cop28 bozza global stocktake


At 4.30pm on December 11th, the new draft on Global Stocktake was circulated, prepared this time by the President of COP28, which immediately left a very bad taste in the mouths of civil society observers and members of many delegations, including that of the European Union. Let’s see the main differences with the draft previously circulated, last December 8th.

In summary:

  • The forecast of the net exit from fossil sources, the “phase-out”, disappears: we are now talking about the “replacement” of fossil sources not compensated by CCS, without any temporal reference
  • The need to reach global peak emissions in 2025 has been confirmed, but now with a weaker text.
  • For the first time in a text of this type nuclear energy is mentioned among the transition energy sources.
  • There is no longer any mention of “phase-out” even in the paragraph on coal.
  • Net zero emissions by mid-century, and no longer by 2040.
  • Any reference to carbon pricing disappears.
  • Having reduced Chinese claims against the European CBAM, the EU attempts to involve Beijing in the financing of the Loss and Damage Fund.
  • Finally there is clarity on the timing of the presentation of the new NDCs, the climate goals of the nations, now expected to arrive between December 2024 and March 2025 at the latest.
  • A mention of climate migrants has been introduced into the text.

In detail:

Titles and chapters are gone

The new negotiating text is a monoblock with no more titles or chapters.


In the preamble there is no mention of 1.5°C (as the old draft)

The President’s review continues to include a strong reference to Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR-RC) but any reference to the minimum Paris target of limiting global warming to +1.5°C at the end of the century is missing here. This absence is not trivial also because it could be reflected in the other texts of the final decisions of the COP.

The objective appears sometimes in subsequent paragraphs (in alternating phases), but we know how important it is (politically) to mention a framework objective in the preamble of a text of this type, and how important it has become in particular since the Italian G20 of 2021 in then, when the mention of the Paris goal suddenly returned to the negotiating texts after years of less ambition. In short, this absence may not be a mere distraction.

Important mention of human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights (as in the old draft)

A strong reference to rights stands out due to its positioning in the sixth paragraph of the preamble, maintained in the new text without modifications or omissions. Positive.

Context and transversal considerations (new paragraphs 1-18)

“We’re not there” (as in the old draft)

Paragraph 2 reports that “despite progress” in recent years “the Parties are not yet collectively on track towards achieving the overall goal of the Paris Agreement and its long-term goals”. In paragraph 8 (old par. 5) it is also said that countries “note with alarm” that “human activities, mainly through the emission of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally (underlined by the author) caused global warming of approximately 1.1°C”, formulation that survived the cuts.

Strong push on the +1.5°C goal

The new paragraph 4 uses very strong language, ordering countries to implement “efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C“.

A paragraph on this alone, to underline the importance of the objective (which however, as mentioned, does not appear in the general preamble).

International climate justice, a text that is now more… elegant

Compared to the draft of December 8th, the topic of climate justice is now addressed with greater textual elegance, with specific references to considerations of the sixth IPCC report in support of a reasoning on historical responsibilities. A new text compared to the four options in the previous version.

Mitigation (new par. 19-50)

A bad copypaste?

Paragraphs 19 and 20 on the necessary adherence of climate action to the Paris objectives are in fact copypastes of paragraphs 3 and 4. Perhaps an error due to haste: it makes little sense to repeat data and objectives at the beginning of a chapter if the chapter structure has been abandoned. They will probably be eliminated in the final text.

No more finger pointing

The old paragraph 23 offered three negotiation options; at the end of option 1, the finger was pointed, without naming them, at two developed countries which, according to the latest five-year emissions reports, would not have respected their international commitments. As we expected, the paragraph has been deleted. In this UN context, fingers are never pointed.

Peak emissions in 2025: confirmed, but lightened text

Paragraph 29 (old paragraph 25) clearly indicates the need to reach the global peak of climate-changing emissions by 2025. However, countries are no longer asked to communicate the expected peak date of their emission systems. No further reference to the conditionality of NDCs of developing Countries as per the old draft.

No more phase out: the step back that can change the COP

The new paragraph 39 (old paragraph 36) of the draft, probably the most important of the entire COP, has been heavily revised downwards. The role of the English verb “could” is central: it is said that countries “may” include some of the policies listed, a wording that is now far too bland, while in the old text countries were “asked” to apply certain policies.

Renewable Capacity x3: Survives, but weakened text

The COP’s decision to globally triple renewable energy generation capacity by 2030 has been confirmed, this time without mitigating factors for fossil fuels in the transition path as per the old draft; However, specific figures and objectives disappear.

