Climate conference reform: a challenging but necessary task

Amidst stalled COP28 negotiations, experts and activists call for reforms in UN climate talks to counteract the influence of petrostates and streamline decision-making processes.

Bob Berwyn reports for Inside Climate News.


In short:

  • The current consensus-based decision-making at UN climate conferences often allows individual nations to hinder progress, particularly on fossil fuel phaseout agreements.
  • Proposals for reform include implementing voting rules, restricting fossil fuel industry influence, and imposing penalties for non-compliance with conference commitments.
  • The recent COP28 summit highlighted the need for reform, as key language on fossil fuel phaseout was removed under pressure from oil-producing nations.

Key quote:

“I am aware that it would be very difficult to change the rules. But given what’s at stake, I think an effort is needed.”

— Susan Hassol, director of Climate Communication

Why this matters:

Advocates say reforming these talks is essential to ensure meaningful and enforceable agreements, directly impacting our fight against climate change and its health implications.

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