COP28 Outcome: A Lukewarm Victory for Climate Activists

The recently concluded COP28 has left climate activists with a mix of frustration and hope. While the inclusion of a ‘transition away from fossil fuels’ in the COP text is a historic achievement, concerns about loopholes, inadequate commitments, and the presence of fossil fuel lobbyists persist, have triggered responses from key figures in the climate movement. COP28 made a global gesture of appreciating scientists’ research that attributes the severity of climate change to emissions from fossil fuel usage.

May Boeve, Executive Director of, highlights the importance of appreciating the role of people’s power in bringing the issue of transitioning from fossil fuels to the forefront. Nevertheless, the industry’s desperate effort to save its business model was suggested by the alarming presence of 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists at COP28, leading activists to demand a conflict-of-interest policy to ban fossil fuel lobbyists from future climate talks borrowing a leaf from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Managing Director at, expresses disappointment in the incremental nature of the change seen at COP28. Despite acknowledging the root cause of the climate crisis—fossil fuels—the COP falls short of a concrete phaseout commitment. Red lines for survival, especially for vulnerable nations, are crossed, with insufficient goals for coal, oil, and gas phaseouts. The need for clear quantitative goals on renewable energy and adaptation measures remains unmet.

Peri Dias emphasizes the need for a shift in focus at COP30, urging the Brazilian government to prioritize ambitious processes that center around climate justice. Additionally, Landry Ninteretse from emphasizes the missed opportunity for a complete fossil fuel phaseout and the lack of climate finance for vulnerable nations in Africa.

Agnes Hall, Global Campaigns Director at, criticizes the COP28 outcome for its failure to deliver a historic deal and further raises concern about the involvement of fossil fuel industry leaders, even up to the level of the COP28 presidency. Further, Andreas Sieber, Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns at, acknowledges the progress made at COP28 but emphasizes the need for a more ambitious result given the overwhelming support for renewable energy and fossil fuel phaseout.

COP28 may be remembered as a turning point with the inclusion of a transition away from fossil fuels in its outcomes. However, the lukewarm victory left activists demanding more concrete actions, ambitious goals, and accountability from major polluters as the summit of COP28 concluded in Dubai.

As the world looks ahead to COP30 in Brazil, the urgency of addressing climate change becomes even more apparent and the climate movement remains steadfast in its commitment to building a sustainable and just future.

Leave a reply