Carbon capture and storage remains, nuclear power arrives – and it’s the first time

Not only is the wording in paragraph 39 (d) maintained, which sees CCS systems among the solutions identified to proceed with the ecological transition, but nuclear energy is added to these and – from what we have managed to reconstruct in recent hours – it seems to be the first time in the history of COPs that this technology appears so explicitly.

Phase-out, phased-out: the wording disappears, now we talk about “Replacement”

In the previous draft, four out of five negotiating options talked about the phase-out of fossil fuels, a fact which had been welcomed positively by civil society and the most ambitious countries. Unfortunately, in the President’s new draft (paragraph 39) the term disappears entirely, to make way for the wording “increase efforts towards the replacement of uncompensated fossil fuels in energy systems“.

“Replacement” is probably the compromise term found by Al Jaber after the long ministerial negotiations on Sunday, in the face of the OPEC group and other Countries that really didn’t want the “phase-out” in the final texts.

Something new: “reduction” in the production and consumption of fossils

Perhaps to give new life to such a politically mutilated text, the Presidency added a sub-paragraph (e) in which among the paths that can be taken (not compulsorily) by Countries a generic reduction in consumption and production of fossil fuels is indicated, which then means ” phase down”.

For coal there is only a mild phase down, with no more timeframes

Compared to the previous text, temporal references to the exit from coal disappear, which becomes gradual – the old text instead spoke of an “immediate” exit, “in this decade”.

Weakened text on methane, objectives disappear

The sub-paragraph on methane (f) is significantly weakened compared to the previous draft (ex paragraph 39, option 1); it is said that among the possible solutions, countries can accelerate and reduce methane emissions by 2030 but without an objective, a figure, a date.

Subsidies to fossil fuels only if they promote social well-being (as in the old draft)

The curious wording under letter (h) remains in the text, slightly integrated, which promotes the exit from subsidies (now called “inefficient”) to fossil fuels which do not entail concrete and positive commitments on energy poverty and just transition.

Weaker text on the review of NDCs, mitigation side

If the old paragraph 46 “required” countries to review their national plans in terms of greater ambition on mitigation, the new paragraph 47 “encourages” them to do so. A much weaker formulation.

Net zero by 2040? No, now “by mid-century”

Paragraph 50 (old paragraph 49) survives the Presidency’s revision, asking countries to communicate their plans to achieve net zero emissions by COP29, however renouncing in the new text the reference to 2040 and going back to a more generic “by mid-century.”

Adaptation (par. 51-86)

Financial gap on adaptation? Better not to talk about it too much

New paragraph 62, a scant line, says that countries “note with concern that the adaptation finance gap is widening.” This short sentence replaces, compared to the previous draft, a long and detailed paragraph on the needs of the most vulnerable countries. Perhaps for some countries it was preferable not to “get stuck” with too many figures at this stage or in this part of the text.

The new IPCC special report on adaptation has disappeared

The old paragraph 77, which asked the IPCC to draw up a new Special Report on Adaptation, disappears from the text.

Now clear language on doubling the funds

Paragraph 84 clearify what the old paragraph 82 stuttered: in strong and decisive language, it says that developed countries are now encouraged to “at least double their collective contribution to adaptation finance” by 2025 compared to 2019. The following paragraph 86 underlines the need for these funds to come in the form of contributions and not as loans.

Finance (par. 87-128)

Global Stocktake should be part of the new post-2025 target

The new paragraph 87 encourages countries to consider COP28 findings from the first Global Stocktake in their decisions on the new post-2025 global financial target, which will be addressed at the next COP.

100 billion a year, the text is now clear: we have not reached them

The old paragraph 87 left room for interpretation as to whether the global goal of dedicating $100 billion per year to climate finance has been achieved in 2022. The wording of the new paragraph 92, which takes its place, clearly indicates that the objective has not been achieved at all and that the Countries note this “with profound bitterness”. The theme is taken up again, in an almost identical way, in the following paragraph 104, which could be eliminated in the final document to avoid repetitions.

Climate finance? Disbursements, not loans

The previous paragraphs 90 and 92 questioned the nature of climate finance, underlining the absence of a shared definition. The new wording of paragraph 96, which replaces them, indicates briefly but decisively that climate finance mainly means disbursements and not loans, in line with what is required at each COP by the Countries of the South of the world.

A new work program on Article 2.1.c? No

The idea, previously presented in paragraph 113, of launching a new work program on Article 2.1.c of the Paris Agreement, therefore on the consistency of existing financial flows with climate objectives, completely disappears from the text. A step back.

Less attention to greenwashing

Paragraph 115 of the previous draft contained interesting working indications on the exit from subsidies to fossil fuels and, in particular, greenwashing and the credibility of private sector commitments. Paragraph 124, which replaces it, is heavily watered down and all references to the topic disappear.

