Day 7 of COP28: Cities and Transport

On the seventh day of the United Nations Climate Summit COP28 in Dubai, the agenda prominently featured discussions on urbanization, the built environment, and transportation, with a particular emphasis on sustainable mobility and shipping. As the summit crossed its mid-point, attention began to pivot towards finalizing commitments outlined in the draft Global Stocktake agreement. Simon Stiell, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, cautioned that the current draft was more of a “grab bag of wishes” with an abundance of posturing, serving as a foundation for a potential future outcome. Stiell urged countries and negotiators to elevate their efforts, emphasizing the need to avoid engaging in point-scoring and succumbing to “lowest common denominator politics.”

The ‘BuildingtoCOP’ coalition took center stage, hosting a ministerial meeting to delve into the ‘Buildings Breakthrough’ global initiative. Launched at COP28 by France, Morocco, and UNEP, this initiative aims to expedite transformation in the buildings sector, responsible for 37% of energy-related global emissions and 34% of final energy use. Its mission is to establish “near-zero emissions and resilient buildings” as the norm by 2030. Recognizing the pivotal role of buildings in global decarbonization efforts, 27 countries have already joined this initiative.

C40 Cities,’ a global network comprising nearly 100 mayors of leading cities worldwide, participated in COP28, advocating for a fossil fuel phase-out, a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, and increased direct investment in cities to facilitate a fair and just transition in combating the climate crisis. Cities contribute over 75% of global emissions, making targeted urban action crucial for achieving Paris Agreement targets. With over half of the global population residing in cities (projected to increase to 68% by 2050), urban planning emerges as a top priority for governments to ensure effective mitigation, adaptation, and resilience to climate change. C40 announced an updated ‘Cities Climate Transition Framework’ to guide cities in their fight against the climate crisis.

Highlighting the significance of cities, the COP28 Presidency hosted a ministerial meeting on ‘Urbanization and Climate Change,’ urging government ministers, regional leaders, financial institutions, and non-government stakeholders to support the ‘Joint Outcome Statement on Urbanization and Climate Change.’ This statement aims to integrate climate action across all government levels while expediting local climate finance to ensure adequate adaptation finance reaches cities.

Transport took the spotlight in various COP28 events organized by the presidency, including discussions on putting transport and mobility on track for a 1.5°C future, exploring the transport-energy nexus to achieve climate goals, and convening a ‘Road Transport Breakthrough’ roundtable meeting. Collaboration between energy supply and transport is deemed essential to align policies, overcome shared challenges, and forge coalitions for the simultaneous decarbonization of both sectors.

CEOs of leading global shipping lines made a significant announcement at COP28, collaborating to accelerate the decarbonization of global maritime transport, which, if considered a country, would be the sixth-largest carbon emitter. They issued a joint declaration calling for an end date for fossil-only powered new builds and urged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish regulatory conditions to expedite the transition to green fuels.

The European Union (EU) advocated for a tax on aviation fuel, with EU Climate Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra asserting that such a levy could generate a substantial amount of money. Calls for cleaner energy sources were echoed at the Sustainable Aviation Forum organized by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), with the Airports Council International (ACI) World pushing for regulatory frameworks facilitating airports’ transition to cleaner energy sources.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) made a noteworthy launch of the ‘Nature Solutions Finance Hub’ for Asia and the Pacific, supported by numerous partners, aiming to attract at least $2 billion into investment programs incorporating nature-based solutions. ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa highlighted the critical role of nature as a carbon sink, emphasizing the need to protect nature in the battle against climate change.

Professor Jim Skea, Chairman of the IPCC, offered a verdict on COP28, describing it as an inclusive conference that is making progress. However, Simon Stiell’s rallying call to up the ante or face failure resonated strongly, emphasizing the urgency of the ‘loss and damage’ fund agreement and the need for COP28 to deliver a swift and effective climate action plan by the end of the week.

About National Carbon Monitoring Centre (NCMC)
The National Carbon Monitoring Centre is a vehicle for reporting on carbon stocks and their changes as well as coordinating the national MRV processes for the Government of Tanzania. The goal of the Centre is to enable Tanzania to actively participate and benefit from possible future international carbon trading mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The core services of the Centre are:


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