure that the needs and voices of SIDS are not only heard but actively prioritized in all aspects of climate action and policy-making. The success of global climate initiatives must be measured by their impact on the most vulnerable, ensuring equitable and sustainable development for all, especially for SIDS, where the very fabric of life is intertwined with the health of their natural environments.
What are your thoughts on Day 9? Please leave your comments below.
Read our summary on Day 10 here (Coming Soon).
Check out our summaries on other days:
Day 10 (Coming Soon)
Day 11 (Coming Soon)
Day 12 (Coming Soon)
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About the Author:
Kevon Wilson, is a premier researcher and strategist. He has more than 16 years’ experience in research and digital marketing.
He is co-author of many of Leve Global’s research publications such as Big Data – Delivering the Big Picture to Drive Competitiveness, Everything You Need to Know About Internet Marketing, and The Top Ten Emerging Markets.