COP28, a UN conference on climate change measures held in the UAE = United Arab Emirates, ended on the 13th, and it was agreed to "move away" from fossil fuels, which had been a focus. The future policies of each country regarding fossil fuels will be questioned.

At COP30, which opened on the 28th of last month, specific rules for the operation of a new fund dedicated to "loss and damage" caused by climate change were decided on the first day, and the "Global Stocktake" was held for the first time to evaluate progress on climate change measures around the world.

Fossil fuels were the main focus of the negotiations to strengthen countermeasures, and while developed countries and island nations in Europe and the United States strongly urged the "phase-out" of fossil fuels, the negotiations were difficult due to opposition from oil-producing countries and others.

The agreement adopted by the countries on the 13th, which extended the session by one day, did not mention "phasing out" but "will move away from fossil fuels and accelerate action in this critical decade."

With regard to fossil fuels, at the 10 meeting, it was agreed to phase out coal-fired power plants that have not taken emission reduction measures, but at this meeting, it was decided to phase out all fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

At a press conference, UNFCCC Executive Director Still highlighted the achievements, saying, "We could not end the fossil fuel era, but the agreement will be the beginning of the end of fossil fuels."

On the other hand, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia in South America Muhammad pointed out that "we have made progress, but there are many pitfalls that ruin the results," and in order to move away from it, it is essential to support developing countries that depend on coal and other sources.

In response to the agreement, countries are expected to submit new reduction targets by 2021 at the latest, and future policies will be questioned.

What each country agreed on was:

First, in order to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 2019% by 2030 and by 43% by 2035 compared to 60.

With regard to fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which lead to greenhouse gas emissions, the report states that "we will move away from fossil fuels and accelerate our actions during this critical decade."

They also agreed to triple the global renewable energy generation capacity by 10, double the global average rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and accelerate efforts to phase out unaddressed coal-fired power generation.

In addition, subsidies for inefficient fossil fuels will be phased out as soon as possible.

In addition, the two sides agreed on specific rules for the operation of a new fund that will focus on "loss and damage" caused by climate change, especially targeting vulnerable developing countries.

A total of 2030 million dollars, or more than 3 billion yen in Japan yen, have been announced to the fund so far.

On the other hand, it expresses deep concern that the $2 billion in annual financial support pledged by developed countries to support developing countries in combating global warming has not been achieved as of 7, and calls on developed countries to further strengthen their efforts to achieve the target.

Speech by Environment Minister Ito: "Taking Action for Countermeasures"

In a speech by representatives of each country after the adoption of the agreed text at COP28, Environment Minister Ito stated, "The climate crisis is hitting all countries, regardless of borders or regions, and Japan will do its utmost to support the action now to address the climate crisis, and the next greenhouse gas reduction targets formulated by each country must reflect the results of the Global Stocktake."

In an interview with the media, Environment Minister Ito, who completed the entire schedule at COP28, said that the Japan government will describe "transition" as "transition" in terms of the agreement to move away from fossil fuels. I believe that this is consistent with Japan's policy because Japan is working to shift its industry and social structure, which is centered on fossil fuels, to a focus on clean energy."

Experts: "The agreement is very historic"

Professor Yukari Takamura of the University of Tokyo's Center for Future Initiatives, who is well versed in international negotiations on climate change issues, commented on the agreement, saying, "It is very historic that for the first time in the long history of climate change negotiations, a transition away from fossil fuels has been agreed upon as the direction of future climate change countermeasures under the chairmanship of the UAE, which is an oil-producing country. It can be evaluated as a wording that indicates the direction in which we will eventually get closer to zero."

"Science shows that the effects of climate change are beginning to be felt in Japan and around the world, and that there may be even greater impacts and risks in the future, so in that sense, it was a very important agreement to further strengthen and accelerate climate change measures," he said.