December 13, 2023

COP28 has come to an end.

After working through the night, negotiators arrived at a final agreement at COP28. For the first time, the international community has acknowledged the necessity to move away from fossil fuels. This is a historic moment that is a credit to the environmental activists, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society from around the world who have been working tirelessly for decades on this issue, including at COP28 in Dubai, to counter the voices of the fossil fuel lobbyists.

But the final agreement still has the fingerprints of the fossil fuel industry all over it. We do not have time for false solutions, dangerous distractions, and greenwashing — that this agreement risks giving fresh impetus.

As Ecojustice climate program director, Alan Andrews, and federal legislative affairs specialist, Melanie Snow, prepare to return home from Dubai, our thoughts now turn back to ensuring that Canada can truly become a climate leader.

You can read more about our takeaways at the end of COP28 here.

December 11, 2023

What’s happened at COP28 so far?

  • Saturday saw a Global Day of Action at COP28, where civil society organized a march to advocate for a ceasefire in Gaza, along with raising awareness for other issues, including climate justice.
  • On Sunday, Indigenous Climate Action released its Decolonizing Climate Policy Phase 2 Report.
  • The Government of Canada took action to restore and protect nature by committing to the introduction of a nature accountability bill in 2024.
  • Today, the last draft of the Global Stocktake text for negotiation was released. Now, it’s a waiting game to see what consensus can be reached. This is a critical moment for climate action.

What’s next at COP28?

  • The plenary session is scheduled to conclude at 11am Gulf Standard Time tomorrow, but it’s anybody’s bet how long negotiations will actually go. Minister Guilbeault says his money is on negotiations finishing on time.
  • Negotiators will be working into the wee hours, and civil society has organized an action to “Hold the Line” to ensure that negotiators know the world is watching.

What are people talking about?

This is a moment of immense importance for global climate action. Environmental groups, activists, and civil society from around the world want nothing short of a fast, fair, forever, funded, and feminist phaseout of fossil fuels.

December 8, 2023

What’s happened at COP28 so far?

  • Emily Lowan, Fossil Fuel Supply Campaigns Lead with Climate Action Network Canada spoke at an action organized by community leaders fighting LNG fossil fuel expansion across the world. Speakers talked about the devastating impacts of LNG across the supply chain, including the health, safety and climate impacts of the massive expansion of LNG. 
  • To keep conversations around false solutions and dangerous distractions going, Ecojustice has released ✨ Greenwashing Bingo ✨. This is a fun interactive way to track the serious issue of how the oil and gas industry has infiltrated COP28 and is distracting from genuine solutions like a fossil fuel phaseout.
Bingo card showing several greenwashing terms that are heard at COP28
Illustration by Simone Williamson

What’s next at COP28?

  • Tomorrow is Nature Day at COP28. Melanie will attend two thematic events focusing on the interaction between biodiversity and the climate crises: 1) From Agreement to Action: Harnessing 30×30 to Tackle Climate Change and 2) Driving Integrated Implementation of National Climate and Biodiversity Frameworks. 
  • Tomorrow is also the Global Day of Action at COP28. There will be a march in solidarity with injustices happening around the world at 3pm. 

What are people talking about?

  • Minister Guilbeault held a media scrum to loop in those on the ground at COP28 in on the newly released Canadian emissions cap framework. The scrum drew a crowd full of folks sporting the coveted “emissions cap”.
  • Azerbaijan has put in its bid to host COP29. Read more about that here.
  • Israel received the Fossil of the Day award handed out by Climate Action Network International in acknowledgment of the numerous impacts that the violence in Gaza is having. 

December 7, 2023

What’s happened at COP28 so far?

Today was a rest day at COP28, with the venue closed and negotiators, delegates and observers enjoying a well-deserved break. The Cats of COP28 were also enjoying the downtime. They have been busy providing emotional support and helping those at COP28 get through the long and stressful days, including our Ecojustice staff.