Technology transfer (par. 129-138)

New program on technological implementation: the money disappears

Paragraph 138 of the draft sees the proposal to establish a new Technology Implementation Program survive, but without any longer reference to the expected initial financial allocation of 2.5 billion dollars to be renewed in line with any future Global Stocktake .

Capacity building (par. 139-148)

A new fund for capacity building? No

The idea of launching a new Fund to support capacity building actions, therefore to support developing Countries in their implementation of NDCs (option 1 of the old paragraph 134), disappears completely from the text and is replaced, at paragraph 145, from a generic “sharing of skills” at no cost.

Loss and damage (par. 149-1)

One more reference to climate migrants

In Paragraph 150, which identifies the populations and social groups most affected by the impacts of climate change in terms of loss and damage, a reference to climate migrants is added at the end of a long list (already present in the previous draft). Unexpected.

Europe tries to involve China (as in the old draft)

Paragraph 165 (old paragraph 155) is saved, in which it is said that developing Countries that wish to voluntarily contribute to the finance for loss and damage will also be able to do so; the textual window through which the European Union tries to involve China in the new Fund, launched two weeks ago, therefore remains open.

From an annual IPCC report on the Loss and Damage Gap to a generic “Secretariat report”

Present in the previous draft, the idea of having the IPCC prepare an annual report on loss and damage (also too ambitious) was replaced by the provision of a generic report from the Secretariat, to be delivered according to unclear deadlines.

Impacts of climate action (par. 172-187)

Attacks on European CBAM moderated and eased

The strong attack (implicit but not too much) on the new European border measures on emissions envisaged by the European Green Deal (the so-called CBAM) is strongly moderated and lightened, so much so that in the new draft it is only mentioned in paragraph 174, against the four mentions of the previous draft. Furthermore, it is discussed in much more generic language, now avoiding specific references to unilateral measures considered harmful to the free market, which are only included in the following paragraph 192.

One less mention for the +1.5°C goal

Without any particular further textual revisions, any reference to the Paris minimum goal of keeping temperatures within +1.5°C disappears from paragraph 178 when talking about the measures necessary for the ecological transition. Not relevant for the overall analysis, but curious.

International cooperation (par. 188-202)

Price on carbon? Gone

The old paragraph 188, which encouraged countries to establish a price on carbon, disappears. We thought it could be modified or lightened, but it was instead cancelled.

Looking ahead (par. 192-206)

New NDCs: at least within 9-12 months of COP30 (an improvement compared to the old draft)

The various options of the old paragraph 192 find a summary and solution in the new paragraphs 205, 206, 207. The Countries “shall” – strong and imperative language at a negotiating level – present their next NDCs to the Secretariat at least within 9-12 months from COP30 in 2025, with a policy time horizon of 2035.

In paragraph 209 it is reiterated that the new NDCs must reflect the highest possible ambition of each country; in paragraphs 211 and 212 it is reminded that the NDCs will have to take into consideration what emerged this year in the first Global Stocktake. This very clear language, with specific references to the five-yearly reviews foreseen in the Paris Agreement, probably represents the only significant improvement of this new text, otherwise largely lightened and weakened by the President’s revision.

The IPCC Report on transition costs and the annual report on post-GST disappear

The final part of the previous draft included a new IPCC report on the costs of the transition, an annual report from the Secretariat on the implementation of what emerged in the first Global Stocktake, a new GST Forum to better prepare the new NDCs towards 2025. None of these ideas survives in today’s draft.

New ideas: the Dialogue on children and the Dialogue on mountains

However, two unexpected innovations enter the text, the provision for the establishment of a new Dialogue on children and climate change (paragraph 220) and a new Dialogue of experts on mountains and climate change (221). We have the impression that these initiatives, like those previously mentioned on transition costs and GST, may themselves be deleted from the final decision – some countries try to fit outputs into their own national priorities from time to time. Unfortunately, in this case with a notable drop in ambition compared to the previous draft, although new themes appear.

Towards the new NDCs: an event with Guterres, but no one says when

The old paragraph 205 is replaced by the new 230: with respect to the choice between having multiple events in the run-up to the new NDCs or having a single one under the auspices of Secretary-General Guterres in September 2025 on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly at the UN, the new text indicates that the Countries have opted for the single event, however without specifying any date. A slightly too vague forecast, in a world – the UNFCCC one – in which the work calendars already cover at least the next two years in detail.

Article by Jacopo Bencini, Policy Advisor, European and Multilateral Climate Policies Italian Climate Network

Cover image: photo by Jacopo Bencini

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