A cat hanging around at COP28.
One of the Cats of COP28 making friends with Ecojustice federal legislative specialist Melanie Snow

While COP28 negotiations were closed for the day, it was busy for those active on Canadian climate issues. The federal government released its long-awaited emissions cap framework. At the same time, the feds tabled the first progress report under the Canadian Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act in Parliament.  The report shows that Canada’s emissions are declining and are on track to meeting the midpoint objective in 2026 but that Canada will miss the 2030 target unless further action is taken.

What’s next at COP28?

  • Tomorrow is Youth, Children, Education & Skills day at COP28. Melanie will be attending an Intergenerational Climate Panel in the Canada Pavillion which will focus on the path from Disillusionment to Systemic Collective Action. 
  • Ministers from across the world arrive at COP28 to begin adding a more political flavour to the negotiations. 
  • Ecojustice will be launching a surprise interactive activity! Watch this space.

What are people talking about?

  • Language matters! A phase-down of fossil fuels is not the same as a phaseout.
  • Tasneem Essop, Executive Director of Climate Action Network International, was presented with flowers at the midway strategy meeting as a show of gratitude for her instrumental role in organizing international network members in solidarity with Palestine.

December 6, 2023

What’s happened at COP28 so far?

Today, Alan Andrews and Melanie Snow joined Caroline Brouillette, executive director of CAN-RAC in a round table that convened Climate Action Network members for a meeting with Minister François-Philippe Champagne. Alan uplifted Ecojustice’s important work of tackling rampant greenwashing in Canada by strengthening competition law. Our work on sustainable finance was also uplifted.

Today, Minister Guilbeault and the head negotiator for Canada, Michael Bonser, met with a group of COP28 attendees from Canada. Members of Canadian civil society asked Minister Guilbeault what the Canadian government was doing about the situation in Gaza. 

What’s next at COP28?

Tomorrow is the official COP28 rest day. The venue is closed, and delegates and attendees will get to take a much-needed break. 

Melanie and Alan will be attending the Climate Action Network International mid-COP28 briefing for an update on all negotiation streams. 

As of December 8, theoretically, the technical negotiations are meant to end, and the political negotiations are meant to commence, but things have been moving very slowly, so the political side of things may be delayed further. 

What are people talking about?

The three most tense issues in current negotiations are climate adaptation, the global stocktake — notably an energy package, and climate mitigation work program to deal with the disastrous impacts of climate change. A common element in tension at negotiations is the finance for and the means of implementation. 

Climate Action Network International gives the “Fossil of the Day” award to the worst climate polluters. Today, Alberta had the ignominy of receiving this title. Alberta won the award for their refusal to transition away from fossil fuels and the fact that Premiere Danielle Smith showed up to COP28 flanked by a fleet of fossil fuel lobbyists. 

Alberta receiving Fossil of the Day Award from Climate Action Network International.
Alberta receiving Fossil of the Day Award from Climate Action Network International.

December 5, 2023

What’s happened at COP28 so far?

It was another busy day at COP28 for the Ecojustice delegation. Here’s a rundown of what Ecojustice climate director Alan Andrews and Ecojustice federal legislative affairs specialist Melanie Snow got up to today:

  • Early this morning, the global stocktake draft text for negotiations was released. Climate leader Catherine Abreu provides a breakdown on what it all means!
  • Melanie joined Treaty 8 Nations in collaboration with Environmental Defence in an action to demand climate justice in the tar sands.
  • The Sustainable Finance Youth Coalition was launched in the United Nations Environment Programme Pavilion by the UN High-Level Champions Youth Fellow for Finance, Youth Climate Movement (YOUNGO), United Nations Environment Programme Children and Youth Major Group (CYMG), and the Commonwealth Youth Group.
  • Alan took part in a panel of speakers focusing on enforcing anti-greenwashing and climate risk disclosure. Alan was joined by Caio Borges (Instituto Clima e Sociedade – Brazil), Prof Alessandra Lehmen (Brazilian Bar Enviro Law Commission), Benjamin Franta (Oxford Sustainable Law Programme), David Barnden (Climate Equity Generation Lawyers) Sophie Marjanac (Client Earth), Ben Caldecott (Oxford Sustainable Finance Group).
Julia Segal from Environmental Defence speaking at United Nations Environment Programme Pavilion at COP28.
Julie Segal from Environmental Defence speaking at United Nations Environment Programme Pavilion at COP28.

What’s next at COP28?

Tomorrow, Alan and Melanie will have an opportunity to meet with a high-profile member of the Canadian delegation to COP28 (more details about that to come).

Melanie will be attending a panel discussion at the Civil Society Climate Justice Hub entitled A Just Transition Failure – the Human Rights Impacts of Big Biomass Energy.

What’s the word on the ground?

Greenwashing alert!!! The provincial governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan — as well as fossil fuel lobbyists Pathways Alliance — are hosting several events chock full of false solutions to the climate crisis.

Quebec’s environment minister arrived today, and it was announced that Quebec will now co-chair the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA).

We are hearing from those following negotiations closely that the situation in Gaza is impacting negotiations here at COP28, particularly by impacting trust between negotiating parties, and that, as a result, UN agencies are making continuous calls for solidarity.

Follow Ecojustice on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from COP28.

December 4, 2023

What‘s happened at COP28 so far?

Last week, Ecojustice climate program director Alan Andrews and federal legislative affairs specialist Melanie Snow arrived in Dubai for COP28. Alongside environmental leaders and civil society groups, their mission is to keep alive hopes of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

How? By making sure countries such as Canada deliver on their promise to tackle the carbon pollution driving climate change. Alan and Melanie have been busy advocating for Canada to address a key root of the climate crisis — the continued flow of finance to fossil fuel developments.

  • On Saturday, our friend Julie Segal from Environmental Defence chaired a panel on a climate-safe future for the financial sector. In attendance were independent Senator Rosa Gálvez, former federal environment minister and Chair of UN Expert Group on Net-Zero Catherine McKenna, and sustainable finance expert Ben Caldecott. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault also made remarks at a panel called “Transforming the Financial System: Taking Action.”
  • On Sunday, civil society members participated in a solidarity action with Palestine, which called for a ceasefire and an end to environmental apartheid.
  • On Monday, the Canadian government made an important announcement about draft regulations on methane emissions. During oil and gas exploration and production, methane is released directly into the atmosphere. These regulations are an essential step in tackling dangerous emissions from the oil and gas sector.

The announcement on methane regulations included important funding for independent oversight of methane emissions. There is a long history of chronic underreporting of emissions by industry.

What’s next at COP28?

Tomorrow is Energy, Industry and Just Transition Day at the Canada Pavilion. Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada François-Philippe Champagne is expected to attend.

Ecojustice advocates for a transition to a net-zero economy. But it must be inclusive and equitable, ensuring the workers and Indigenous Peoples who will be directly affected shape the transition in the places where they live and work.

Melanie will attend an event co-hosted by the Net-Zero Advisory Body and the Canadian Climate Institute called “Developing a Net-Zero Energy System Vision for all Canadians.”

She will also be joining other environmental groups for an event examining the impact on Indigenous and racialized communities as a result of fossil fuel pollution.

Alan will participate in a panel of lawyers from different jurisdictions who are bringing forward cases on greenwashing and addressing climate risk disclosure regulations.

What’s the word on the ground?

Global stocktake negotiations are moving at a snail’s pace. The global stocktake adds up each country’s pledges to see whether we’re on track to achieve our climate goals.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is hanging out with lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry. As Ecojustice and our allies push for Canada to become a climate leader on the global stage, Premier Smith is trying to delay action on fossil fuel emissions.

Follow Ecojustice on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from COP28.